Kelp forests around the world are disappearing faster than almost any other ecosystem on Earth, and it is going unnoticed at every level. Hanli Prinsloo, a environmental activist and professional freediver, teams up with photographers, researchers, and changemakers on a global journey to communicate the loss of kelp to the world. In this empowering underwater journey, these brave and passionate kelp advocates aim to bridge the gap between science and communication about kelp forests.

  • Adam A Hussain
  • Jenny Adler
    National Geographic Explorer, Director of "Dark Beautiful Places" (2023), Work has been featured on the cover of Scuba Diving Magazine
  • Adam A Hussain
  • Martin Pugeda
  • Hanli Prinsloo
    Key Cast
    South African competitive freediver
  • Tristin McHugh
    Key Cast
    Kelp project director at The Nature Conservancy
  • Keith Rootsaert
    Key Cast
    Founder of the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project
  • Jenny Adler
    Key Cast
    National Geographic Explorer
  • Cayne Layton
    Key Cast
    Kelp Researcher at University of Tasmania
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 15, 2024
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED, Canon 8K Raw
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Adam A Hussain, Jenny Adler

Adam Hussain is a director, director of photography, drone pilot, underwater camera operator, and editor. After receiving a communications degree from The University of San Diego, Adam has worked in the commercial, corporate, and documentary space. He is passionate about expressing untold issues relevant to his home
state of California, and specifically related to the oceans. As a PADI Scuba diving instructor, and an AAUS Scientific Diver, Adam has been led to his passion for the ocean through film. A native of Northern California, Adam has seen his home coastline lose 95% of kelp forests in the past decade. This is what prompted Adam to create a global documentary about kelp forests.

Jennifer Adler, PhD, is a conservation photographer and underwater photojournalist. Her work is informed
by her scientific background, and she uses her
imagery to communicate science and conservation. She has a degree in marine biology from Brown University and a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida. Her creative process hinges on being immersed in the water, and her technical diving and freediving skills allow her to document stories in challenging underwater environments. Over the past year, she has focused on documenting kelp forests on almost every continent. She is a National Geographic Explorer and Brown University Howard Foundation Fellow. Her work has been featured in Scuba Diving Magazine and National Geographic.

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Director Statement

As a native of Northern California, where we have lost 95% of kelp forests since 2014, this issue is directly relevant to my home coastline. At the same time we’ve experienced this unfathomable loss of life on our coasts, I’ve noticed very few of my own friends and family have even heard of this loss, or heard of kelp at all. It was clear to me that there was an enormous gap in knowledge around this topic. I never once heard the word “kelp” in my education all the way up to graduating college, despite living in California, a state that has a coastline entirely defined by kelp. As I educated myself more and more about kelp during the research phase of this project, and as I spoke to more researchers in different parts of the world, I began to realize that making a film could be the difference between our planet waking up to this problem and not.
I would like to create this film to fuel the global movement to protect and restore kelp forests, and to create bottom-up public pressure on governments and international organizations worldwide to allocate more resources and call for more support towards kelp research, protection, and restoration.