Elena Jean

>>

I’m a documentary filmmaker, host and content creator with a passion for stories about hope, ingenuity, wild beauty and adventure. The world is full of possibility.

My home base is in Tofino, within the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, surrounded by the stunning coastal rainforest and mountains of Vancouver Island. When not hard at work on film projects, you'll likely find me surfing, diving, running, adventuring or getting creative with friends, playing music, writing, reading or cauldron drumming (iykyk).

 
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
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 was looking for something more, something different; my curiousity has always been insatiable.

At 18, I convinced my parents to let me live in the the Amazon jungle (I'm still not entirely sure how I managed that). A classmate joined me, and together we organized a flight on a small Cessna plane to a remote community in the Ecuadorian Amazon — a community that had only just made contact with the modern world within the last few decades. Crazy? Yep. Dangerous? Yep (sorry, Mom). 

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.

 

We sold hats, t-shirts and socks to customers around the world. We even built an ambassador program and went on trips. Everything seemed to be going great! But in reality, it wasn't. Here's what I learned...

"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 
Fish with Scales Sketch

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 extinction.

 

We decided to travel across the Pacific Northwest to speak with scientists, Indigenous leaders, politicians and industry representatives. We tracked the orcas, trailed grizzly bears and sailed through remote waters. All this, and more, to better understand the orcas' endangerment.

 

In the end, we discovered that this extinction story is about far more than orcas. It's about the collapse of an ecosystem and centuries of injustice. It's about coextinction. 

 

Visit www.coextinctionfilm.com to learn more. 

 
 

PUBLIC SPEAKING

I live for the electricity, collaboration and connection that in-person events and classrooms bring. Host me at your event, I'll be stoked to share some stories and big ideas about documentary filmmaking, conservation and mental health!

"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