Winners at BLUE Ocean Film Festival
Documentary films are a powerful way to reach large numbers of people to share valuable environmental messages. It is the medium that can have tremendous impacts on educating, inspiring and entertaining large audiences all at once.
My dedication to continuing to produce Cousteau films is from decades of learning how my father’s films created a movement of marine conservationists, of ocean lovers. In this year of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s 100th birthday, many film festivals are honoring my father and his work in ocean documentary filmmaking.
This past weekend I was proud to participate in one of these film festivals, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California, where I was joined by my children, Céline and Fabien, to honor my father and their grandfather in our own special way. With an audience wearing red caps in honor of Jacques Cousteau, we each had an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a Cousteau and where we want to use our unique, individual talents and experiences to engage the public in never giving up on the human species. My father was a man of great optimism; I will never forget him saying, “We can find happiness in protecting the world around us not only because we cherish it for its awesome beauty, power and mystery, but because we cherish our fellow humans, those who live today and those who will live tomorrow.”
Also at BLUE, Ocean Futures Society, in co-production with KQED, was honored with the top award for our two-hour film, America’s Underwater Treasures in the category of “Ocean Exploration and Adventure.” In conjunction with the screening of this film, I also announced the release of our new four-book series, Explore the National Marine Sanctuaries with Jean-Michel Cousteau, published by Ocean Publishing. I am happy once again to be partnering with NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary program and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, to bring awareness of our underwater treasures within these 14 protected areas around the country. These sanctuaries belong to us all and it is through our knowledge of the richness found in these sanctuaries that we take pride in making sure they are protected for future generations.
On the last evening of BLUE, Fabien, Céline and I were honored with a “Making Waves” award. This honor not only represents the decades of our being a part of the Cousteau legacy but also the hard work and dedication of my entire team, past, present and future ocean protectors. We are all a part of this great journey of ocean exploration and adventure! We are all striving for a more sustainable future; we all need to celebrate our Blue Planet and one way is to enjoy film festivals devoted to the ocean and marine conservation! Thank you to all those who worked very hard to make the 2nd annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival a success!
First Photo: Jean-Michel Cousteau leads a panel, Gulf Oil Spill: Tragedy to Turning Point, at BLUE Ocean Film Festival with Dr. Chris Pincetich, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Dr. Richard Murphy and Dr. Ira Leifer. © Holly Lohuis, Ocean Futures Society
Second Photo: Jean-Michel, Fabien and Céline Cousteau at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California. © Holly Lohuis, Ocean Futures Society
Third Photo: The America's Underwater Treasures Film crew and the Cousteau family in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED.
Fourth Photo: Jean-Michel Cousteau enjoys the company of many ocean conservationists/film makers including Nathan Dembeck, Michael Hanrahan, Matthew Ferraro, Jim Knowlton, Brian Hall, Fabien Cousteau, Aaron Raymond, Mike DeGury and Landon Lott. © Holly Lohuis, Ocean Futures Society.