Tiny Beaker Media: Ecology of Home

The island nation of Kiribati is mostly water. Over 30 atolls scattered across the Pacific, its people are fighting back a rising sea. They have one of the largest marine reserves in the world, the Phoenix Islands. It’s time to connect the people of Kiribati to their protected area, so they can see the value of their ocean resources and work to maintain both the Phoenix Islands and their home reefs on Tarawa.


How do you talk about marine conservation in a nation with scarce clean water? We need to link human health to their ecosystem health. The Kiribati government has started taking tourist trips to the Phoenix Islands, and there is talk of expanding local protected areas. The world is witnessing a political and ecological turning point for both the United States and Kiribati. Both governments are making big decisions about climate policy right now.


This film project tells the story of Tekateteke, an earnest, motivated student who traveled far from home to learn about coral reef conservation and help her people. Tekateteke is a Kiribatis millennial. She uses emojis on Facebook to send her love back to her remote island family. She braids flowers into her hair, sitting down to study for her economics exam. She will return home only after completing her Masters degree at Scripps Oceanography. The bold documentary will move beyond explaining science or promoting wild ocean spaces. The story connects an isolated island in urgent need with a world ignoring the consequences of climate change.


Tekateteke the team are working together to ensure the film respects her community and portrays the ocean conservation topics authentically. The team is interested in avoiding compassion fatigue on this issue by engaging audiences using humor. The strong conservation message will be embedded in a modern storytelling voice.

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