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Oregon State University’s ‘Saving Atlantis’ alarms environmental awareness for the scientific complexities that are coral reef ecosystems. The impressively cinematic film is informative of the benefits that coral reef systems bring to the universe. The personal stories of locals who live off and live to preserve coral reefs hit the spectator with a human connection and understanding that the seafloor eco-systems are meant to be a place where biodiversity prospers. Furthermore, the impressive Atlantis that are coral reefs also shield islands from erosion and hurricane impacts, provide humans with essential food sources, give jobs to local working-class communities who make a living off coral reef tourism as well as surfing events because surfable waves are created once they hit coral reefs. Marine biologists enter the field regularly and provide expert feedback and analysis throughout the film, often weighing in on the depleted coral reef system and the necessary steps going forward. 

Sadly, the title of the film is a bleak parallel to our current environmental crisis, for Plato’s mythical Island of Atlantis, was sunken by the gods to punish human hubris. Today, climate change persists, and the root of the problem lies in man’s conquests of economic greed in exchange for unsustainable uses of natural resources. The film seamlessly uses this dilemma in their footage of bleaching coral reefs, bleached coral reefs signify the onset of an eventual wasteland of any resources that have been of benefit to humanity since the beginning of time. This is a film of environmental activism, of preserving coral reefs for future generations, of accountability for the greed of humanity and fighting to undo those damages through scientific research. 

Lastly, the film does an exceptional job of including future generations as leaders that are poised to solve this crisis. A few programs are included which jumpstart youth in becoming interested in the field of marine biology and preserving coral reef ecology. This is practical, for if current scientists are unsuccessful in advancing the current state of coral reefs, then we must pass the baton to the problem solvers of the future and trust that all the efforts and research up to date will not be for nothing. 

This beautiful film will be available on digital beginning of veteran’s day 2019. The narrator, Peter Coyote, is accomplished in the realm of showbusiness and is compelling in his narration of this film. “Saving Atlantis” was directed and edited by Justin Smith and David Baker, with extraordinary cinematography by Justin Smith, David Baker, Darryl Lai, and Larry Pribyl. Locations of coral reefs are worldwide throughout the film and occur in 1. Red Sea, Arabia 2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia 3. Mo’orea, French Polynesia 4. Hawaii, USA 5. Bocachica, Colombia 6. Pulau Tioman, Malaysia. 


SAVING ATLANTIS is a feature documentary directed by Justin Smith and David Baker and produced by Oregon State University. It focuses on the dramatic loss of coral reef ecosystems around the world, the impact of that decline on the human communities that depend on them and those who are going to uncover the causes and solutions before it’s too late.

The film follows several story threads, including: re-nouned scientists looking to unlock the microbial secrets to coral survival; a mysterious coral reef in Colombia that has withstood over five hundred years of human pressures but now faces its greatest threat; and a group of young aboriginal students in Australia working to restore the ancient connections of their people to a marine habitat just as it could disappear forever.

The film braids these stories with the science behind corals, speaking with the top researchers who study these animals and taking a global journey that celebrates the majesty and mystery of coral habitats, outlines the daunting challenges communities face and follows those who are making a desperate attempt to preserve them for future generations.

Filmed in Australia, the South Pacific, Hawai’i, the Caribbean, and the Red Sea, SAVING ATLANTIS is a worldwide tour of one of the most important issues of our time.

Gravitas Ventures will release SAVING ATLANTIS on VOD on November 12th on numerous platforms including Comcast, Dish Network, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, iTunes, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, Vimeo, among others.

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1 Comment

  • Sterling, November 12, 2019 @ 6:48 pm Reply

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