Private Project

The Pale Horse - Coral Apocalypse

Our world climate is changing. We can already feel it, but other organisms sense it quicker than us and even more drastically. Such are tropical, reef-building corals. Their polyps react very sensitive to changing conditions like water quality and in particular the surrounding ocean temperature: the stress caused by rising temperatures drives them to expel symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. Without the nutrients the algae provide, the coral polyps slowly starve and die.

Coral bleaching is one of the major threats to existing coral reefs. Global mass bleaching events have taken place in 1998, 2010 and 2014 – 2016 (probably lasting well into 2017). If global warming is not stalled, such events will increase in frequency and intensity all over the world with a devastating effect on coral reefs worldwide - these fragile ecological communities may be gone within this century. Losing reefs would have grave consequences for the marine biodiversity and a widespread cascade effect on other ecosystems – on land as well.

The Jetlagged came across severe coral bleaching within the Coral Triangle in 2016. They witnessed healthy reefs they have dived for years fading and dying. Utterly shocked, they felt the urge to document and show the world the eerie sight of pale corals and white reefs and explain why this was happening.

With it, comes a personally emotional and strong appeal: we still have time to save the reefs – but we have to change the way we treat our world immediately.

  • Hendrik S. Schmitt
    We live underwater, Little Teeth
  • Claudia Schmitt
    We live underwater, Little Teeth
  • The Jetlagged
    We live underwater, Little Teeth
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    GoPro, Sony HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Gödöllő Film Fest
    May 27, 2017
  • Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    October 19, 2017
    North American Premiere
  • Voices from the Waters International Traveling Film Festival
    October 18, 2017
  • IFF Ekotopfilm - Envirofilm
    May 22, 2017
  • 14th International Film Festival (IFF) „Water, sea & the oceans“ (Voda Moře Oceány)

    Czech Republic
    Best Short Film
  • Handle Climate Change Film Festival

    Silver Award Short Film
  • Silently 5 Short Underwater Movie Festival

    Best International Movie - Ecological Topic
  • San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition
    San Diego
    United States
    October 7, 2017
  • SEFF - Short Eco Film Festival
    October 7, 2017
  • SunChild 7th International Environmental Festival

    October 14, 2017
  • Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2017
    Kuala Lumpur
    October 28, 2017
  • Environmental Film Festival

  • Green Screen Environmental Film Festival

    Trinidad and Tobago
    November 2, 2017
  • MFPF - 32nd International Festival of Diving Films and Photographs

  • Festival Internacional de Imagem de Natureza

  • Moving Waters Film Festival
  • Canary Islands International Underwater Film Festival
    Canary Islands
  • Walking beneath the Sea - International Underwater Film and Photo

Director Biography - Hendrik S. Schmitt

The Jetlagged are Hendrik and Claudia, always on the search for adventures ranging from the polar circle to the equator. On their journey through the wonders of the world’s exciting destinations, these action-loving filmmakers and divers deliver beautiful impression, support environmental projects and enjoy diving as a lifestyle.
Hendrik has studied filmmaking and has been working as director for different kinds of films for many years. Claudia complements his profound camera skills above and below the water and organizes their productions. As independent filmmakers, they write, produce and edit their films themselves.
By recording and transporting photos, videos and stories in and around the sea, their intention is to inspire others to explore, experience and protect our oceans and our nature.

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