Photographed by: A. Arthur Fisher
Jean-Michel Cousteau, Celine Cousteau, Fabien Cousteau
 
UPDATED 2/6/15
 
In many ways the red carpet event and world premiere of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s “Secret Ocean 3D” was a rare opportunity to witness a display of generations of talent and inspiration.  The evening began with the photographer’s audible clicks as independent filmmakers lined up to represent three films prior to the Cousteau family’s arrival. Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, and his children, Fabien and Celine all took to the red carpet to soak in the evening's festivities and share with us the meaning of their family's work, a life long commitment to explore, document, and preserve the planet's oceans.  

 

Son of the world renowned oceanographic explorer and inventor of the Aqua Lung, Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has worn the legendary shoes of his father for over four decades. Naval Lieutenant, Jacques did not invent the AquaLung as simply a means of breathing underwater, per se. He did it to provide man with a tool to help understand the deep blue. Son, Jean-Michel true to his father’s legacy continues a life long effort to spread the word about the challenges we face in preserving our precious oceans. This ocean advocate speaks where the oceans cannot, through action and film. Tonight we witnessed the world premiere of his latest accomplishment, The Secret Ocean, an underwater, 3-D documentary, which quite-frankly, was nothing less than mind blowing. 
 
The Secret Ocean not only dives into uncharted territory in it’s coverage of lesser known underwater species, it does so in gripping, stunningly colorful and detailed 3-D. Filmed in large-format, IMAX quality, the images are quite simply, breath taking. The film’s crew joined tonight’s tribute event on the red carpet and in the theater. From microscopic sea creatures and plankton to a four-hundred pound grouper, Jean-Michel has brought to film the wonder of the strange and darkest places under the water through his relentless crusades of invention, discovery and filmmaking.
 
Jean-Michel’s son, Fabien, grandson of Jacques continues the family tradition through his underwater research. At a mere four years of age, father Jean-Michel put a SCUBA apparatus on him and pushed him into the ocean. Within one full day, he symbolically broke his grandfather’s record of living in an underwater research lab for a month. During that time, he collected three years worth of scientific data. In one remarkable film clip, Fabien rides fearlessly on the dorsal fin of what appears to be a fifteen foot white shark.
 
Fabien’s sister, Céline, is as concerned about life above the surface of the ocean as she is about what's below. She advocates for human health in the Brazilian Amazon, where the way of life of the indigenous people has been altered dramatically. Through her movie, Tribes On The Edge, Céline warns of the dire possibility of their extinction at the hands of rampant and deadly diseases such as hepatitis and malaria. 
 
In the end, the evening was characterized by the warmth and generosity of the entire Cousteau family. Fabien recognized the bond forged throughout the world with so many millions who grew up watching her father's National Geographic underwater films on television. As one of those millions, her words conjured up fond memories of child hood and an extraordinary adventure my family got to take with hers on Sunday nights in our own living room. And from those shared adventures, the Cousteau family has been able to call upon us all to do our part in preserving the deep blue sea.   

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