Jonathan Birds Blue World

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA


Jonathan Bird


Jonathan Bird’s Blue World— Deep Dive: Ocean Exploration

A screening of several short films by Jonathan Bird, and a discussion of Bird's current obsession with underwater caves.

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA

Film Synopsis

Host Jonathan Bird dives underwater to showcase various wonders of the ocean.

Underwater cinematographer Jonathan Bird explores the underwater world in a science adventure series. Each segment follows Bird as he attempts to unravel a mystery, witness an animal behavior, or explore an underwater environment.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Bird is a photographer, cinematographer, director, and television host. He is best known for his role as the host of Jonathan Bird's Blue World, a family-friendly underwater exploration program on PBS in the United States. His work is largely focused on the ocean. Bird learned to scuba dive while in college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and combined his interest in photography with diving. His first underwater photographs were made in the waters of Massachusetts. He worked as an electrical engineer for several years until leaving his position to pursue underwater photography full time in 1993. He became a freelance underwater photographer, working for magazines including Sport Diver and Skin Diver. His first book, Beneath the North Atlantic, a collection of his favorite images from the waters of New England, was published in 1997 by Tide-mark Press. He is the author of 7 books and his images have appeared in top nature publications including National Geographic Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Bird formed Oceanic Research Group, Inc. in 1991 to produce educational ocean-related materials. Oceanic Research Group became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1993. Oceanic Research Group’s first underwater film was produced in 1992 for the educational market and was distributed by AIMS Media, which has since been acquired by Discovery Education. Bird and Oceanic Research Group have made 13 educational films for use in schools about ocean topics since then.

His first television film, Sharks: The Real Story, co-produced with longtime collaborator Art Cohen, was completed in 1995 and aired on PBS. In 2005, Bird completed his first film for National Geographic Channel, called Sharks: Deep Trouble. His broadcast work has earned Bird 9 Emmy awards and 2 CINE Golden Eagle awards.