‘Fragile Legacy’ earns Blue Ocean festival prize

Showcasing the beauty and diversity of the world’s seas, the Blue Ocean Film Festival has awarded the Cornell-backed film “Fragile Legacy” its top prize in the short films category Nov. 9. It was narrated by actor/conservationist Ted Danson.

Marine filmmaker David O. Brown made the film in cooperation with Drew Harvell, professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, and the film was funded by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and the Corning Museum of Glass Foundation. It is based on the university’s inspiring Blaschka glass sea creature collection – 570 sculptures of jellyfish, octopus, squid, anemones and nudibranchs by renowned 19th-century glass artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.

The glass reproductions burst to life as the film merges science, art, history and marine conservation. The 30 minute film communicates that the web of marine biodiversity can be as fragile as glass and explores how many of the living creatures rendered in glass over a century ago still exist – in the midst of extinctions and stress triggered by pollution, over-fishing and habitat loss.

- Blaine Friedlander