Angel Azul (educational)

  • Directed by: Marcelina Cravat
  • Produced by: Marcelina Cravat. Exec Producer: Curt Overway, Assoc Producer: Anna Scout Wise

Released: 2014
Running Time: 72 mins
Subtitles: English & Spanish 
Subjects: Environmental Studies, Art, Music, & Design

ANGEL AZUL tells the story of one artist’s inspiring attempt to draw attention to the perilous situation coral reefs currently face worldwide. Jason DeCaires Taylor is an eco-sculptor who casts cement statues from live human models and installs them on the ocean floor to create an artificial coral reef. The story follows the making of an angel, a symbol of hope, with wings made from live fan coral. She will reside in an underwater museum alongside 400 of Jason’s statues located off the coast of Cancún in the National Marine Park, El Museo Subacuatico De Arte (MUSA). Over time the statues grow coral, provide habitat for marine life and a diversion for tourists, offering the natural reefs a reprieve from heavy usage. But when the coral that has been growing on the statues starts to die, issues related to waste water pollution and rising sea temperatures become evident. Through local experts and scientists in the field, the full scope of the problem is revealed. Jason faces his own problems in keeping his workshop afloat, but never tires from his efforts to spread the message about this valuable ecosystem that is in grave danger of disappearing completely if steps are not taken to prevent its demise. Through the hauntingly beautiful underwater world created by this incredible eco-sculptor, we are reminded that everything connects.

Angel Azul (Trailer) from Collective Eye Films on Vimeo.


  • Best Documentary, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival 2015
  • Grand Jury Prize, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival 2015
  • Best Director, Moscow EcoCup Film Festival 2015
  • Official Selection, Wild and Scenic 2015
  • Premiere, Environmental DC Film Festival 2014
  • Best Cinematography, Bel-Air Film Festival 2014
  • Best Cinematography,UNAFF United Nations Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Boston International Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Raindance Film Festival 2014
  • Honorable Mention, Alamos Mexico International Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, San Francisco Green Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, EcoFest Film Festival 2014
  • Finalist, Blue Ocean Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Ecocinema 2014
  • Official Selection, Belize International Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Hawaii Green Screen Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, American's Latin EcoFest 2014
  • Official Selection, Wine Country Film Festival 2014
  • Best Documentary Film, Breckenridge Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Woodstock Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Environmental International Film Festival (FICMA) 2014
  • Official Selection, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital 2014
  • Silver Winner, Filmmakers of the Year Film Festival 2014


"Highly Recommend! Visually appealing and thought-provoking, ANGEL AZUL is an outstanding choice for libraries supporting studies in art, oceanography and environmental science; armchair travelers and scuba enthusiasts, those planning a trip to Mecixo's Yucatan Peninsula, and anyone concerned about the health of earth's coral reefs will find much to enjoy and ponder here." —Educational Media Reviews Online 

"Peter Coyote provides narration for Marcelina Cravat's beautifully shot documentary on art in the service of science. English-born sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor lives in West Indies with his wife and child. After Hurricane Ivan devastates Grenada, Taylor decides to build a series of underwater sculptures to double as an artificial reef. Over time, coral, algae, and other biological entities begin to cover the cement figures, transforming them into creatures that simultaneously appear both elegant and eerie. Eventually, they will no longer be recognizable as human. Taylor's pieces also carry messages about global warming and water pollution, such as the heads-in-the-ground-figures of "The Politicians," and "The Last Supper", which depicts a repast of fish and hand grenades. "The Listener," a body covered in ears, actually records the sounds of the reef. As word of his work spreads, Taylor receives invitations from other territories concerned with reef protection (grants and sponsorships pay for his work). In Mexico, the artist creates "The Silent Evolution," a congregation of 400 figures that look quite realistic because Taylor used people in Cancun as models. In Angel Azul, Taylor and his team cover a woman from head to toe (only her nostrils remain visible) in goopy white silicone, a scene sure to incite claustrophobia in many viewers. Cravat follows the making of this piece, called "The Angel", from start to finish. After installation, Taylor leaves Mexico with his family for the Canary Islands, where he plans to create more underwater communities. An interesting portrait of a nontraditional artist, this is recommended." - Video Librarian