Every Second Breath

A Documentary by Andrea Leland & Cynthia Abbott

The ocean serves as the lungs of our planet with over fifty percent of the oxygen we breathe produced by the ocean. “Every Second Breath,” a series of video shorts, will enlighten viewers about our oceans in crisis and inspire them to become champions of change.

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“Every Second Breath” will take viewers on a global journey, introducing them to citizens of the world with a strong connection to the sea.  Through an engaging animated guide named Pran (the Sanskrit word for “breath),” activists and artists, students and seniors, entrepreneurs and everyday people will share their stories of the ocean’s profound influence on their lives and their commitment to champion its restoration. Viewers will join the film’s narrators on journeys of discovery into the sacredness of the ocean, and be inspired to live in ways that reverse the unknowing harm that they themselves might have done.

The stories are hopeful, with compelling narratives to serve as a catalyst to change minds, encourage viewers to alter entrenched behaviors and start to inform or reenergize social movements.  The efforts of many people bringing hope, new solutions and actions that can help make changes to the environment through grassroots ocean activist work.  Each character’s story brings in emotions, some humor, a great deal of inspiration and new possibilities.

As vital as the ocean is to sustaining life, its  health and well-being have been overlooked, undervalued, even dismissed. Informative and inspirational, “Every Second Breath” will reveal how our thoughtless actions not only damage the sea, but threaten the viability of our entire planet. Unlike informative films produced to educate the public on the science of the oceans and climate change, “Every Second Breath” will personalize this daunting environmental dilemma, creating a sense of ownership that not only connects us to the ocean, but to each other.

“You are not just the drop in the ocean.  Your are the entire ocean in the drop.”  -Rumi


Andrea Leland is an independent filmmaker and artist. She has produced and directed award-winning documentaries focusing on Caribbean cultures. In Haiti, Belize, Chiapas, and several Caribbean islands, she works collaboratively with community members providing a forum to voice their untold stories, personal challenges, and compelling triumphs.  Her documentaries are successful tools for cultural preservation. These films have won numerous awards and have screened at museums, conferences, and festivals throughout Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Andrea is a member of Newday Films, a social issue self-distribution cooperative (www.newday.com). She is the co-founder of the St. John Film Society (www.stjohnfilm.com), which presents independent films free to the public on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands.  Residing in the Caribbean and California, she has seen first-hand the urgency of creating videos as a call to action for understanding the enormity of our ocean’s environmental crisis.



Cynthia Abbott is a three-time award-winning independent producer/director of short form environmental videos who believes the power of storytelling can change our collective vision of the ocean and create a new vision for the ocean’s future – protected and thriving. An experienced cinematographer, editor, and producer who has worked in Burma and Thailand, Cynthia has spent her adult life living near the ocean in California and Hawaii and is witness to it’s environment demise.  Compelled to take action, her short videos on environmental issues won “Best Education Profile” from the National Alliance of Community Media and Wave Awards. A published photographer whose work has been included in several exhibitions, Cynthia is a Board Member of the Community Media Center of Marin and a former Board Member of Environmental Forum of Marin. As an environmental activist, she has a passion for telling stories and healing our oceans.


A longtime network television publicist, Jill Lessard has produced a number of short videos with environmental themes. She majored in Radio/TV/Film Production at Northwestern University, and holds two master’s degrees — one in professional writing from the University of Southern California, the other in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.


A cinematographer, editor and filmmaker, Wilson’s feature documentary, “Landless Dreams,” documents the struggle endured by a people who are fighting on the front line of a rural war for agrarian reform in Brazil. The film was featured in 2005 Cinne World Film Festival. Founder of Baby Blue Film, an award winning videography company based in the San Francisco Bay Area and South Florida.  At heart, Wilson is a wildlife conservationist and an environmental filmmaker who is passionate about capturing the natural beauty of our ever evolving planet by telling cinematic stories that involve protecting Mother Earth.

TOM SHEPARD, Advisor/Editor Scout’s Honor broadcast

In 2006, Shepard co-directed and produced “Knocking” in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS) about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their contributions to medicine and civil liberties.  The documentary was broadcast nationally on the PBS series “Independent Lens” in 2007.  In 2009, Shepard directed “Whiz Kids,” a coming-of-age documentary about high school youth who compete in the Intel Science Talent Search.  Shepard collaborated with filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson on “The Grove,” a film about AIDS and the politics of remembrance broadcast on PBS in 2012.  Since 2013, Tom has worked with the Youth Documentary Academy (YDA), training young people how to direct and produce their own documentary films.

SCOTT ADELSON, Marketing and Advertising

Scott works with corporate and non-profit clients on communication strategies and solutions, delivering a comprehensive range of services including brand and mission development, audience identification, execution planning and oversight, and editorial and design work employing a variety of disciplines and media.  His clients range from Fortune 50 organizations to start-ups, including American Express, Starbucks, U.S. Bank, Sprint, LesConcierges, Oracle, IBM, the Pearson Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company, among others.  Scott is the co-founder of the Signal Media Project, which promotes and facilitates the accurate portrayal of science, technology, and history in popular media.