Jean-Michel Cousteau’s SWAINS ISLAND – One of the Last Jewels of the Planet Wins at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival

November 12, 2014

The new documentary film is awarded first prize in the “Cultural Connections: People and the Sea” category following its North American premiere in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Jean Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society is pleased to announce that their new film, SWAINS ISLAND – One of the Last Jewels of the Planet won a prestigious award at the 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit in Saint Petersburg, Florida, in the category of Cultural Connections: People and the Sea. BLUE is a one-of-a-kind film industry and community event bringing together films, filmmakers and leaders in ocean research and conservancy to educate, empower and inspire ocean stewardship around the globe.

Produced by international explorer and conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau of Ocean Futures Society and filmmaker Jim Knowlton, along with the support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, SWAINS ISLAND is a journey to a tiny remote island located 200 miles north of American Samoa that has recently been added to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. They are joined by scientists who complete the first scientific survey of the Island, searching for clues to its past use by early Polynesians as well as by a copra plantation run by the Jennings Family, who own the island. They also explore the beautiful coral reefs that surround the Island.


According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, “I am grateful that the BLUE film jury and the audience alike recognize and appreciate the importance of the Swains Island story. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to make a film that shows the world why we must protect the biodiversity and unique cultural heritage of valuable places to create a healthy ocean and ensure our continued well-being on the blue planet we call home.” Filmmaker and co-producer Jim Knowlton added that, “It took a village to make a film about Swains Island and I know that we are all thrilled with a win at BLUE Ocean Film Festival. It is a privilege to create visual stories that garner support for protecting special ocean places.”

The 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit brought together filmmakers, scientists, and major NGOs from around the world to exchange ideas on marine conservation and open a discussion about the future of our ocean. Notable guest speakers included Céline and Fabien Cousteau, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Robert Ballard from National Geographic, and John Bruno and Walt Conti from James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGE film. In 2010, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s film Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures: America's Underwater Treasures won Best Ocean Exploration and Adventure Film at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California. Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society team continue to spread their message, “Protect the ocean, and you protect yourself.”

Photo: Filmmaker Jim Knowlton shares a congratulations with David Jennings who's family owns Swains Island. David and his family were instrumental in supporting the making of this film.