WaterBear Network, a free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet, is led by Ellen Windemuth, Oscar-winning producer of “My Octopus Teacher.” On this World Oceans Day, she shares insights on their newest initiative in Content POV.
NYF TV & Film Awards: Share with us WaterBear Network’s progress since its launch.
Ellen Windemuth: WaterBear Network is the first network of its kind: a free interactive video and digital platform dedicated to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It does this through inspirational content, cutting-edge technology that facilitates action, and through its global network of partners. It uniquely empowers the viewer to take direct instant action to support NGOs around the world and shape a better future for our fragile planet.
In its first year, WaterBear has built a network of over 140 NGOs and partners; given citizens access to more than 300 campaigns; produced 36 impact films and 20 WaterBear Original Productions and curated over 1000 award-win\ning documentaries on the platform, that empower viewers to dive deeper, learn more about the issues behind the programmes and take direct action. WaterBear is available in 194 countries and its inspirational content - spanning biodiversity, community, climate action and sustainable fashion, is also available to watch on Apple TV and Roku® devices as well as on Comcast’s entertainment platforms in the US. WaterBear also recently launched a linear FAST channel on Samsung TV Plus across the UK, Netherlands and Sweden.
NYF TV & Film Awards: Talk about the World Oceans Day initiative.
Ellen Windemuth: Oceans are home to the largest amount of biodiversity on earth - it is vital that we protect and conserve them. To celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th, we have curated a collection of documentaries, which will be available to watch on the platform for free. The collection will include Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans, Mother of the Sea, Sharkwater Extinction, Dive Tierra Bomba Dive, Tidal and more. With this campaign, we not only want to raise awareness of the importance of the oceans through inspiring documentaries but also want to pay homage to the courageous Ocean Heroes across the planet, who are working hard to protect our oceans’ fragile ecosystem - from Sylvia Earle, Zandile Ndhlovu and Rob Stewart to Sarah Richard and Yassandra Barrios. We hope this will help spark conversations around ocean conservation, empowering viewers to become Ocean Heroes themselves. To watch the World Oceans Day collection, click here.
NYF TV & Film Awards: What message do you have for New York Festivals award-winning filmmakers?
Ellen Windemuth: Huge congratulations to all the winners. Thank you for telling enlightening stories that raise awareness of the world’s most important issues, as well as inspire viewers to create a better future for the planet.