Ocean Meetings

Ocean Meetings

Norway, 380km North of the Arctic Circle. Three boys and a girl set out aboard Makaira II on an icy adventure, to meet orca and humpback whales for the very first time in the wild: encounters that inspire them to share knowledge about whales and the climate crisis with their peers. Will their Ocean Meetings create new conversations of change in one of the world's whaling nations?
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In partnership with Amberjack Films & M:Brane

By Ismaele Tortella



It’s the late autumn in Tromsø – daylight is already only 6 hours a day and decreasing, the average air temperature is below freezing. But out in the fjords, an extraordinary drama is playing out daily. The world’s biggest gathering of herring eating orca have shifted their patterns of overwintering, perhaps in response to changes in the climate. Now, far further to the North than ever before, they are coming to these sheltered but freezing fjords to hide from storms and feed on herring schools that are also seeking refuge. They have turned up for the last 4 years, chasing a silvery meal in tightly organised hunting packs. Nobody knows how long they will continue to visit or if they will return in future years. But for now, they present a unique opportunity for local children.


Kevin and Naxo, two biologists with a 40’ yacht called, Makaira II, have a mission to take four ten year old children from a local school out onto the ocean for the first time – to meet the whales. It’s a journey of opportunity – a chance to learn to sail, a chance to meet the ocean’s greatest predator, a chance to discover that whales are far more than supermarket dinners. In a wonderful journey beneath a wintery, leaden sky these four young people embark on an adventure of a lifetime, that just might change them forever.


During their trip the children, Lucia, Sigurd, Noah and Tage will interact with whales for the first time in their lives. Guided by Kevin and Naxo, they explore the connection between the lives of humans and whales. In so doing, will the children see that they are not that different from these big marine mammals and that we are all part of the same world? In 2021 the boys glimpsed the orca whales in a winter of plunging temperatures, storms and bad sea conditions.


They only managed to go to sea for five hours. Next winter they plan to go back, hoping to see humpback whales for the first time and to create a deeper connection between the children and whales.


Besides offering an experience of sailing and whale watching, they will also lower a hydrophone into the water, to listen to whales interacting – hearing them ‘speak’. A research biologist from Ocean Sounds Norway (www.oceansounds.no) will set up this live audio experience. The children will also witness a free diving excursion to film the whales, perhaps even joining in – so they can see what happens underwater.


Already, after their one brief adventure, they are keen to share their story back at school. As they journey ever deeper into the magical world of the whales, will their experiences inspire a new generation of champions for the ocean?



About Ismaele

I moved to Northern Norway four years ago. Here, I found myself in a fertile environment to learn, improve and perfect my video production skills. My first documentary “Looking for Mobydick” was showed in the national Italian Tv RAI at the tv programme GEO in 2018. “Mediterranean Lights”, was the winner of the ME International Film Festival (USA) 2020 and selected in other film festivals. In 2019, I wrote my first book entitled “Iguazù, alla scoperta della foresta atlantica” [Iguazù: Discovering the Atlantic Forest]. The book won the special prize on the “literature contest Maiella”, Italy. 

In 2020, I was selected for ESoDoc programme 2020. During the ESoDoc training I have been able to learn and to get inspired from different directors, producers, broadcaster involved at international scale in the film sector. Right now, I am working on a full-length documentary in Northern Norway, named “Arctic Blue”. I have been selected to pitch at the Georgia Film Festival 2020, Below Zero 2021 and at the IDS at Torino FilmFestival. 

In spring 2021, I have coordinated two wildlife filmmaking workshops in collaboration with TVIBIT. Directed to young people in Tromsø interested in nature documentaries. In May 2021, I received the Talent Stipend from SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge to improve my underwater filming skills mainly related to marine mammals.  


I have devoted the past 10 years to the study of nature and film. Exploring far-flung corners of the globe has opened my eyes to the diversity of our planet


Delivered in 4K UHD

 5K to 4K on RED and SONY packages



Length: 1×15 minutes

Date: Early 2023

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