Have you seen it yet? Bakelite is a mesmerizing short film that calls on the magic of movement to remind us of the urgency to save our oceans from plastic pollution. Turning art into a powerful awakener, this is the shared ambition of Julie Gautier, freediver and filmmaker, and Magali Payen, founder of the impact media On est prêt, supported by Equestrio Foundation. Let’s meet these 2 inspiring personalities…


Julie Gautier, using her images to combat plastic pollution



A life dedicated to art and nature.

Bakelite is the story of a monster created by mankind… a dreamlike fable that evokes our paradoxical relationship with plastic through an underwater dance that transforms into a battle against the allegory of ocean pollution: the giant Bakelite.

The dancer behind the project is former professional freediver Julie Gautier, from the Reunion Island. She grew up nurtured by the ocean, a mother who was herself a dancer, and a father who was a vet fascinated by the underwater universe. The sea is her world.


From freediving champion to committed filmmaker

In 2000, while she was a professional freediver breaking many records, Julie was spotted by artist Grégory Colbert. She sets out to explore the oceans with him for 5 years, freediving alongside some of the most beautiful species and developing a true passion for underwater filming. 10 years later, she takes the big dive and starts making her own short films. A new adventure paved with a lot of success that led her to the creation of commercials and music videos, and all the way up to the top with the creation of the Runnin’ video for Queen B!


Without concrete action, this project would be pointless

Over time and since 2017, she can be seen more and more often facing the camera, embracing her desire to embody her commitment to “highlight the strength of women and protect nature.”

Bakelite is a turning point with Julie becoming a true activist. Through this new creation, her goal is to put across the message that we can all be part of the solution, at least in this area: it’s within everyone’s reach to cut down on plastic in our daily lives. While images are there to make us dream, they are above all there to wake us up: “For me, Bakelite would be pointless if it didn’t lead to concrete action. Beauty without purpose is of no use in such critical times.”


Magali Payen, campaigning for a plastic waste-free world


When stories give rise to a new reality

Action is precisely what Magali Payen, producer of Bakelite, is cut out for. A graduate of ESCP and HEC Paris, she begins her career in film production. After working for 6 years at the Canal+ group, she decided to dedicate her skills to her fight for Nature and launched Imagine 2050, which supports cultural and economic leaders on their transition journey, and On est prêt, a citizens’ movement that produces high-impact content promoting the shift towards a more sustainable world.

Art as a lever for change

For Magali, “If you want to create a new world, you have to start first and foremost by imagining it“. But her work goes way beyond sole imagination. She aims for concrete change, both on the ground and at the institutional level, as seen with the #sickofplastic campaign, which created a big stir last November during the latest UN intergovernmental negotiations on plastics, and the European Parliament vote on Packaging.


Getting back to the basics for a better life

What is a desirable society?

United in their project, Magali and Julie also share common ground when it comes to their vision – one of a world upholding Life on earth. A world where we would “value connections and being rather than having” and where we’d “get back to basics” while still keeping the benefits of progress, such as ” technology”! Utopian and realistic, just the way we like it!

Of course, they both translate this commitment and mindset into their daily lives, notably by focusing on the essentials, as Magali puts it: “I try to have a lifestyle that meets my values: I consume as little as possible or buy second-hand, I eat very little meat or fish, and I spend time in nature, trying to understand its language.”

Shaping the future

Beyond the present, when one’s job is to imagine stories about a new world, one is bound to harbor a few dreams!

For Magali, it’s about having enough spare time to ” study, observe and understand the living world“. As for Julie, beyond sharing sea urchin picnics, lying on her back in the water looking up at the sky with an otter (her favorite animal!), she dreams of ” one day setting up a self-sufficient mini-farm and making a film about the women of the sea“.

Dreams that remind us of just how far we can be from what is essential. Dreams in which we deeply believe at Equestrio Foundation and that we’re delighted to uphold with wonderful people like Julie and Magali.

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