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My Octopus Teacher

Updated: Feb 28

All of us at Animal Ocean want to take a moment to celebrate and highlight an incredible film – “My Octopus Teacher”, created in Cape Town’s kelp forests by a seriously dedicated and talented group of ocean humans. We hope that this little blog post adds to the worldwide wave of exposure to this one-of-a-kind undersea story. Well done to everyone at the Sea Change Project for creating this masterpiece!

My Octopus Teacher made an incredible debut on Netflix earlier this month, with a global audience being mesmerised by the beauty of the ocean around the Cape Peninsula. The secret lives of the marine creatures that make the rocky shores and kelp forests their homes have been brought onto screens around the world, as Craig shares his personal story. Immersing himself in the cold waters everyday, he begins learning from a common octopus as he explores the kelp forests near his home. My Octopus Teacher is a film not to be missed!

In a great review of the film by Elle Hunt in she writes “Wanting to reconnect with nature after burning out with work, film-maker and naturalist Craig Foster starts freediving daily in the undersea kelp forests off Cape Town. One day, he comes across an odd jumble of shells on the sea floor. It transpires to be a common octopus, hiding in plain sight. Viewers of the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 may recognise the footage. The octopus and its protective “shell suit” featured in the “Green Seas” episode, explained by David Attenborough as never-before-seen behaviour.

Foster collaborated on shooting the sequence with his friend, Blue Planet 2 cameraman Roger Horrocks. The pair have spent many years documenting South Africa’s kelp forests (more recently, as part of the non-profit Sea Change Project) and are listed as joint directors of photography on My Octopus Teacher. But that back story is omitted in favour of a close crop on Foster’s personal relationship with the octopus, and what he learns on his daily visits to her world.”

Here are some useful links to explore deeper into the world of “My Octopus Teacher”, the Sea Change Project and everyone involved in making this incredible movie a reality.


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