Jean-Michel Cousteau’s SWAINS ISLAND – One of the Last Jewels of the Planet Wins at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival

November 12, 2014 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Media Contact:
Jim Knowlton, Associate Producer, Ocean Futures Society

The new documentary film is awarded first prize in the “Cultural Connections: People and the Sea” category following its North American premiere in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Santa Barbara, CA – Jean Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society is pleased to announce that their new film, SWAINS ISLAND – One of the Last Jewels of the Planet won a prestigious award at the 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit in Saint Petersburg, Florida, in the category of Cultural Connections: People and the Sea. BLUE is a one-of-a-kind film industry and community event bringing together films, filmmakers and leaders in ocean research and conservancy to educate, empower and inspire ocean stewardship around the globe.

Produced by international explorer and conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau of Ocean Futures Society and filmmaker Jim Knowlton, along with the support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, SWAINS ISLAND is a journey to a tiny remote island located 200 miles north of American Samoa that has recently been added to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. They are joined by scientists who complete the first scientific survey of the Island, searching for clues to its past use by early Polynesians as well as by a copra plantation run by the Jennings Family, who own the island. They also explore the beautiful coral reefs that surround the Island.

According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, “I am grateful that the BLUE film jury and the audience alike recognize and appreciate the importance of the Swains Island story. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to make a film that shows the world why we must protect the biodiversity and unique cultural heritage of valuable places to create a healthy ocean and ensure our continued well-being on the blue planet we call home.” Filmmaker and co-producer Jim Knowlton added that, “It took a village to make a film about Swains Island and I know that we are all thrilled with a win at BLUE Ocean Film Festival. It is a privilege to create visual stories that garner support for protecting special ocean places.”

The 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit brought together filmmakers, scientists, and major NGOs from around the world to exchange ideas on marine conservation and open a discussion about the future of our ocean. Notable guest speakers included Celine and Fabien Cousteau, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Robert Ballard from National Geographic, and John Bruno and Walt Conti from James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGE film. In 2010, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s film Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures: America's Underwater Treasures won Best Ocean Exploration and Adventure Film at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California. Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society team continue to spread their message, “Protect the ocean, and you protect yourself.”

About Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society
Ocean Futures Society is a non-profit marine conservation and education organization that serves as a “Voice for the Ocean”. OFS’s mission is to explore the oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection and to celebrate their vital importance to the survival of all life on the planet. One of OFS’s educational program, Ambassadors of the Environment, represents the Society’s commitment to prepare the next generation for the responsibilities they will inherit to manage the planet’s biosphere. For more information, visit the website at