FILMMAKER I MARINE BIOLOGIST I PHOTOGRAPHER
the ocean between us
A UWE STUDENT FILM BY INKA CRESSWELL
THE FILM: 'My 25 is an authored short film switching between memories and reality to tell an intimate story of how our oceans have changed from the perspective of multiple generations exploring the state of our oceans and ultimately their fate. This film follows my own personal relationship with the ocean diving into the threats that face our oceans today and showing how much has changed in just my lifetime. From traditional fishing practices to state of the art wet labs and coral restoration work we will demonstrate how there is still time to change the fate of our oceans and show the importance of learning from different cultures and generations in the fight to conserve our oceans. It is a story of resilience, a story of hope but ultimately a call to action for us to decide what legacy we want to leave behind for our children.
By the age of 6 I had already decided I was going to be a Marine Biologist but I never imagined that by the time I graduated I would be fighting to save the last of a species and documenting the end of an era, they say we are the first generation to understand what we are doing to our planet but is it too late, have we already reached the point of no return?
I grew up surrounded by incredible stories of thriving oceans and breathtaking seascapes so full of life they sounded like a fairy tale. Our oceans have changed an unprecedented amount in the last 25 years, we have witnessed the decline of coral reefs globally with mass bleaching events and coral acidification headlining newspapers. We have watched as groundbreaking numbers of species have been shifted onto the IUCN red list and observed fish stocks crash locally and on a global scale. In just 25 years, in just my lifetime the amount our oceans have changed is staggering and the stories I grew up with of incredible thriving oceans have disappeared into history books. Our impact on our planet exists, it can be seen now and it can be seen globally. When you grow up in a time when terms like global warming, deforestation, and extinction are common vocabulary its hard to fully understand the full extent of the level of impact we have had on the natural world, to understand what we have lost we must first know what we had. This film takes its audience on a journey back in time showing how much our oceans have changed from the perspective of multiple generations, illustrating the importance of key habitats such as coral reefs and showing how much we have lost in just one generational shift.
Only 7% of our oceans are protected
However, this is not a film about the loss, it's a film about hope. Highlighting the power of marine protected areas showing there are still places that exist that are thriving and that while we still have these pockets of resistance there is time for us to make an impact and save our oceans. I will show the power of human will and one group's dedication to ocean conservation, planting mangroves, restoring reefs, returning fish biomass to their coastline, and ultimately showing us it is never too late to make a change, it is not too late to save our oceans.
Our oceans are changing at an unprecedented rate but while pockets of resistance still exist in our marine protected areas there is still time for change. These small pockets of resistance allow us to take a step back in time, to step back to the days when sharks were still the ruling apex predators in our oceans and humans were just visitors. Our oceans are powerful and resilient places but they need our protection, they need us to find a way to live in harmony if they are ever to return to the vibrant thriving seascapes they once were. This film will highlight the power of marine protected areas but most importantly show a community that are looking to the future and bringing their coastline back from the brink of extinction.
Film creates a unique aid in storytelling, captivating moments that would otherwise go unseen allowing us to illustrate interactions between humans and nature, assisting in the education and inspiration of future marine biologists and conservationists.
After graduating with a degree in marine biology I decided to study a Masters in wildlife filmmaking so I could communicate important ocean conservation messages with a bigger audience highlighting some of the fantastic work marine biologists are doing around the world and sharing complex marine problems in a way that inspires and educates the general public.
This film was created as the final project in my master's program.
I hope you enjoy it.
FILM PREMIERE, the everyman
woods hole film festival
BRISTOL, UK ....OCTOBER 2019
MASSACHUSETTS, USA ....JULY 2020
BRIGHTON ROCKS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
BRIGHTON, UK ....AUGUST 2020
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION FILM FESTIVAL
LOS ANGELES, USA... SEPTEMBER 2020
NEW YORK, USA... OCTOBER 2020
BRISTOL, UK... OCTOBER 2020
WORLD WHALE FILM FESTIVAL
HAWAII, USA... JUNE 2022
INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF CONFERENCE & FILM FESTIVAL
BREMEN, GERMANY... JULY 2022
Why Now? Our oceans are changing at an unprecedented rate but while pockets of resistance still exist in our marine protected areas there is still time for change. These small pockets of resistance allow us to take a step back in time, to step back to the days when sharks were still the ruling apex predators in our oceans and humans were just visitors. Our oceans are powerful and resilient places but they need our protection, they need us to find a way to live in harmony if they are ever to return to the vibrant thriving seascapes they once were. This film will highlight the power of marine protected areas but most importantly show a community that are looking to the future and bringing their coastline back from the brink of extinction.
The Alligator Head foundations The Alligator Head foundations work will be the light at the end of the tunnel. This small foundation set up by the community for the community are working to cultivate and transplant corals, plant mangroves and recover the fish biomass in the Portland fish sanctuary. Jamaica lost over 95% of its reefs in the last 30 years but due to the dedication of a few people such as Dr. Buddo and the support of a local fishing community their reefs are recovering with a 5% increase in fish biomass after just 200 days of work. This new MPA is the perfect example of the resilience of our oceans and their ability to recover with our support showing it is not too late to protect our oceans.
Coral reefs could be gone by the end of this century
follow our journey: Throughout the filming of this project we have been giving live updates over social media giving our audience a behind the scenes view of what is going into the creation of this project. These updates were a combination of live feeds, vlogs, blogs and behind the scenes photos bringing you closer to the action than ever before! This additional social content also allows us to dive into the science behind some of these conservation topics in greater detail maximising our educational impact.
Our oceans contain 99% of living space on our planet
Thank you! Thanks for taking the time to read about this project and supporting me on this next exciting step in my career. Please be sure to subscribe to my website and social media channels to stay up to date with the latest film and outreach developments. I look forward to sharing this adventure beneath the waves with you in the very near future. All the Best, Inka