On Fire Drill Fridays Movie Nights we come together (virtually) to watch a film with themes of climate change and activism. Jane Fonda curates the films, and everyone is welcome to join the community chat during the screening and an audience Q&A afterwards.
This month, we’re watching Chasing Coral, a documentary about a team of divers, scientists, and photographers who go underwater to discover why coral reefs around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Jane Fonda, director Jeff Orlowski ,and producer Larissa Rhodes.
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Fire Drill Fridays Movie Nights are virtual screenings of films with themes of climate change and activism, curated by Jane Fonda that serve to continue building the Fire Drill Friday community. For March’s Movie night we’ll be screening Chasing Coral, a documentary about a team of divers, scientists, and photographers who go underwater to discover why coral reefs around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Jane Fonda, director Jeff Orlowski ,and producer Larissa Rhodes.
Chasing Coral Synopsis
Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us.
Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called “coral bleaching”—a sign of mass coral death—has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater.
Enter Jeff Orlowski, director of Chasing Ice, which created irrefutable, visual proof of the melting ice caps. Orlowski’s next project is similarly evidentiary and powerful. Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won’t have audiences sitting idle for long
Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski served as director, producer, and cinematographer of the Sundance Award-Winning films, Chasing Ice and Chasing Coral. He is a two-time Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, and founder of the award-winning production company Exposure Labs. His latest film, The Social Dilemma, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix.
In 2017, after premiering at Sundance and receiving the US Documentary Award, Chasing Coral released globally on Netflix as a Netflix Original Documentary. It went on to win a Peabody award in 2018. Chasing Ice premiered at Sundance in 2012, received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Song and won an Emmy® award for Outstanding Nature Programming. Both films have received many additional awards and accolades at film festivals around the globe, including being shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Orlowski also produced and directed Chasing Coral: The VR Experience, his first venture into virtual reality filming.
Orlowski founded Exposure Labs to maximize the impact of film, creating a company dedicated to both quality storytelling and powerful campaigns. For work on Chasing Ice, Exposure Labs won the 2016 BritDoc Impact Award recognizing “documentaries that have made the biggest impact on society.” Currently, the impact campaign featuring Chasing Coral is connecting the story in the film to action in communities with over 1000 screenings in more than 87 countries and the film won the 2018 the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award.
In 2017, Orlowski was the recipient of the Champions of the Earth award, the United Nation’s top honor for spreading powerful environmental messages to a global audience. In 2016 he was named the inaugural Sundance Discovery Impact Fellow for environmental filmmaking. He has traveled on tour representing the Sundance Institute, President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment of the Arts. He holds two Guinness Book World Records.
In addition to his feature film productions, Orlowski has worked with major corporations as a director and producer of online and broadcast commercial work. Orlowski directed Living with Panthers, a VICE VR production, and served as Producer on the award-winning film, Frame By Frame.
He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Larissa Rhodes is a filmmaker and the Head of Creative Development at Exposure Labs, where she develops projects that are environmentally and socially minded. She produced the Sundance, Peabody, and Emmy award-winning film, Chasing Coral, a feature film following a team of adventurers working to reveal how the oceans are changing. The Social Dilemma is her latest producing project, which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Rhodes previously worked on the Emmy® Award-winning documentary, Chasing Ice. She holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BFA & BA from the University of Colorado in Film Studies and International Spanish for the Professions.