Bleached staghorn corals in the Red Sea | Foto: Claudia Pogoreutz, ZMT

23.11.2018 | For the International Year of the Reef 2018, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), in cooperation with the Bremen municipal cinema City 46, presents the documentary "Chasing Coral" by the U.S. director Jeff Orlowski.

The multiple award-winning film accompanies a team of marine researchers, filmmakers and coral lovers in their attempt to document the climate-induced change in tropical coral reefs. The devastating coral bleaching is recorded with time-lapse cameras. The team fights against technical malfunctions and forces of nature.

The result is a dramatic, moving and visually stunning documentary that unsparingly shows how human action is destroying the reefs. The images show the unique beauty of the reefs as well as the catastrophic dying under the sea surface.

In cooperation with the municipal cinema City 46, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is showing the German version of the film on Saturday, 8 December at 7 p.m. at City 46, Birkenstraße 1, Bremen. Reef experts Dr. Sonia Bejarano and Dr. Achim Meyer of ZMT will give an introduction to the film and the problems of the destruction of tropical coral reefs and will be available for questions and discussion after the screening. Admission is free.

Filming "Chasing Coral" in 30 countries took more than three years and more than 500 hours using underwater cameras. It seeks to be a wake-up call and an impetus for anyone to question our actions in order to slow down climate change. The film, which was released in 2017, has already received numerous awards. For example, it was honoured with the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and is nominated for the Emmy Award. Director Jeff Orlowski and his team also produced the predecessor film "Chasing Ice," a documentary on the melting of the polar ice caps.

The reason for the film screening is the International Year of the Reef 2018. Initiated by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), which today comprises more than 60 member states, the Year of the Reef seeks to inspire people around the world about the importance of this valuable ecosystem and to draw attention to the urgency of comprehensive reef protection.

The value of coral reefs is not only aesthetic. Although they cover only 0.1% of the ocean surface, they are home to 30% of the marine fish species and are the nursery of many marine creatures. Through tourism and fishing, coral reefs contribute to the livelihood of about one billion people, are suppliers of medicinal substances and are an important factor in coastal protection.

More information about the film: