The film “Chasing Coral,” which documents the challenges of preserving coral reefs around the world, took more than three years to shoot — more than 500 hours of underwater footage was shot and submissions came from volunteers from 30 countries.
Mote Marine Lab, based in Sarasota and with a research center on Summerland Key, says “the film provides an introduction to coral reefs — the oceans’ rainforests — and some major challenges they face around the world. In particular, the filmmakers focus on coral bleaching and death caused by increased water temperatures, which are driven in large part by human activities adding carbon dioxide to Earth’s atmosphere.”
Chasing Coral was directed by Jeff Orlowski and produced by Larissa Rhodes.
On July 14, free screenings were held at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo, the Marathon Community Park, Mote on Summerland and the Tropic Cinema in Key West. All screenings drew crowds.
One of the cast members of “Chasing Coral,” Zack Rago, attended the Mote showing and then stuck around to learn what Mote does on Summerland, namely, growing coral in nurseries to replant to create new reefs. Here’s some of what he did.