Ellen Windemuth: My Octopus Teacher and the importance of storytelling
How do we communicate climate science so that people actually care? We spoke with Ellen Windemuth – producer of the BAFTA and Oscar winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher – about the power of storytelling in changing the world, and her new environmental streaming service, WaterBear.
“Nobody has ever been converted by a pie chart … are we surprised that people can’t absorb what the SDGs mean?”
WaterBear is the world’s first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of the planet. It is completely free to sign up, and gives members access to content focused on nature, climate change, communities and sustainability while partnering with over 80 NGOs and charities.
“We think that every story starts with our relationship with nature.”
Windemuth’s BAFTA and Oscar winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher, beautifully demonstrates the importance of reconnecting with the natural world. After contracting a severe case of adrenal fatigue, Windemuth’s good friend Craig Foster began to swim in the cold water off the coast of South Africa as part of his recovery, and forged a bond with an octopus.
“When people reconnect with nature … that is really the source of human happiness.”
At the core of the film is the incredible value of our relationship with nature. Humans are a part of nature, not apart from it. As the climate crisis worsens, Windemuth emphasises that we need stories about our connection to the natural world in order to grasp what is happening to our planet and change how people think.