‘KELP!’ wins Best UK Short Documentary at Big Syn International Film Festival 2023

20 November 2023

KELP! 2023

KELP!, directed by Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) graduate Caylon La Mantia and senior lecturer Anna Roberts, has been announced as the Best UK Short Documentary winner at the Big Syn International Film Festival 2023.


Reaching 45 million viewers and voters across 120 countries, Big Syn is the biggest sustainability film festival in the world. As part of the awards, a clip from KELP! was showcased on Europe's biggest screen, Piccadilly Lights, in London.   

The crew for the award-winning film was almost entirely made up of Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) students, graduates and staff. As well as being directed by graduate Caylon La Mantia and senior lecturer Anna Roberts, it was also edited by 2020 graduate Izzy Carveth, with yet more graduates taking production coordinator, drone operator and camera operator roles.  

Kelp is an emerging super-solution that can absorb carbon, replace plastics, and at the same time regenerate the ocean and its wildlife. In this powerfully uplifting film, Caylon and her crew take us on a journey under sail through Britain’s rugged coastline to meet the pioneers of regenerative kelp farming. They are the heroes of this story: the people who are out there giving everything they’ve got to create a better future for us all. 

On watching KELP!, Hugo Tagholm, CEO of marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage, said: "KELP! is an amazing new film documenting the superpowers of kelp. From wild kelp forests teeming with life to sustainable businesses harnessing the power of kelp, this inspiring documentary provides hope and inspiration as we tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis and empower local coastal communities.” 

Setting out the intention of the project, the film’s website states: “The ubiquitous concerns of climate and ecological breakdown unite us all and overcoming them requires our optimum resourcefulness. After decades of doom-mongering by the mainstream media, apocalypse-fatigue and climate-anxiety are demotivating and disempowering us instead of building the resilience we need.  

“Research shows that positive framings propel the motivational centres of the brain into action and build our problem-solving capabilities. Simply put, telling positive stories of opportunity and hope will generate global collective activation.” 

And that’s KELP!

For more information about the film, head over to the website or check out the film's Instagram

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