South African documentary My Octopus Teacher from Netflix has won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Documentary.
The 1×85’ doc was directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed and captured the year filmmaker Craig Foster spent building a relationship with a wild female octopus in a South African kelp forest, dubbed the Great African Seaforest.
My Octopus Teacher focuses on time Foster spent observing and interacting with the octopus during daily dives made to rekindle his connection with the natural world.
Indian documentary filmmaker and environmental journalist Swati Thiyagarajan told NDTV that the intention was for the film to be a story of hope and of love.
“Through Craig’s personal story we wanted to show the healing power of nature and how humans are an intrinsic part of the natural world, not separate from it,” said Thiyagarajan.
My Octopus Teacher has also been nominated for an Oscar, but despite such acclaim, Thiyagarajan said: “The greatest gift this film has given us is our deepening connection to this wild, wonderful ecosystem on our doorstep, where even I have given over my fear to wonder and swim and dive every day in the Great African Seaforest.”