/ 27 April 2021

‘My Octopus Teacher’ Oscar win a great boost for South Africa

Independent filmmaker Craig Foster shares a moment with an octopus in the documentary My Octopus Teacher

South African excellence was on display at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday 25 April when the acclaimed Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher won an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature Category.

The documentary is set in the False Bay area in Cape Town and focuses on the intimate relationship between independent filmmaker Craig Foster and an octopus, who meet and bond in the kelp forest of the Atlantic Ocean.

South Africa has an abundance of marine biodiversity, is host to many endemic species and thousands of kilometers of kelp forest and through the documentary, millions of viewers across the world are able to see just how amazing and how beautiful South Africa’s unique ocean life is.

“Congratulations to the My Octopus Teacher production team and cast for representing South Africa with such passion and pride, while showing the world our beauty from a different perspective,” commented South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.

“As a country South Africa is the third-most biodiverse country in the world. We have so much to offer for travellers, and My Octopus Teacher simply showcases to the world South Africa’s diverse and unique biodiverse offerings.”

The False Bay area in Cape Town is home to South Africa’s largest naval base — Simon’s Town — and also features fishing harbours, beaches, yacht clubs and coastal nature reserves.

South African Tourism recently engaged in a partnership agreement with Netflix South Africa that aims to promote the country through local productions.

“We know that films, documentaries and series play an important part in shaping audiences and their perceptions about a destination, so if there are more local productions that can be viewed globally, [all] the better for our country and the tourism sector,” concluded Ntshona.

South African Tourism recently caught up with My Octopus Teacher producer, Pippa Ehrlich. Click on the YouTube embeds to watch and hear more about this amazing documentary.