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The First South African Nature Documentary to Air as a Netflix Original

Released in early September “My Octopus Teacher’ by nature filmmaker Craig Foster, tells the tender story of befriending a small octopus in the icy Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Town. It shows Foster diving every day to visit a female octopus he discovered when she burst from beneath a pile of shells. At first, the small cephalopod is wary. Over time, she reaches out to him with one tentacle and eventually trusts him enough to sit on his chest and let him stroke her. Foster in 2012 had co-founded the Sea Change Project, a nonprofit group meant to protect marine life by raising awareness of the South African kelp forest’s ecological importance. The film, too, has been years in the making. While Foster eventually had a big team, he and environmental journalist Pippa Ehrlich initially worked alone for a few years. It was her first movie, and she directed — with James Reed – wrote, filmed and edited. The film, for which Foster did the underwater photography, has already won a prestigious award and has been nominated for a slew of others.

SOURCE: VOA