South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’ which has won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, saying it has opened a window into the natural beauty and diversity of the country’s oceans and marine ecosystems.
“My Octopus Teacher”, which has Indian filmmaker Swati Thiyagarajan as associate producer and production manager, won the best documentary feature at the Oscars,
Producers Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed received the award for the documentary that tells the story of Craig Foster and his remarkable relationship with an octopus in the kelp forests along the Western Cape coast.
Congratulations once again to the production team of #MyOctopusTeacher for winning Best Documentary Feature’ at the #Oscars, Ramaphosa tweeted.
The documentary has opened a window into the natural beauty and diversity of South Africa’s oceans and marine ecosystems. We hope it will encourage a greater appreciation and advocacy for marine conservation at a time when ocean degradation is a growing global problem, the President said.
Internationally renowned South African filmmaker Anant Singh also praised the documentary.
Craig was brilliant in My Octopus Teacher, having completely immersed himself for over a year in the making of the film and forging a bond with the octopus on which the film focuses, he said.
Shooting every day, in a cold underwater kelp forest, for over a year is no mean feat and I admire Craig’s resilience and tenacity under these difficult conditions.
My Octopus Teacher is filmmaking at its best, especially when a documentary is so hugely embraced by viewers all around the world, Singh said.
It is also a huge boost for the South African film industry as the film was shot in Cape Town and went on to capture the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, profiling the natural beauty of the country, he said.
Singh said the global success of the film would serve to inspire emergent South African filmmakers.
He also lauded Foster for a documentary that his company Videovision had collaborated on.
Craig (Foster) and Damon Foster worked on the film My Hunter’s Heart’, which tracked the Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari, the oldest living indigenous tribe in the world, and which was shot over three-and-a-half-year period.
The Oscar was the third accolade for My Octopus Teacher’, which earlier received in the UK the BAFTA award for best documentary and was named Best Documentary Motion Picture by the Producers Guild of America. (PTI)