eTown Interview – Jeff Orlowski (Director of “Chasing Coral”)

Jeff Orlowski - Chasing Coral - eTown


Filmmaker, Photographer, Entrepreneur, Problem-solver.

Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski served as director, producer, and cinematographer on the Sundance Award-Winning film, Chasing Ice. Orlowski’s feature length documentary was invited to screen at the White House, the United Nations and the United States Congress and has captured over 40 awards from film festivals around the world. It went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, and has screened on all seven continents.

As founder of Exposure Labs, a production company geared toward socially relevant filmmaking, Orlowski, 32, has served as director and producer of short film projects and online/broadcast commercial work. He has worked with Apple, National Geographic, Netflix, Stanford University, and the Jane Goodall Institute among many others. His work has aired on the National Geographic Channel, CNN and NBC and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and Popular Mechanics. He has traveled on tour representing the Sundance Institute, President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment of the Arts.  Orlowski most recently produced the award-winning film Frame by Frameand earlier this year received the inaugural Sundance Institute | Discovery Impact Fellowship for environmental filmmaking. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Chasing Coral

An “emotional race against time”. — The New York Times

With the same adventurous spirit and curiosity that inspired his Emmy Award-Winning documentary Chasing Ice, Orlowski and his film team train their lens on the world’s oceans on a journey to reveal a mysterious phenomenon happening beneath the surface.

The team follows Richard Vevers, a former ad man, who left his advertising career to become an underwater photographer. Captivated by the magic of the reefs, he sets out to reveal the oceans to the world. He meets with the world’s most brilliant coral scientists and learns of a horrific event unfolding: an underwater heatwave is killing corals around the planet. With young scientist and self-proclaimed “coral nerd” Zackery Rago, the film team ventures to remote regions of the planet, racing the clock and battling the unpredictable nature of the ocean to document this beautiful yet haunting phenomenon.

Chasing Coral was shot over three years, with expeditions to coral reefs around the world. The imagery is an ominous warning of the planet’s future along the current course; at the same time, it is a celebration of the most biodiverse ecosystem on the planet.