NIIJII FILMS WIN 2010 NOAA ENVIRONMENTAL HERO AWARD
Saturday, June 10, 2017
On Earth Day this week, Barbara and Sven were announced as 2010 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Environmental Heroes for their tireless work to bring attention to ocean acidification through A Sea Change.  To see the official announcement, click here.
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SCRIPPS and A Sea Change: Science and Cinema on a Mission
Saturday, June 10, 2017
On Friday night we had a reunion in La Jolla with our colleagues from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  It was the first time we had gotten together since we stormed COP15.  After much strategizing, we have decided to have a repeat performance at COP16 in November.  We concluded that we had, in fact, made a difference, and we need to continue as an effective team on the ground.
Many blog entries and articles were written in Copenhagen on ocean acidification and A Sea Change, and here is one example (also pasted below) from a graduate student at Scripps:

A Sea Change
This film is amazing. If every parent could see this film, they would be set on fire to do something to stop ocean acidification. It follows the journey of one man, the filmmaker, Sven Huseby, who, after reading an article in the New Yorker about ocean acidification, becomes determined to save the beautiful fragile pteropods who are in the most danger of losing their shells if we continue emitting carbon dioxide and acidifying the oceans, so his grandson will grow up in a world will an ocean teeming with life.

After a screening of the film on December 10, there was a Q&A with Vicki Fabry, Andrew Dickson, Tony Haymet, and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. The moderator, Brad Warren, kicked off this portion of the Q&A with an attempt to address two criticisms: Two kinds of hope being peddled at COP-15, both of which deserve to be thrown out of the window of a tall building. Geoengineering in the form of ocean fertilization. And the fact that adult lobsters grow thicker shells in a more acidic sea sometimes. You can click on the link to hear the panelists’ response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp-A-qCMhgY

Tamara Beitzel, Scripps graduate student
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Stirring it up on the West Coast
Saturday, June 10, 2017
In our last entry, we were touring the gold mining town of Nevada city in our new t-shirts, sporting the logo "make films, not war".  This was during the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, just east of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains.  An established environmental film festival, it brings visitors from all over Northern California for a long weekend of back to back environmental film screenings.  We had two screenings with engaged and concerned audiences who were eager to learn more about ocean acidification.  In addition, we met our film making friend, Alan Dater, who was there with Taking Root, the vision of Wangari Maathai of Kenya.  Together with his wife, Lisa Merton, Alan has co-directed and produced a powerful film of what it takes to generate change in the face of fierce political opposition.  We encourage you to see it.    

Nevada City was fascinating.  It was the center of the California Gold Rush back in the 1850's.  Many of the old machines and tools were on display, and the first screening of our film was in the old foundary, that made the gold extraction possible.  Nevada City is a small town of approximate 3,000 people, but it is located in a stunning setting at the lower end of the Yuma River watershed.  We highly recommend a visit if your travels bring you anywhere near that part of the world.

Our next festival was in Sonoma.  It was also an environmental film festival.  The audiences were small (around fifty) but they were hard core.  We had an excellent Q&A and enjoyed the experience.  During the playing of the film, we had a chance to explore the main square and wandered along the perimeter, peering into shop windows with wine for sale, wine glasses for sale, napkins and plates to go with the wine for sale, cheese to put on the plates to go with the wine for sale....you get the picture.  Following the screening we had dinner with someone who works with the Center for Biological Diversity, the NGO where Miyoko Sakashita from the film works.  They are doing bold work in the field of ocean acidification.

Next stop, Palo Alto.  We'll be screening at the Classic Residence by Hyatt on February 11th.  We look forward to it!

We'd like to take a moment to congratulate our friends from The Cove on their nomination for an academy award.  It's a great film, which brings much needed attention to ocean issues.

Finally, we'd like to introduce Daniel de la Calle, who will be making blog entries in addition to our own.  Daniel hails from Spain, and has worked with A Sea Change since its inception, acting as production photographer, so expect to see some incredible images, as well as regularly updated text, going forward.

    The coming months will bring us back to Washington, DC, where we will be in a position to learn more about what leadership the capital is giving to ocean issues.  We will also be checking in with many of our scientist friends and will bring you up to date on the latest research.
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An Understanding Review from Orion
Saturday, June 10, 2017

From the January, 2010 issue of Orion Magazine

A Sea Change
A Film By Barbara Ettinger
Niijii Films, 2009. $24.95, 81 minutes.

