Environmental documentary captures exhilarating footage and a prize


If you haven’t noticed, cable television is awash with channels dedicated to wildlife. Discovery, Nat Geo Wild, Animal Planet, all of them rely on the unique craft of environmental filmmaking and, in many cases, the bravery of the crew behind the camera. Despite the often harrowing field conditions, the genre is exploding.

The work of several emerging environmental filmmakers was on display recently at the annual Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Film Festival. A team of student filmmakers from Savannah College of Art and Design showed their short film “Ocearch” (Oh-search), a documentary about the king of the underwater jungle, the great white shark.

OCEARCH: Documentary Teaser from Shea Lord on Vimeo.

Ocearch,” which tells the story of a team of dedicated researchers that track and tag great white sharks, took the top prize of the festival’s 2013 Dr. Robert O. Levitt Emerging Filmmakers Competition. The occasion marks the first award and festival acceptance for the crew.

The 14-minute film was one of 11 student documentaries shown at the festival and judged by leading environmental filmmakers, such as Emmy Award-winning documentarian Keenan Smart of National Geographic.

“OCEARCH is an organization dedicated to finding a sustainable path forward for ocean life by leading unprecedented white shark research expeditions around the world. This documentary follows their struggle to stay mission based and all inclusive in the search for answers to the ocean’s greatest mysteries.”

This weekend “Ocearch” will play at the Riverfront Film Festival in Apalachicola, Florida. Look for it soon at a festival near you.

Producer: Courtney Roth, B.F.A., Film and Television
Director of Photography: Leah March, B.F.A., Film and Television
Director: Shea Lord, B.F.A., Film and Television
Editor: Jane Gray, B.F.A., Film and Television
Sound Supervisor: Preston Goodson, M.F.A., Sound Design
Graphic Designer: Alex Krohn, B.F.A., Graphic Design

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