My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher is coming to Netflix this September.

Yes, the Netflix original documentary will tell the story about an unusual friendship that develops between a filmmaker and an octopus living in a South African kelp forest who eventually shares the mysteries of its world.

The documentary, that was produced by Craig Foster and directed by Pippa Ehrlich and award-winning filmmaker James Reed, tells the story of Foster, suffering from a loss of purpose, who begins a daily diving regimen in the freezing kelp forests at the tip of Africa in order to re-energize himself.

“What he discovers below the water’s surface is a totally alien motivation in the form of an unusually curious octopus. This beautiful record of an animal’s entire life -something seldom achieved in the wild, let alone underwater – was shot over a full year and explores the habits and personality of a strange, undulating creature that most of us have only ever eaten.

“Beyond intelligent, dextrous and resilient, the cephalopod shares her secret world with Foster as they develop a touching bond. The underwater encounters are literally breathtaking as Foster holds his breath while interacting with the octopus. An immersive portrait of human-animal understanding, brimming with danger, drama and devastating emotion, My Octopus Teacher grabs you with all eight arms and changes its camouflage – showing you colours and textures you’ve never seen before.”

Now after nearly four years of editing, and 10 years of diving in the forest, Foster and his ‘teacher’ are ready to share their story: see the trailer.

The film was made in association with Off The Fence and The Sea Change Project. It’s reported that the Great African Sea Forest off the southwest tip of the African continent, is one of the best kept secret wonders of the world. It is the only forest of giant bamboo kelp on our planet. It is a magical, abundant and bio-diverse ecosystem. The Sea Change Project says that it is inspired by daily contact with The Great African Sea Forest, and their goal is to have it declared a Unesco Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site. By achieving this status, the kelp forest will be recognised as a global treasure that needs to be protected.

Foster and Ross Frylinck founded the Sea Change Trust in 2012, a South African nonprofit. Through hundreds of hours of underwater exploration, they have come to understand this unique environment and the community of creatures that live within it. To date, they have generated millions of rands worth of publicity for the kelp forest.