My Octopus Teacher

Presented by Lawrence Stafford, a Finisterre podcast exploring the depths of our oceans and the resilience of the human spirit.


For episode 3 of Hell or High Water were joined by Pippa Ehrlich. Pippa is a conservation journalist, a filmmaker and Director of the hit Netflix Documentary, My Octopus Teacher.

For those not familiar, the film documents the incredible and most unlikely relationship between naturalist, Craig Foster and a curious young Octopus found in the Kelp Forests near Cape Town, South Africa. Following this inter-species connection over the course of a year, the film showcases one of the most profound underwater experiences and has been labelled as ’the love story that we all need right now”. It is a stunning piece of film that speaks on the fragility of life and humanities connection with nature.

Pippa is also a team member of the Sea Change Project – a collective of scientists, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers – dedicated to exploring and documenting The Great African Sea Forest. Their mission is one of ‘nature storytelling’ – and that if you want to inspire behavioural change and a deeper understanding of nature, you need to speak to people from an emotional point of view.

Upon calling in a couple of weeks ago, Pippa had just that morning learnt the film had been shortlisted for Oscar nomination, so we got straight into it. We spoke on the overwhelming response the film has received since its release, the powerful role film and photography play in environmental and conservation efforts and her evolving relationship with the sea.