After the Spill Now Available

We’re proud to announce that our Deepwater Horizon documentary After the Spill is now available via all major video streaming and download services:

When we began shooting After the Spill, we had just finished up our SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories documentary. We felt a moral obligation to document the disappearing way of life of those whose livelihoods depended on a coastal ecology. After the BP oil spill tragedy reverberated far beyond Louisiana, we had to return to tell the story of a community and an ecology devastated by fossil fuel extraction.

Watch the trailer below:

After the Spill: Louisiana Water Stories II – TRAILER (2015) from Oceans 8 Films on Vimeo.

Big End of 2015 Film Update


Two years in the making, DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA will be out in early 2016. The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a nice pre-launch plug with this interview with the film’s narrator and Executive Producer Mark Ruffalo.


We also got some good press for our brand new DEAR GOVERNOR BROWN film, which I showed with Mark for a gathering of Hollywood A-listers early in Los Angeles in November. The film strongly reminds the four-term green governor that the only way to limit climate-change-contributing emissions is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The film will have its public premiere at the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Nevada City, CA, January 15.


Our 3D film ANTARCTICA, ON THE EDGE started a six-month run at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, and is playing in random theaters around the world from Texas to China.


PARADISE IS THERE, our film memoir accompanying Natalie Merchant’s new CD, the re-recordings of her hit album ‘Tigerlily,’ is winding up a successful run of thirty-five, one-night-only screenings across the country with five showings at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Natalie will be at the December 12th screening for a Q&A following the film.


Our tour of the Hudson Valley screening our short films from the HUDSON, RIVER AT RISK series continues in December, with events in Nyack on December 8 and Hudson on December 12. We’ve also been out filming new short videos to add to the series, focused on the continued pollution of the valley by PCBs and the threat of big, new transmission lines carrying old-school fuel from Western New York to Manhattan.


Our second film shot in Louisiana, AFTER THE SPILL, will have its premieres in early January in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, featuring post-screening panels made up of some of the film’s contributors, including James Carville, Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, John Barry, Nick Spitzer and more. It will also show at the Wild & Scenic festival in Nevada City on January 16.

Announcing ‘Paradise Is There’ Nationwide Film Screening Dates

Announcing 'Paradise Is There' Nationwide Film Screening Dates

Select North American cities will host one-night-only screenings of the documentary Paradise Is There, A Memoir by Natalie Merchant, The New Tigerlily Recordings starting October 26, 2015. The film, which had its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Thursday, October 1, will be released by Nonesuch Records in DVD form accompanying Natalie Merchant’s upcoming album, Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings, on November 6. See below for all of the scheduled screenings; for all the latest, and to buy tickets, visit To pre-order the album and film, visit the Nonesuch Store.

Twenty years ago, in 1995, Natalie Merchant released her first solo effort, Tigerlily, which went on to be certified multi-platinum. In those two decades both she and the songs from Tigerlily have matured. Last summer, Natalie re-recorded the 11 songs with different arrangements, inspired by how they had evolved over time in the live setting.

The film is a powerful, memoir-style look at the impact of those songs and the often major role they have played in shaping not only the artist but her fans as well. Natalie’s entire musical life is encapsulated in this very personal film, which delves deep into the music through live performances, archival footage, and interviews. Her fellow musicians, friends, and impassioned fans share how the songs of Tigerlily have influenced and sustained them over the past two decades.

For the full list of screenings and to buy tickets, visit the official Natalie Merchant website.

Oct 26 – Sunshine Cinemas, New York, NY
Oct 26 – Bear Tooth, Anchorage, AK
Oct 26 – Film Bar, Phoenix, AZ
Oct 26 – Zeitgest Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
Oct 26 – Hollywood Theater, Portland, OR
Oct 27 – Gryphon Theater, Laramie, WY
Oct 27 – Roxie, San Francisco, CA
Oct 27 – Time & Space, Hudson, NY
Oct 27 – Cinema Paradiso, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Oct 28 – Ahrya Fine Arts, Beverly Hills, CA
Oct 28 – NoHo, North Hollywood, CA
Oct 28 – Claremont, Claremont, CA
Oct 28 – Playhouse, Pasadena, CA
Oct 29 – Upstate Films Rhineback, NY
Oct 30–Nov 1 – Real Arts Ways, Hartford, CT
Oct 31, Nov 2 – 1891 Fredonia Opera House, Fredonia, NY
Nov 1 – Cleveland Cinemateque, Cleveland, OH
Nov 2 – Spectrum 8, Atlanta, GA
Nov 2 – LeFont Film Society, Boston, MA
Nov 2 – Bloor Cinema, Toronto, ON
Nov 3 – Hollywood Theater, Dormont Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 3, 7 – Rosendale, Rosendale, NY
Nov 4 – Cinemapolis, Ithaca, NY
Nov 13, 14 – The Dairy, Boulder, CO
Nov 17 – Jacob Burns Media Center, Pleasantville, NY

Shooting Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Klein for Dear President Obama

Shooting Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Klein for Dear President Obama

“Shooting Mark Ruffalo” might conjure up images of some other movies, but we mean it in the purely documentarian sense. Ruffalo was one of a few distinguished guests in front of our cameras as we rolled on interviews and voiceovers for our upcoming fracking documentary, ‘Dear President Obama: Americans Against Fracking In One Voice‘.

