Craig Leeson

Filmmaker

 

With his documentary A Plastic Ocean, Australian environmental film-maker Craig Leeson set the agenda on plastic pollution

Craig Leeson
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No one has done more than Craig Leeson to get the pressing issue of plastic pollution and how it affects the oceans into the public consciousness. For his 2016 documentary A Plastic Ocean, he travelled the world to document the devastating impact of plastic pollution on marine life in visually spectacular style, and sparked a conversation that has resonated around the world and had a dramatic impact on both consumer demand and business behaviour.

Growing up in small-town Tasmania, Leeson started his career as a newspaper journalist, then switched to radio and eventually television, becoming a local news anchor for ABC TV. He moved to Hong Kong and worked in a variety of roles before setting up his own film production company, Leeson Media International.

A documentary maker since the late 1990s, Leeson followed A Plastic Ocean with The Last Glaciers (2020), which detailed another environmental emergency—the catastrophic melting of glaciers caused by climate change. For The Last Glaciers, he qualified as a licensed paraglider and even summited Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest mountain.

(Photo: Oliver Yoan)

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Leeson first became aware of the power of storytelling via a viral article he wrote for Tasmanian newspaper The Advocate in the mid-1980s, about the state government secretly tolerating the leaking of carcinogenic chemicals produced by factories into local seawater.

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