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Gyre: Creating Art From a Plastic Ocean

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Gyre: Creating Art From a Plastic Ocean

Available here until March 31, 2018.

Journey along the remote Alaskan coast — in search of garbage. The world shrinks as we all become connected through our litter, yet somehow we are still severed from the problem we've created, killing the life that depends on the sea. Now, in one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, a unique scientific expedition brings the problem into perspective. An international team of renowned artists and scientists ventures north attempting to change the way we view plastic and ocean trash. Their battleground is not a prosaic academic textbook or quiet lecture hall, but high-seas adventure and vivid, stirring artistic expression.

About the Filmmaker

J.J. Kelley is an Emmy-nominated National Geographic Director and Correspondent focusing on wildlife conservation, exploration and wildlife crime. He’s the 2014 recipient of the Blue Ocean Film Festival’s Best Short Film for GYRE, a National Geographic documentary he directed on the mounting tragedy of ocean trash killing wildlife. His work has appeared on The National Geographic Channel, NOVA, The New York Times, Outside Television and PBS. 

An avid adventurer, Kelley paddled 1,400 miles from Alaska to Seattle in a homemade kayak (in the feature documentary Paddle to Seattle), paddled the full length of India’s River Ganges (the subject of his documentary Go Ganges!), is a 2,300-mile Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, and biked 1,300 miles along the path of the Alaska Pipeline.  Recognized for bringing a unique mix of humor and grit to his storytelling, he regularly appears as a guest on National Geographic Weekend and recently starred in a television commercial for Nature Valley.


Filmmaker’s Statement

The tragedy of marine debris has only existed for a generation, yet it’s become one of the greatest threats to our oceans and wildlife today. In addition to the now infamous Pacific Garbage Patch, plastic waste is washing up on our most remote and pristine shorelines in phenomenal magnitude. I was passionate about making a film on such a contemporary environmental issue but I wanted to do it in a way that didn't feel didactic or too straightforward.