Elena Jean

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I’m a documentary filmmaker, content creator, adventurer, writer, speaker and conservationist — these are my passions and my mediums. With the planet's biodiversity rapidly disappearing, my work focuses largely on conservation action and reconnecting with "the wild". I also care deeply about reconnecting with our health and mental health. It all comes down to life’s interconnectedness — we’re not separate from the extinction crisis, what we put in our bodies, let into our minds, or what we create and do. 

My home base is in Tofino, on Vancouver Island. I love the coastal and connected lifestyle, living on the ocean and amongst mountains. While I let my passions and work take me where I need to go, I'm grateful to call the Pacific Northwest home. My hobbies include running and surfing, skiing, adventuring with friends, playing music and reading.

 
my story  >>

I grew up in a small, friendly Canadian town. I played hockey, did theatre and was a straight-A student. Life was good. But I yearned for more, my curiousity was, and always has been, insatiable. A desire to push myself, to learn, to see the world and the wild drove me. 

 

I had my first real taste of testing that inner drive when I was 18. I somehow convinced my parents to let me live in the the Amazon jungle for a month. And I brought along a classmate (now my best friend, but who, at the time, had never even been camping!). I managed to organize a flight via a small Cessna plane to a remote community in the Ecuadorian Amazon — a community which had made contact with the modern world only just within the last few decades.  >>

one species  >>  making wildlife conservation mainstream

In 2016, I started a brand called One Species. The vision was to "make wildlife conservation mainstream" using something that anyone could connect with: clothing. We designed clothing after specific endangered species, and 10% of sales went towards organizations working to save the species.

 

The idea worked. I ran it, alongside a team of volunteers, for two years. We sold hats, t-shirts, socks and more, to customers around the world. We built a global ambassador program and visited our partner conservation organizations on the ground. Everything seemed to be going great! But in reality, it wasn't. And I realized where I'd gone wrong.  >>

"coextinction"

The phenomena of the loss or decline of a species, resulting in the loss or endangerment of other species that depend on it, leading to cascading effects across trophic levels.
#WeAreTheOrca 
IG/FB @coextinctionfilm 

In 2017, Gloria Pancrazi and I met on Saturna Island. We'd both travelled across the continent to learn about endangered killer whales, the ocean's apex predator. But it wasn't long before we were met with a dark reality: the orcas were on a fast track to functional extinction.

 

The following year, we decided to journey across the Pacific Northwest to speak with scientists, Indigenous leaders, politicians, dedicated conservationists and industry representatives. We tracked orcas, trailed grizzly bears and sailed through remote waters. All this, and more, to better understand the orcas' rapid disappearance.

 

In the end, we discovered that this extinction story is about far more than endangered orcas. It's about the collapse of fisheries, loss of cultures, a warming ocean and an entire ecosystem failure. This is coextinction. 

 

Visit www.coextinctionfilm.com to learn more. 

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SPEAKING

Since my theatre days, I've always loved inspiring and storytelling on stage. Today, I'm speaking in schools, and at events, about conservation action and mental health. Whether it's motivating students or audiences to to reconnect with themselves, their purpose or the planet; or teaching others how to start and maintain a impactful brand; I'd love to speak at your school or event! 

Speaking at the Surfrider Speaker Series, in Vancouver, about conservation action

"It has been a long time since I’ve seen an audience as captivated as Elena’s. By the flow and clarity of her presentation, you would think she has been speaking about the themes within Coextinction over a 20-year career, which only reveals how driven she is to stand for the oceans. She reaches past our eyes and ears, and directly connects our hearts. If you participate in the conversation, you’ll walk away with a new dose of inspiration and hope for this planet."


- Sam Rose Phillips, Filmmaker

   >>  testimonials  
 

For years, I've helped others share their stories, build their brands and grow their audience. My extensive, multi-faceted creative skillset, and experience in storytelling and marketing, enables me to help change-makers, artists and organizations develop more influence so they can have more impact.

CONSULTING

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