During the summer of 2021 we heard a story about The Mother of The Sea, it’s a local story about Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker from the nearby town of Leigh who in 1949 published an academic paper about the life cycles of seaweed that played a huge role in helping save the seaweed (Nori) industry in Japan. There’s even an annual festival in Uto. Kumamoto prefecture in Japan named the Drew festival where people gather once a year to offer flower garlands upon a monument of Kathleen in thanks.
This is exactly the kind of story that tickles our imagination at Northern Heart Films, so for a few months we had seaweed on the mind. When we became aware Quorn were looking to commission three films exploring the future of food we immediately put together a proposal focusing on seaweed and the many wonderful, and mostly unknown, benefits of eating seaweed.
The result of this proposal is our latest short documentary Ocean Greens. A 10 minute short doc celebrating the seaweed farming industry and offering a brief insight into the potential of seaweed as a future food.
We spent a good four months in production and we traveled up to Newcastle, down south to Bristol, Plymouth and finally visiting The Lizard in Cornwall. Despite filming in the middle of winter it was a wonderful trip where we met some truly inspiring seaweed farmers, particularly Tim & Caro from The Cornish Seaweed Company who cooked us a seaweed burger with Dulce once filming wrapped.
Ocean Greens comes off the back of our BFI funded short Finding Appiness and for us at Northern Heart Films this project marks a steady shift towards producing narrative driven, authored, documentaries on a more regular basis. This is ultimately the main aim for our company, to become the go-to factual entertainment producers in the North West regions.
Finding Appiness, Joy Uncensored and now Ocean Greens has given our portfolio a nice mix of styles and provides us with a great platform to pitch longer form documentaries to TV, brands and charities.
If you’re curious and want to learn more about eating seaweed, Ocean Greens will soon be available on WaterBear network. The potential of seaweed seems as deep and as vast as the oceans. Maybe we’ll pay Kathleen a visit someday over in Japan and thank her for introducing us to seaweed.