In his autobiography, Charles Darwin wrote, “I was born a naturalist.” From a young age he was fascinated by every aspect of nature. In the opening scene of A Sea Change, a film directed by Barbara Ettinger, five-year-old Elias declares, “I wish I was a fish.” Like Darwin, the boy is boundlessly fascinated by nature, and his preternatural affection for the marine world makes him a passionate envoy. As it turns out, he is also the emotional center of Ettinger’s film. Elias’s joy is infectious. Whether he’s sighting his first whale from the beach or watching jellyfish gracefully rise and fall like handkerchiefs in the wind, he inspires us to love what we rarely see. Moreover, his enthusiasm inspires his grandfather, narrator Sven Huseby, to understand why the oceans are declining. Huseby, a retired teacher, serves as the film’s naïve guide; after reading an article by environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert on ocean acidification — sequestration of carbon dioxide by the oceans has produced extremely high concentrations of carbonic acid, threatening marine life — he launches a personal investigation into this lesser-known consequence of global warming. Ettinger and Huseby are a husband-wife team, and the film moves delightfully and easily along as they journey to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, interviewing marine scientists. But they are never far from the young Elias, and Huseby’s letters home anchor the filmmakers’ quest to understand the tragedy of the oceans in relation to their love for him, and human life as a whole. The film is plaintive, but like all elegies it is willing to grieve and simultaneously move beyond grief to hope and inspiration. This is the tension that Ettinger and Huseby maintain and the reason for the film’s success. While the captivating images of ocean creatures (dime-sized pteropods that float like aquatic butterflies) deepen our attachment to the marine world, and while the sobering science (the potential for massive extinction as ocean pH levels fall) confirms our worst fears, what resonates with the viewer is the humanistic tale of a family keenly concerned about the fate of the world. — Amy L. Seidl


Sven and Elias talk about fish


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Live from the Protests
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Helicopters are making a deafening noise today, as they follow the protesters who have taken to the streets. We can barely hear ourselves think as we wait it out, this time in our warm apartment. Today is Oceans Day at COP-15, and there is a surge of interest in ocean acidification. We attended a conference of the world's top ocean acidification scientists, and, for once, the room was packed with press. We have our last screening tonight, and have a feeling that it will be well attended.

Here's a funny, short video that makes it appear as if Sven is leading the march.


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Convincing the Skeptics with Science and Film
Saturday, June 10, 2017
We have just dragged our weary bodies back from a long, but productive day. The screening at the Danish Film Institute was excellent, with the Huffington Post and Carbon War Room in attendance, along with other engaged parties. We remain endebted to the scientists who continue to participate in the Q&A after the film - they are our partners, and the best in the world at what they do. Together, we do an effective job of convincing even the most skeptical. Ocean acidification is getting a buzz at COP15. We are so relieved.
-Barbara


Organic Danish apples for sale inside the Bella Center.  A pedalcart!


How old will you be in 2050?  International youth group.


Sven with the Yale COP15 contingent.


On the jacket: Oil Lobby
Sign: Recruiting E-Mail Hackers
Nose: Fake
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Day 3 - At the Bella Center
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Today will be a full day at the Bella Center. Yesterday we met with a journalist from Barcelona who writes for La Vanguardia.  He, like many, wanted to know why it has taken so long for ocean acidification to become a known issue. He asked us what the delegates would say if asked why it was not on the COP15 agenda. Thirdly, he was curious about documentary films coming from the US, and their approach to environmental issues. He appreciated that A Sea Change is meant to go beyond an audience of the converted, and its effort to reach out to a broad, global audience through its story. We'll have answers to his questions on www.aseachange.net later today.

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Registration Complete
Saturday, June 10, 2017
It seems we were fortunate to get credentialed earlier, as today was another story.  The quiet Bella Center of yesterday was swamped this afternoon with crowds, and a  two hour wait  to pick up badges.  By 4:00pm registration for NGO's was suspended, as was the issuing of press credentials.  Sven and I stayed clear of the center, and  focused our energy on tomorrow, when Sven speaks on behalf of Oceana to to a sidebar audience, on the human impact of ocean acidification.  He will be sharing the stage with several of our "A Sea Change" cast, including Dick Feely, and Jeff Short.  It is great to be working with them again, particularly at this critical juncture.  We'll have a lot to report tomorrow, with photos of the day.
-Barbara



Dr. Richard Feely has arrived in Copenhagen

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In Copenhagen
Saturday, June 10, 2017
We made it!  Bleary eyed and a bit soggy from the constant drizzle, we in arrived in Copenhagen yesterday.  Christmas and Climate Change are in evidence everywhere!  I'll email photographic evidence later today (see below), but meanwhile, my first favorite factoid from Denmark courtesy of the Danish National Museum:
Did you know...
Some 14,000 years ago hunters threw bones and reindeer antlers into a lake in Jutland, little knowing that these artifacts - and others such as a tree stump from the bottom of the Great Belt, a bog bodies foot and thousand year old ice... - would play a key role in scientists' knowledge of climate change.

-Barbara


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On the Road Again
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Sven, on the way to make some noise about ocean acidification in Copenhagen.

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