Lerato Maimela
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
12 Apr 2021
2:00 pm

SA’s ‘My Octopus Teacher’ bags Bafta

Lerato Maimela

The 2020 Netflix Original documentary film directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed won the best documentary award

Filmmaker Craig Foster with the octopus teacher. Picture: Twitter


South Africa’s My Octopus Teacher won best documentary at this year’s 74th British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) on Sunday evening in London’s Albert Hall.

The Bafta awards ceremony was slightly different this year as there was no crowd or audience due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead they were were broadcast and also live streamed.

The 2020 Netflix Original documentary film directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed was nominated in the best documentary category alongside The Social Dilemma, The Dissident, Collective and David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet. Pippa, filled with excitement, accepted the award on behalf of her team.

Just as the awards ceremony began, Ehrlich took to her Instagram stories to post a picture of herself with her fingers crossed.

She soon after posted a picture of Reed wearing a suit, about to sit in on the live stream of the awards ceremony. The two pictures were captioned: “Glamming it up for the virtual Bafta’s. One director at the edge of the sea forest and another one in the deepest Ugandan rainforest.”

The 2021 Oscar nominee documentary is about filmmaker Craig Foster who spends a year forging a relationship with a wild octopus in a South African kelp forest near Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula in Cape Town.

The documentary shows how the octopus opens up to Foster over time, forming a close bond with him, and allows him into her world to see how she sleeps, lives, and eats.

The Netflix Original documentary also won The Producers Guild of America Award for best documentary motion Picture 2021.