Activist Explorers Wanted

UCSB teams with the Céline Cousteau Film Fellowship, which in 2016 will send eight filmmakers to Africa with the noted documentarian

Imagine spending a summer traveling Africa with a well-known documentary filmmaker, studying wildlife and capturing the continent in all its glory. Eight lucky individuals will have the chance to do just that, by way of UC Santa Barbara’s new partnership with French-American explorer, filmmaker and activist Céline Cousteau and the Céline Cousteau Film Fellowship (CCFF).

For the inaugural season of what is expected to be a multiyear collaboration, the fellowship for 2016 will accept eight passionate and talented individuals who are looking to inspire change in the world. CCFF 2016 will last for eight weeks, from June 22 to Aug. 14. Selected applicants will convene on the UCSB campus and then travel to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana to work with Cousteau on a documentary film focused on the human elements affecting wildlife. The program will culminate with a film premiere event at UCSB’s state-of-the-art Pollock Theater. 

“This is an amazing opportunity for any student or researcher to join the immensely talented Céline Cousteau on a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said John Majewski, interim dean of humanities and fine arts at UCSB. “We are pleased to partner with the Cousteau Fellowship, which combines the collaborative spirit of UCSB with the application of hands-on experience and learning we encourage all of our students and alumni to seek out. We hope that this will be a rewarding partnership for years to come.”

CCCF is an academic leadership program focused on positively affecting the lives of its fellows, creating awareness and inspiring change in the world. Its mission is to empower creative filmmakers, media makers and activists toward such inspiration through practical experience that goes beyond formal education. The fellowship has positions for researchers of all levels and invites undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-graduates, to apply.

“We are so excited to be hosting the fellowship on a campus that shares in curriculum, environmental values and passion to empower the next generation of filmmakers,” commented Cousteau, the daughter of ocean explorer and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau and the granddaughter of legendary oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. “UC Santa Barbara is the perfect home for our program to cultivate creative minds and empower activists to inspire change.”

The 2016 fellowship is hosted by the Department of Film and Media Studies in affiliation with the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Center for Environmental Communication and Education, with the support of the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Applications for CCFF are due March 20. More information is available via the Celine Cousteau Film Fellowship or by contacting the fellowship coordinators at


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