SPEECH BY: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster
FILM: "MY OCTOPUS TEACHER"
Thank you to the Academy. And thank you to all of our incredible nominees who spent so many years, and I presume, a lot of tears, making beautiful and important films and bringing them into the world.
I'd like to thank Craig Foster and his family, especially Tom and Swati, who opened their hearts and supported us every step of the way and fed us and allowed their home to become a production company for three years. I want to thank our production partners at Off the Fence, especially Ellen Windemuth and Sam Barton-Humphreys, who believed in this film before it was anything. We want to thank Netflix for enabling us to share our story with the world. And then our incredible “Octopus” team whose arms stretch across the planet from South Africa to Amsterdam to the U.K. to the U.S. Roger and Warren for beautiful cinematography. Dan and Jinx for incredible patience and editing. Kevin and Barry and Kyle and all the people at the Refinery. And the incredible Sea Change Project, who’s been in the background supporting us the whole way along and caring so much for the great African Sea Forest, which is where the octopus lived. And our friends and family who put up with years and years of tunnel vision.
If, in many, and I know there are many South Africans who are awake in the middle of the night to watch the ceremony, and in many ways, this really is a tiny, personal story that played out in a sea forest at the very tip of Africa, but on a more universal level, I hope that it provided a glimpse of a different kind of relationship between human beings and the natural world.
Thank you. And I don't have a lot to add to that. Pippa covered it very well. It's a great and totally overwhelming honor to be here. And so thank you so much to the Academy and all the incredible films that were in our category. It's really humbling and amazing. And I'd also like to thank my family, Rosie and Isabel, and my mom and my two sisters, Jenny and Janice. I don't think I'd be here today without their sort of level of love and support, so thank you very much. And I think the final extra thank you for Craig, who, while it was such an enormous team making this film in the end, it sort of began and ended with him, and it’s his story. And he kind of showed us that you know, if a man can kind of form a friendship with an octopus, it does sort of make you wonder what else is possible. So thank you, Craig, and cheers, everyone
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