Planet Ocean, a movie directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot in partnership with OMEGA, has just been premiered at Earth Summit 2012 in Rio.
The 90-minute documentary, which also draws on the talents of some of the world’s leading aerial and underwater cinematographers, oceanographers and biologists, was created to change the way people look at the oceans and to encourage them to imagine conservation and stewardship as responsibilities shared by everyone on Earth.
Arthus-Bertrand said of his partnership with OMEGA, "When OMEGA presented me with the Planet Ocean project, I accepted almost immediately; it was time to look at things directly, to illustrate and to denounce the dangers threatening our oceans and therefore our planet. This documentary is not intended to moralize, but rather to raise consciousness. "
He also announced that the film would be made available free of charge to any interested NGO in order to ensure that it reaches the widest possible audience.
Planet Ocean aims to explain some of the planet’s greatest natural mysteries in ways that make them understandable and accessible to everyone. Finally, it allows young people to imagine that a more sustainable world is not only desirable but achievable. The film combines the kind of breath-taking aerial shots that have made Arthus-Bertrand’s filmmaking reputation along with underwater imagery from an award-winning team of cameramen.
When he was asked why OMEGA chose to work with Yann Arthus-Bertrand on the project, OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart said, "No one could do it better. Yann is both an environmentalist and the world's leading specialist in aerial photography. He has a unique combination of skills that have allowed him to capture and communicate the majesty and the beauty of the oceans cinematically. He, Michael and their team have done a remarkable job."
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco was in the audience at the premiere and commented, “Our contemporaries must become aware of the major perils that this century has inflicted on the oceans and on the biosphere of which they are essential regulators. By drawing the attention of the public to the very often poorly known threats that hang over the oceans, by showing the work carried out by scientists and by sharing unique emotions, this film turns the spotlight on the urgency of the action needed to protect the oceans and the planet.”
OMEGA has long been associated with the planet's oceans and concerned with their health and preservation. In 1932, it released the world's first divers' watch. By 1936, Dr. Charles William Beebe, the American naturalist and underwater explorer who was one of the inventors of the bathysphere, spoke enthusiastically about how well his OMEGA Marine had served him when he was working 14 metres beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean for extended periods of time.
Commander Yves Le Prieur, the father of the aqualung, was often photographed underwater wearing his own OMEGA Marine. Jacques-Yves Cousteau famously wore an OMEGA Ploprof and Jacques Mayol – the legendary free diver known as "The Dolphin Man" – wore an OMEGA Seamaster on his record-setting dives.
When the late Sir Peter Blake, OMEGA's friend and brand ambassador, retired from competition as one of the world's most successful competitive sailors, he committed his energies to the protection of his beloved oceans. Sir Peter was motivated by a simple motto: "No water, no life." He organized his non-profit organisation, Blakexpeditions, under the auspices of the United Nations and OMEGA. In fact, he called his ship the Seamaster, naming it for OMEGA’s iconic watch line. After navigating it to Antarctica in 2001, he sailed for the Amazon where he was killed by pirates in December of 2001.
Happily, the Seamaster continues to sail as the Tara. Tara Expeditions is a foundation that was established nearly ten years ago and it organizes educational and scientific missions with the schooner. Its scientific experts and the knowledge they had accumulated on previous voyages contributed to the making of the film.
Etienne Bourgois, the president of Tara Expeditions said, “While I regret not having known Sir Peter Blake, I am gratified that the Seamaster continues to be filled with his presence and inspired by his values. It is now a symbol worldwide, thanks to all its oceanographic missions from 1989 until today."
OMEGA’s partnership in the Planet Ocean film was created in the spirit of its support for Peter Blake and of its decades-long support of oceanic health and exploration. Earth Summit 2012, created around the themes of vision, cooperation and transformation, takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 20th to the 22nd of June.
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