Ruffalo has been an oustpoken leader against the dangers of fracking, and the promise of renewables. He’s been a loud and instrumental voice in the choir of concerned citizens that successfully pressured New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo into banning fracking in his state. The actor and activist has since expanded his efforts to tackle fracking on the national level, in direct parallel to Ocean 8 Films, which is following up on our own ‘Dear Governor Cuomo‘ documentary that played a part in the NY ban.


Mark Ruffalo.

As pleased as we are to have Ruffalo on board, it’s the families and victims of fracking that make this documentary so powerful. They deserve attention, and the American people deserve to see the truth about fracking with their own eyes. Having someone like Mark in our film to draw attention to their plight, and to the potential devastation American lives and land stand to endure if fracking continues… it’s the perfect fit.


Naomi Klein

Of course, there are plenty of other high-profile names in the film, including author, activist and filmmaker in her own right, Naomi Klein. She has been an important check on capitalism for many years, a media icon and thought leader in the pursuit of a more sustainable society. Klein joined us at the very same shoot to contribute her voice to the project.

We also had a doctor in the house, the renowned Seth Berrin Shonkoff, PhD, MPH. Shonkoff is Executive Director of PSE Healthy Energy, and visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. It should come as no surprise that he is another leading voice in promoting vastly safer energy alternatives.

Seth Berrin Shonkoff

Seth Berrin Shonkoff

This was among our last shoots before fully entering the editing phase, and we expect Dear President Obama to begin screening before the end of the year. Though President Obama only has a year left in office, it could be the pivotal year for his presidency, and his best opportunity to make a truly progressive move away from fracking and toward renewable energy. Though he has already made some bold moves in this direction, he continues to support fracking on a national level, and lives and land suffer so long as that support is in place. Because of this, the film is still as relevant as ever, and we look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Sink or Swim: Learning to Crawl in the Maldives

Sink or Swim: Learning to Crawl in the Maldives

After a long journey, we’re proud to announce the release of our documentary, SINK OR SWIM, Learning the Crawl in the Maldives. As we’ve produced and screened this film, we’ve witnessed a number of changes concerning the Maldives, including political upheaval and the fight against climate change.

SINK OR SWIM, Learning the Crawl in the Maldives chronicles forty-eight third-graders and their mothers as they attend a swim camp and experience the world below the surface of the ocean for the very first time.

Watch the film now:

Or, visit the official film page here.

Watch Now Free – The Hudson: A River at Risk

The Hudson River in New York has been an important resource for commerce and trade since Native Americans first settled its shores. Today, 20 million live along the river, and similarly, the scale of industry use in massive. Oil and gas transported by ship, rail and pipeline, one of the world’s oldest and most vulnerable nuclear power plants, and one of the country’s largest construction projects — these are all happening right now on the Hudson.

With these enormous projects come enormous risks. Our new documentary The Hudson: A River at Risk explores the three largest threats to the river and its surrounding area:

Bomb Trains on the Hudson

Earlier this year, filmmaker Jon Bowermaster previewed The Hudson with a prominent New York Times Op-Doc and appearance on MSNBC. Simply put: The oil and gas industry is not doing enough to safeguard the millions of innocent people living near rail lines that trasport the products of fracking and other oil and gas extraction. This puts untold lives at risk. It’s not a matter of if, but when we see more communities destroyed by a practice that we have the technology to mitigate today. Watch now.

The Long Shadow of Indian Point

The tens of millions of people who would be trapped with no escape during an Indian Point Energy Center nuclear accident will want to pay special attention to this. With numerous small accidents and “This is not a drills” in the past few months alone, tensions are high in New York State. Thousands of gallons of oil leaked from the nuclear power plant into the Hudson this year when a fire broke out, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take a long, hard look at the threat of Indian Point and one cannot help but see a massive problem in need of an immediate solution. Watch now.

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

The Tappan Zee Bridge is the most overlooked threat to the Hudson River, but a cursory glance brings the threat into focus. Reading about the questionable decisions that led to this massive project, one has to wonder why so much political and economic gain for the government was prioritized over serious environmental concerns, and enormous costs for taxpayers. With the building of the new bridge comes the tearing down of the old, with huge potential to contaminate the waters below. In short, the project is a mess, both logistically and environmentally. Watch now.

Visit our official microsite for The Hudson: A River at Risk to watch the documentary for free, and learn much more about the story behind these three threats to our well-being here along the Hudson.

Antarctica 3D Goes to Washington, DC

Antarctica 3D Goes to Washington, DC

We recently toured our new film Antarctica 3D, On the Edge around the nation’s capitol. The warm reception we received from leading lawmakers and scientists was a great indication of how far climate change awareness has come, even as our film highlights how far we have to go.

