COEXTINCTION is a very personal story to me. I grew up fascinated with orcas, watching every documentary, reading every book, and learning everything I could about this animal. When I was 10 years old, I saw orcas for the first time off the coast of British Columbia. It was clear then that I would spend my life working with them.
My early career was focused on how I could help them in captivity, but I never would have imagined they'd be threatened in the wild as well. In 2017, upon learning the remaining 78 Southern Resident orcas were on the verge of extinction, I moved to a small island in the Salish Sea to monitor them, spending countless hours on the water studying their behavioral patterns. I witnessed first hand how dire the situation was.
Through COEXTINCTION, I want people to learn from these orcas. They are incredibly emotionally intelligent beings who celebrate and grieve together. They have no home — they are each other's home. They work together through adversity and have learned how to coexist. They embody the interconnectedness we need to understand, and are intimately connected to the Indigenous communities we need to listen to.
This film is all about impact through action. We have solutions to the problems that are harming the orcas. Now we just need to act on those solutions. We need to listen to Indigenous leaders and scientists, and stand together to stop fish farming, shut down the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, and breach the four lower snake river dams. We need to stop industrial destruction and colonization around the world.
In 2017, I travelled to British Columbia to learn more about the endangered Southern Resident orcas. I was following a curiosity and filming content for a wildlife conservation brand I’d built, One Species. Little did I know then just how deeply involved in the story of the Southern Resident orcas I’d become, and just how drastically that trip would alter my path.
From the get-go with COEXTINCTION, I was interested in the big picture: What’s happening to the orca’s ecosystem? What is this indicator species trying to tell us?
This is what led us to the concept of “coextinction” — the loss of a species, resulting in the loss or disappearance of other species that depend on it. We sometimes forget that the extinction of a species doesn’t happen in isolation, it’s often the result of the vulnerability and degradation of the relationships between that species and other life. Coextinction affects us all, everywhere, and on a global scale.
I’ve put my heart and soul into this project and I’m moved beyond measure by what I’ve seen and learned over the last few years. All life is interconnected, humans not excluded. If audiences can understand this through COEXTINCTION, we may be able to save the Southern Resident orcas, the Pacific Northwest, and ourselves.
Watching this film is just the beginning. We then need to activate ourselves. We need to take steps as individuals to support systemic changes that protect the orcas, their ecosystem, our ecosystem, ourselves. We need to take actions for social and environmental justice because we can't have one without the other.
Producer, Writer, Impact Producer
Producer, Writer, and Impact Producer for Coextinction, Andrew is a future-minded critical thinker and lawyer fighting for environmental and social justice. He focuses on stories that will have mass impact, that support shifting our systems away from damaging consumer capitalism toward thoughtful living with respect for diverse worldviews, and that protect species at risk, including our human species.
He has a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation from OCAD University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto with certificates in Environmental and Aboriginal Legal Studies.
His question for Coextinction is: how can we better understand interconnected patterns of extinction and apply this understanding to encourage a thriving planet?
Producer, cinematographer, and editor
Producer, cinematographer, and editor for Coextinction, Nicholas is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker. His work focuses heavily on social issues, including Indigenous leadership, global health and climate change. His extensive experience with Indigenous communities across Canada, notably with the Students on Ice Foundation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Dene Nation, has shaped his curious and investigative mind. Nicholas has taught courses on videography for students in rural Ethiopia, and adventure filmmaking for Sony Canada. He is passionate about empowered stories, told by empowered storytellers.
Composer for Coextinction, Julien Verschooris is an award-winning media composer. He has written scores for numerous short films, and features, as well as providing commercial music for trailers and branding placements. He is most known for his music for the 2019 Fantasia Audience Award-Winning Dead Dicks, which premiered in festivals around the world as well as his various trailer, TV spots, and brand placements for the likes of HBO Max, Apple, and Hulu.
His music for Coextinction is set to make its premiere at the prestigious Jackson Wild Media Summit, where Julien has been nominated in the category of “Best Original Music Score”.
Executive Producer and videographer
Executive Producer and videographer for Coextinction, Victoria is a driven environmental photojournalist and filmmaker with a wide variety of field research and journalistic experience ranging from live broadcast production to freelance reporting, and photographic contribution.
She has worked with renowned organizations including Oceanographic Magazine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Raincoast Conservation, and Patagonia.
Research assistant for Coextinction, Brenda is mesmerized by the sea. She fell victim to the wonders of the ocean before she knew how to tie her own shoes. Her captivation with the strange world below the waves transformed over time into an incredible passion for all things living: underwater and on land. Now, all decisions are guided by her inherent need to protect and cherish this special place we call home.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, she has had the opportunity to volunteer with local non-profits throughout her life; most notably with Fin Free/United Conservationists Victoria and Clayoquot Clean-up; entailing a multi-day remote beach clean-up.
Drawing on the love she holds for the natural world in combination with the written word, it is her aim to speak louder about the environmental issues we face today. Presently, she lives in Tofino, BC where you can find her either in the surf, lost on a forested trail, or slowly completing her BA in Journalism from the University of Victoria.
Director of our European Campaigns
Director of our European Campaigns, Morgane has always advocated for orcas. In 2018, she led the #WeAreTheOrca movement, where she brought a group of European influencers to San Juan Island to educate over 2 million individuals about the issues and empower them to take action. She then led a 22 day and 380 kilometers march as part of the #WeAreTheOrca movement to breach the four lower Snake River dams.
She joins the Coextinction team to lead massive on-the-ground campaigns and ensure real change happens.