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What if people could be the secret to transforming ocean deserts into rich forests filled with an abundance of life?

Join two marine scientists as they explore how a hands-on approach to marine restoration is working to revive marine kelp forests in South Korea.

During their trip, they witness how a deep connection with the ocean is inspiring change. In Korea, this connection runs across society, from a hundreds year old guild of female free divers to the Korea Fisheries Agency using the latest techniques to manage their kelp forests.

By recognising that while people may take from the sea, people can also take care of the sea, they are charting a new course to thriving kelp forests all around the world.

Directed, filmed and edited by
Stefan Andrews

Co-produced by

Adriana Verges & Aaron Eger


Inquiries to
Screenings and recognition
Les Bois Film Festival
World Premiere
April 2023

International Wildlife Film Festival
Finalist - Wildlife Conservation category
April 2023

Environmental Film & Screenplay Festival 
Winner - Best Long Form Short Film
April 2023

Dana Point Film Festival
Winner - Best International Ocean's Short
May 2023

World Whale Film Festival
Official Selection
June 2023

Wild Oceans Film Festival
Short Documentary Film
October 2023

Science Film Festival
Official Selection

October 2023

Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival
Official Selection
October 2023

Society for Ecological Restoration Film Festival
Winner - Open & Professional Filmmaker Feature
September 2023

Wild Earth Oceania Film Festival
Official Selection
September 2023

Film Review


"Gardening Marine Forests" is a breathtaking documentary that showcases the incredible work being done in Korea to restore the kelp forests that have been decimated by urchin barrens and environmental pollution. The film does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of kelp and how its restoration is vital not only for the survival of marine life but also for the local fishing communities who depend on it.


The documentary features interviews with scientists, divers, fishers, and Haenyeo, the remarkable female divers who collect seafood in the region. It provides insights into Korean culture, their affiliation with the sea and how their connection to it has motivated extensive restoration projects. The film is visually stunning, with breathtaking underwater shots of restored kelp forests and the marine life that has returned to it. 


One of the most remarkable aspects of "Gardening Marine Forests" is its message of hope. The restoration projects have been hugely successful, and the marine ecosystem rehabilitated where various marine life thrives. The film emphasizes the importance of working with nature and utilizing its resilience to restore the environment.

The film has won the Best Long Form Short Film award at the Environmental Film & Screenplay Festival and has been named a finalist in the Wildlife Conservation category at the International Wildlife Film Festival.It has been praised for its stunning visuals and its message of environmental conservation. 

"Absolutely stunning cinematography! The visuals alone make this film worth watching. But what really sets it apart is the way it explores the delicate balance of nature and the importance of human intervention in preserving it."

Overall, "Gardening Marine Forests" is an incredibly uplifting and inspiring documentary that showcases the power of restoration and the resilience of nature. It is a must-watch for anyone who cares about the environment and wants to see the positive impact that can be made with hard work and dedication.

Directors Bio


Stefan Andrews is an accomplished marine biologist and filmmaker with over a decade of experience in the field of underwater cinematography. His passion for marine ecology and conservation has been the driving force behind his work, which focuses on communicating scientific research and environmental issues through compelling storytelling and stunning visuals.


Stefan's expertise as both a scientific diver and filmmaker has led to the creation of award-winning films. Through his work, Stefan has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to raising awareness about the urgent need to protect our oceans and the creatures that inhabit them.


As a filmmaker, Stefan is known for his ability to combine scientific rigor with artistic vision, resulting in films that are both informative and visually captivating. His work has been featured in numerous projects and media outlets around the world, earning him a reputation as a leading voice in the field of marine conservation.


In addition to his filmmaking endeavors, Stefan is also a passionate advocate for environmental education and outreach. He believes that by inspiring the next generation of scientists and conservationists, we can create a brighter future for our planet and all its inhabitants.

Production Stills
B-roll reel
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