Private Project


"356" is a run-and-gun cinematography style documentary short
where the end is the hook to our full-length documentary
" If the Ocean Could Talk - A Voice for the North Atlantic." (Currently in production)

Working on our documentary, "If the Ocean Could Talk - A Voice for the North Atlantic" with former Blue Planet Underwater Producer, Jo Ruxton, she asked,” What’s your hook?” Trusting in the power of storytelling we said, “the hook will come!” and indeed it did.

We were filming in the North Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina to acquire footage of whales near Hope Spot Hatteras. We traveled all day but didn’t find one, except, a newborn critically endangered North Atlantic right whale dead on a North Carolina beach. Number 356. It became the call from the ocean to find out what happened to this newborn and why that one life matters to the survival of his species. The newborn became the hook for the full-length, breathing life back into this newborn by telling his story.

We have two intertwining important stories that unfold. One is the demise of one of the most endangered whales in the world, the North Atlantic right whale, and how it’s on us to save them or they will be gone in our lifetime. The other important story, told by economist Ralph Chami, PhD, is the fact that whales are called farmers of the sea. By defecating, they not only provide nutrients to phytoplankton responsible for every other breath of oxygen we take, but also mitigate climate change. Phytoplankton are plants of the sea that conduct the gas exchange from carbon to oxygen. If we lose the whales, we lose their role in carbon cycling beneficial to the base of the food web that has a ripple effect on all life on earth and why the ocean is calling. Chami introduces the concept of valuing living whales for their ecosystem services instead of valuing them dead. This new economy based on natural capital will be explained in great detail in the full-length documentary and how we can build new economies that benefit both nature and our way of life.

Plastic Ocean Project’s documentary short film, “356” has been accepted into 8 film festivals - 3 internationally. Through the art of storytelling, we are bringing a wave of awareness as to why we should protect and celebrate the North Atlantic Ocean.

After the short closes, Dr. Sylvia Earle answers the question, "If the ocean could talk . . . " a rally cry to the audience, "What are you waiting or humans!"

  • Bonnie Louise Monteleone
  • Bonnie Louise Monteleone
  • Ralph Chami
    Key Cast
  • Keith Rittmaster
    Key Cast
  • Kyle Brown
    Key Cast
  • Syvia Earle
    Key Cast
  • Henry Klein
    Editor / Cinematographer
  • JT Fritsch
    Editor / Cinematographer
  • Garth Stevenson
    Composer, Sound Track
  • Jason Andre
    Director of Photography
  • Samuel Shores
    Underwater videographer
  • Jason Andre
    Underwater videographer
  • Matthew McCoy
  • Jo Ruxton
    A Plastic Ocean
  • Blair Houtz
  • Bonnie Louise Monteleone
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 21, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    42,582 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Longleaf Film Festival
    United States
    June 23, 2022
    Longleaf Film Festival
  • Vero Beach Film Festival
    Vero Beach
    United States
    June 8, 2022
  • Indigo Moon Film Festival
    October 9, 2022
  • Raleigh Film + Art Festival
    October 8, 2022
  • Awareness Festival
    Los Angeles
    October 12, 2022
  • FIIN -Short Films for Biodiversity

    November 13, 2022
  • The Paus Premieres Festival

    December 5, 2022
    The Paus Premieres Festival
  • Golden Tree International Documentary Film Festival
    April 20, 2023
Director - Bonnie Louise Monteleone