Inspire Friday Issue No. 43

A volcano in Iceland, fashion with no age limit, blackwater night dives in Florida, inside the world of ESPN and more…

Meet three awesome women engineers. This week, our featured video introduces us to the three amazing women engineers who star in MFF’s Dream Big: Engineering Our World (streaming here). Working in a male-dominated field, Avery Bang, Angelica Hernandez, and Menzer Pehlivan are paving the way for young girls in STEM. Watch here.

A volcano brings people together in Iceland. When a photographer went to go document the recent volcanic eruption at Mount Fagradalsfjall in Iceland, he expected barren landscapes and solitude. What he encountered, however, were crowds of people experiencing this unique natural phenomenon together. This shared experience became the subject of his moving 5-minute short film Volcano for the People, which explores the powerful connection between humans and the awesomeness of nature.  Watch here.

Fashion has no age limit. Photographer Jannik Diefenbach’s 75-year-old grandfather is proof that confidence never goes out of style. What started out as Gramps trying on some of Diefenbach’s clothes for a project has turned into a genuine love for today’s trends. Gramps has recreated different celebrities’ outfits and even has his own clothing line coming out later this year. According to Diefenbach, “Now he only wears streetwear and sneakers and loves it!” Read more.

Blackwater night dives reveal rare sea creatures. Self-taught photographer Steven Kovacs has spent the last 8 years capturing images of rarely seen fish, eel, and octopi during blackwater night dives off the coast of Florida. Almost science fiction-like, his images reveal the stunning diversity of our oceans. Read more.

Newly designated public lands. As you start planning your summer road trips consider visiting a newly preserved area that the general public hasn’t caught onto yet. With many National Parks requiring reservations for the 2021 season, these new places can be great alternatives to get your nature fix. Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, and Colorado are all home to beautiful, newly protected landscapes for all to enjoy. Read more.


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray shares what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

What we can learn from sea turtles. “This is a great podcast on what we can learn from the biology of sea turtles using cutting-edge advances in technology and healthcare—and what this teaches us about the health of our world oceans.” Available here.

Inside the world of ESPN. “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN is a great story about the early days of ESPN. It reads like a novel and starts in 1979 when it was a crazy idea to start a cable channel dedicated to sports compared to where ESPN is today.” Available here.

And for further inspiring reading recommendations…
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.

Filmmaking and discovery in Ecuador. “When Jim Freeman and I went on our first film shoot together, we pooled our resources, bought traveler’s checks, and traveled on student standby tickets at half price to Ecuador. For seven days we traveled around in a beat-up old jalopy furnished by a girl we met at the train station.  Essentially traveling on less than $10 a day, which had to cover four of us—Jim, me and surfer-actors Mark Martinson and Dale Struble—we were shooting a movie about the feeling of freedom and expression that young people in America were captivated by in 1966. Jim and I had dropped out of college for a semester to shoot this film, thinking that it would speak to our generation of moviegoers. In the film, Mark and Dale are seen traveling, looking for surf, trying to find themselves and learning about the world. At the time, very little was known about South America, so it was like a hidden continent. Everywhere we went, it was an adventure of discovery. Here, Jim shoots a scene wearing his cheap straw hat that protected all four of us from the intense equatorial sun. Two curious local kids were particularly amused by Jim‘s version of Spanish. Jim was friendly, creative, funny, and fearless. When we come up with an idea, I’d look at all the things that could go wrong, and he would say, “no, let’s just go for it. Why not?” His talent and personality, as well as his creative contributions to the films we made for the next 12 years, were the reasons I insisted we keep his name as part of our company forever. For Barbara and me, he was our best friend, and we will never forget him.”— Greg MacGillivray

Coming soon!  Greg MacGillivray’s memoir, Five Hundred Summer Stories, will be released later this year. A fascinating story chronicling Greg’s journey as an artist, self-made filmmaker, entrepreneur, father and conservationist.
We’ll keep you posted!

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