The events started last Monday morning at the National Science Foundation, which had assembled a panel to talk about the link between science and storytelling. The panel was moderated by former New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt, now the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and included California Congressman Jerry McNerney, filmmaker and ‘Stomp’ founder Luke Creswell, cartoonist Jim Toomey and myself. The audience was entirely from the National Science Foundation, plus invited press.


Antarctica 3D filmmaker Jon Bowermaster.

That evening we screened Antarctica 3D, On the Edge for a packed auditorium at the AAAS. Afterwards, the film’s producer Jon Bowermaster did a panel discussion again moderated by Rush Holt, that included Dr. Brendan Kelly (chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and former White House science advisor) and Dr. Robin Bell, of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Brendan’s polar experience is mostly in the Arctic, Robin’s in Antarctica, and their science backgrounds were neatly illustrated by our big, beautiful film.

On Tuesday afternoon I participated in a Congressional briefing on polar science held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, again with Dr. Kelly and Dr. Bell, but this time moderated by NOAA Administrator and former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan. It was a busy day on the Senate floor, but two Senators – Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) were able to join the panel and deliver fiery testimonies regarding what they perceive as the realities of a changing climate. (Sen Whitehouse has so far made 100 speeches on the Senate floor regarding climate change.)


Senators Reid (D-NV) and Angus King (D-ME).

A highlight of the two days followed the briefing when invited to a private reception by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the LBJ Room of the U.S. Capitol, where the conversation about science and communication continued, again moderated by NOAA administrator and former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, and joined by Senators Reid (D-NV) and Angus King (D-ME).

We look forward to meeting with more leaders in science and politics in the future, and we’re confident in the power of media to motivate folks to action that protects life on earth as we know it.

Documentaries to Watch on World Oceans Day

Documentaries to Watch on World Oceans Day

June 8th marks the 6th annual World Oceans Day. The event has been celebrated since 2009, when it was made official by the United Nations General Assembly. Since then, the event has grown and spread as the realization of the ocean’s importance to humanity has increased. This year, the theme is “Healthy oceans, Healthy planet”, with a special focus on ending plastic pollution. Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, under Oceans 8 Films, has been making documentaries for years to bring awareness to the fragile ecosystem that is the world’s ocean, with a focus on the interconnectedness between the environment and humanity.

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Returning to the Gulf

After the Spill examines the lasting impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster along Louisiana’s coastline. Has life returned to normal, or has it been changed forever? We conducted interviews with fishermen, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, and oil-rig workers to try and find the answer. Learn more about After the Spill.

Do You Know Who Caught Your Dinner?

Fish Slaves takes a look at the world of commercial fishermen, many of whom live and work in conditions that classify them as slaves. Next time you order a fish in a restaurant or buy it from a freezer at your local shop, ask yourself, who caught this fish? Learn more about Fish Slaves.

Into the Ocean for the First Time

Imagine living just a few feet above sea level, yet never learning to swim. This is the case for many people living in the Maldives. Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives follows forty-eight third-graders and eighteen burka-clad mothers as they connect with the ocean beneath the surface for the very first time. Learn more about Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives.

Looking at Life Before the Spill

SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories looks back at a way of life on the eve of the BP Spill of 2010, and provides a prescient look at how the disaster was allowed to happen. Learn more about SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories

Exploring the Oceans Up Close

Sea Kayaking Adventures explores the world’s oceans and coastlines, taking us to corners of the world rarely seen, all from the perspective of sea level. Learn more about Sea Kayaking Adventures.

Celebrate World Oceans Day with us by watching these documentaries and learning how you can take action to protect and preserve the Earth’s one ocean.

New Trailer Released for After the Spill

New Trailer Released for After the Spill

We’re excited to announce the release of a new trailer for our film, After the Spill.

“After the Spill” takes a look at life along Lousiana’s coastline five years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, reflecting on how the spill impacted human health, the environment, and the well-being of the Gulf’s entire ecosystem.

Watch the trailer below:

Visit our After the Spill page to learn more, and stay tuned for the film’s release later this year.

Discussing the Danger of “Bomb Trains” on MSNBC

Discussing the Danger of "Bomb Trains" on MSNBC

Oceans 8 Films founder and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster was recently featured on MSNBC to discuss the dangers of “bomb trains”, as outlined in the recent New York Times op-doc “A Danger on the Rails“. Watch below:

There has been an increase in crude oil fracked from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, and along with it has come a boom in rail cars filled with a highly explosive gas-and-oil mix. Despite the highly volatile nature of this material, the trains carrying it continue to race through populated areas. And the train cars themselves are often built to antiquated safety standards.

When these “bomb trains” derail, it is particularly disastrous, with cars leaking, exploding, and catching fire. You’ve probably seen some of the horrific images from across North America where the number of “bomb trains”–and derailments–continues to rise.

“Danger on the Rails” is part of a larger multimedia project, entitled The Hudson: River at Risk. which examines some of the many threats to the Hudson River, including the “bomb trains”, Indian Point nuclear power plant, and the construction of a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. You can view video footage along with accompanying text, photos, charts, graphs, and maps making up “The Hudson: River at Risk” beginning May 19th.

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