CONTACT: Wendy Milette FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Arts Director
The MY HERO Project
ENVIRONMENTAL DOC FEATURING THE SANTA BARBARA NON-PROFIT OCEANS UNMANNED WINS FIRST PLACE - 2020 SYLVIA EARLE OCEAN CONSERVATION AWARD
JUNE 26, 2020 - LAGUNA BEACH, CA – A short film featuring a drone pilot’s work to save endangered humpback whales has earned a first-place win for this year’s Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award. The annual award, presented through the MY HERO International Film Festival, honors filmmakers whose stories highlight people working to protect the world’s oceans.
Producer Matt Pickett of Oceans Unmanned poses with certificate for the winning film freeFLYMatt Pickett/Oceans Unmanned
The film freeFLY, directed by Avery Bazan, shows a collaborative effort that uses drone technology to rescue humpback whales that often become entangled by life-threatening debris. Oceans Unmanned, a Santa Barbara non-profit, was created five years ago to put unmanned tech to work for ocean protection. It was founded by Matt Pickett, a former manned aircraft pilot, who flew research missions for the NOAA. Pickett says drones allow for a better assessment of an animal and its condition. “By using drones, launched off the response boats, we can get a better look at the whales and figure out what’s going on with less risk to both the responders and the whales,” he explains in the film.
The award is named for Dr. Sylvia Earle, a world-renowned marine biologist, explorer and author of more than 200 publications. Earle, who has led more than 100 expeditions, was dubbed “Her Deepness” by the New York Times and named Time Magazine’s Hero for the Planet.
Sylvia Earle -legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, activist and authorCourtesy of Ocean Blue - Kip EvansEarle heads up Mission Blue, a global coalition that spreads awareness, access and support for Hope Spots — a network of marine-protected areas around the world. Mission Blue shares knowledge and information using traditional and social media platforms and through documentary films. The organization engages in oceanic expeditions designed to showcase vital ecosystems and garner support for their protection.
The award’s $1,000 cash prize is sponsored by MacGillivray-Freeman Films’ One World One Ocean campaign. One World One Ocean was founded to raise awareness of ocean degradation and to inspire action by showing the beauty of the ocean in its wild and healthy state. With her team, Barbara MacGillivray, director of partner outreach for the organization, chooses the winners each year. “Ed Lyman is featured in freeFLY, as he shows, along with the help of Drone Pilot Matt Pickett, the courage and regimented planning it takes to save the endangered and fascinating humpback whales frequently entangled in discarded and broken fishing lines,” MacGillivray says. “With his 1,300 saves to date, and our own direct experience with Ed's passion for saving these magnificent 40- to 60-ton animals while making our IMAX film, Humpback Whales, we wanted to pay special tribute to both him and NOAA in these challenged environmental times.”
screen capture from freeFLYcourtesy of Oceans Unmanned
View more winners of the Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award.
Learn about other Special Awards of the 2020 MY HERO International Film Festival.
Submit your film today.
About The MY HERO Project:
The MY HERO Project (myhero.com) is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to uplift the world's heroes through stories, music, art and short films. Submissions of short films are currently being accepted for the MY HERO International Film Festival. Filmmakers of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to apply.
About MacGillivray Freeman Films:
MacGillivray Freeman Films has produced over 40 IMAX films and garnered two Academy Award nominations. Comprised of specialists in film and digital production, marketing and distribution, we are a team passionate about visual storytelling, innovative cinematography and the latest advancements in digital technology.
About Sylvia Earle:
A world-renowned oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle is a great inspiration with her passion and leadership in ocean conservation. As the president of Mission Blue, she supports the work of conservation NGOs that share the mission of building public support for ocean protection.
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Last edited 7/8/2020 12:26:44 AM