EarthX and the National Geographic Society will convene virtually to celebrate Oceans Week from June 9-11 at EarthX.org. The event will bring together cross-disciplinary innovators driving solutions to the most pressing threats facing our oceans. These solutions will be explored through conversations, film screenings and extended reality experiences – highlighting the power of science and storytelling to unlock the impact potential of communities across cultures, generations and ideologies.
Titled for its mission, Protecting the Life Systems of the Ocean will be introduced by Trammell S. Crow, Founder of EarthX and Michael L. Ulica, president and COO of the National Geographic Society, followed by a welcome note from Robert and Sybille Szaggars Redford who will be introducing their environmental film series The Way of the Rain – Reflections on Earth. The conferences will bring together leading voices in ocean conservation including renowned National Geographic Explorers-at-Large Enric Sala and Dr. Sylvia Earle, who will start the conversation with storied conservationists Julie Packard and Fabien Cousteau – kicking off a three-day program that will cover some the most critical issues threatening the greatest life source of our planet.
High Seas Protection | As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas include some of the least protected and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world. EarthX offers a platform for members of the High Seas Alliance and mission-aligned partners, who work together to inform and engage the public, decision-makers and experts to support and strengthen high seas governance and conservation.
The lawlessness of the high seas will furthermore be explored through musical storytelling with the EarthXR presentation of The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. Based on The New York Times best-selling book by Ian Urbina, The Outlaw Ocean, the session will feature musical narrators using rhythmic sounds as a medium to raise awareness and stoke a sense of urgency about the human rights, labor and environmental abuses that occur at sea.
Coral Reef Conservation | Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species on the planet, but make up only 0.1% of our ocean. This essential source of life in our ocean’s ecosystem is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate from rising water temperatures, acidification, destructive fishing practices, and pollution. EarthX is convening leading ocean conservationists across the world to address these threats and introduce solutions at an industry and individual level, mapping out a path forward for collective and long-lasting protection of our coral reefs.
EarthxFilm will bring this issue to life through the screening of Chasing Coral, an ocean adventure directed by Jeff Orlowski with a mission to discover why reefs are disappearing and revealing the underwater worlds of our changing oceans. EarthXR will also transport audiences to the depths of our ocean through virtual dives with National Geographic Explorer Erika Woolsey and Underwater Earth Co-Founder Christophe Bailhache, immersing audiences in the underwater worlds of coral reefs while illustrating the importance of their conservation.
Ocean Plastic Solutions | With over 8 million tons of plastic dumped in our ocean every year, plastic waste has become ubiquitous and has found its way into the air we breathe and the food we eat – with the average person ingesting the equivalent of 1 credit card a week in microplastics. EarthX will host leaders in ocean plastic solutions to highlight this critical issue and introduce innovative solutions across categories including technology, policy and resource management in a session featuring youth leader and Founder of Bye-Bye Plastic Melati Wijsen.
Sustainable Fisheries| Overfishing and destructive fishing practices have led to the alarming depletion of global fish populations, with a potential collapse of the world’s fisheries projected by 2048. EarthX is catalyzing awareness around the issue and the need for sustainable fisheries by convening leading experts and solution-drivers including Global Fishing Watch Co-Founder John Amos and Seafood Watch’s Senior Aquaculture Scientist Taylor Voorhees.
EarthxFilm presents an intimate perspective on the devastating impact of overfishing with their screening of Current Sea, directed by Christopher Smith. The film captures the illegal fishing practices threatening Cambodia’s once robust seascape, following the journey of expats who are determined to end this system.
Registration is free and details are available at www.EarthX.org.
World Oceans Week Film Screenings
Tuesday, June 9th – Thursday, June 11th
Tuesday, June 9th
7:00pm CT | My Octopus Teacher
South Africa, 2019, 85 min.
Director: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
Producer: Craig Foster
How often do we get to have a conversation with nature? That is at the essence of this incredibly special documentary,
which tracks the unique friendship between a free diver named Craig Foster, who plunges daily into the cold waters off
the coast of Africa, and an octopus. Yes, a friendship with an octopus. One day, Foster comes across the young octopod
and returns to visit her again and again, slowly building a relationship that is captured on film. What we see is strangely
simple and wildly remarkable as the two creatures form an undeniable bond. The film gives enormous insight into how
these astonishing creatures live, eat, defend themselves, and even play – which this octopus does with her new human
7:33pm CT | Current Sea
Cambodia/Malaysia/USA, 2020, 90 min.
Director: Christopher Smith
Producers: Stephanie Lincoln, Christopher Smith
Overfishing of the ocean’s waters is happening all over the world, having a horrendous impact not only on marine
ecosystems but also on the local fishermen who depend on these habitats for their livelihood. That is undoubtedly the
case in Cambodia, where illegal fishing is devastating this once robust seascape. Current Sea explores the situation in a
tense and riveting way by following a couple of deeply committed expats who are determined to end this scourge and
bring justice to the perpetrators, but of course, put themselves into great peril along the way.
Wednesday, June 10th
7:00pm CT | Matthew Modine’s: Ripple Effect
USA, 2019, 8 min.
Directors: Matthew Modine and Andrew Klein
Producers: Adam Rackoff and Matthew Modine
For almost four decades, Matthew Modine has been making movies, leaving a real imprint on audiences. His own deeply
thought-provoking directorial efforts are less known. With Ripple Effect, Modine, a long-time activist and
environmentalist, seeks to find what famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau called “wavemakers,” the remarkable
people making extraordinary efforts to save our seas. Modine will be in attendance in Dallas at the second screening if
his shooting schedule allows it.
7:26pm CT | Watson
UK, 2019, 99 min.
Director: Lesley Chilcott
Producers: Lesley Chilcott, Louise Runge, Wolfgang Knöpfler
The ocean manufactures oxygen, regulates Earth’s climate and houses numerous species (many that are yet to be
discovered), but it has also become a war zone — at least in the eyes of Captain Paul Watson. “If the ocean dies, we all
die. We don’t live on this planet with a dead ocean,” says Watson, who has repeatedly risked his life and freedom to save
the ocean and its inhabitants. Watson provides a glimpse into the mind of this notorious conservationist, who knows how
to work the media and isn’t afraid to ram a whaling ship or chase down an illegal fishing boat. From his early years as a
co-founder of Greenpeace to the starting and expansion of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Watson follows the
sometimes controversial, but effective efforts of Watson to defend and protect marine life and habitats at all costs.
Thursday, June 11th
7:00pm CT | Matagi Mālohi: Strong Winds
USA, 2020, 4 min
Directors: Forest Woodward, Canyon Woodward, Aidan Haley
Tuvalu, the fourth-smallest country in the world by area, is a delicate ribbon of land in the Pacific Ocean whose
inhabitants’ lives have long been intertwined with the sea. With climate change, however, that sea might swallow their
homeland; climate models predict the island’s current children may be the last native Tuvaluans. This short but striking
film follows the activists working to change that fate. Their rally cry? “We are not drowning, we are fighting.”
7:25pm CT | Chasing Coral
USA, 2016, 94 min.
Directors: Jeff Orlowski
Producers: Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an
ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films and 49 Eco-virtual reality experiences. Earthx2020 was held virtually from April 16-26 and drew over 550,000 visitors worldwide. Visit www.EarthX.org or follow us @earthxorg on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
ABOUT The National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook