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Did you know that most California sea lion pups are born in June each year? That means there are lots of birthdays to celebrate this month!

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News Update

“The Dolphin Dilemma” Documentary Makes Waves On Film Festival Circuit

May 30, 2024
  • Pathology
  • Climate change

A gripping documentary about the devastating impacts climate change has on marine life began as a conversation at The Marine Mammal Center.

Scientists at The Marine Mammal Center and international colleagues identified a novel skin disease in dolphins that is linked to climate change. Since the disease first appeared in 2005, this groundbreaking study is the first time scientists have been able to link a cause to the condition that affects coastal dolphin communities worldwide. The study also inspired a documentary, “The Dolphin Dilemma,” that explores the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems and species through the lens of this novel research. 

This riveting film was produced by Olivia Andrus-Drennen from Big Sky Genesis Productions as her master’s thesis through the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program at Montana State University. During a social media internship at the Center, Olivia had the opportunity to discuss the study with Dr. Pádraig Duignan, the Center’s Director of Pathology, which sparked the idea to use film as a medium to shed a light on this critical work.

“The Dolphin Dilemma” is currently making its way through the festival film circuit and not available for public screenings. The film has already received several awards and official selections.

collage of award logos for six film festivals
collage of selection logos for nine film festivals

The film was also selected to appear at the Cannes Film Market and is just one of three science communication films to ever be featured at the storied festival in France. 

Olivia and Dr. Duignan took to the stage at Cannes alongside Dr. Kate Robb, a co-author of the original study, to discuss the importance of science communication and collaboration and emphasize the important role we all play – as researchers, filmmakers, caring individuals and more – in advocating for our ocean.

Vital scientific research like this is only possible thanks to the support of people like you. Together, we can take action now to ensure a healthy ocean for generations to come. Will you join us?

Yes, I want to help our ocean!

Yes, I want to save a life!

Yes, I want to save a life!

You’ll be giving sick and injured animals the best possible care at the Center’s state-of-the-art hospital. With your gift today, you are giving a patient a second chance at life in the wild.

  • $35 You'll buy food for a hungry animal
  • $45 You'll provide life-saving medical care
  • $65 You'll make second chances possible

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climate change
Pádraig Duignan
Common Bottlenose Dolphin