“The environmental organizations have communicated a lot that the planet’s in trouble. But the planet’s not in trouble, it’s gonna survive this extinction […] it’s what’s on it that’s not going to.” ~ Jonah Bryson
In May 2018, Bryson headed a music video project with his friends at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, who suffered a mass school shooting that February. The song, Start Again, was co-written by survivors Sara Imam and Kali Clougherty, as well as Bryson. This production was widely supported by Paul McCartney, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Congressman John Lewis, Dear Evan Hansen’s Taylor Trensch, Congressman Kennedy III, and Julianne Moore. All proceeds of the song will go to the Stoneman Douglas Victim’s Fund.
Jonah is currently in production on a feature documentary with undersea explorer and producer Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. He is additionally working on another documentary about film scoring, features cast and crew from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jaws, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Schindler’s List, and Superman.
Bryson is the first-ever recipient of the Rob Stewart Award, which he received at the Hot Docs Cinema from television celebrity George Stroumboulopoulos. The award is in honor of his late friend and mentor, Rob Stewart, who died in a scuba diving accident in 2017.
At 14, Jonah worked and recorded original music with members of Taylor Swift’s and Lady Antebellum’s bands in Nashville, in the same room that Elvis and The Jackson 5 created legendary hits. A pianist, singer, and composer, he was called “An Outstanding Emerging Musical Artist” by Grammy® Academy member Wallace Collins.
Additionally, Bryson interviewed Dave Prowse, the legend who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, for the Huffington Post in 2017. It would become one of the last widely publicized interviews Prowse would ever give.
Born in 2000, and raised in southern France, Bryson fell in love with exploring all the Mediterranean Sea had to offer, and deeply connected with the underwater world. Bryson is now a certified scuba diver, partner of Mission Blue, has collaborated numerously alongside David Suzuki, and has served as a judge for a United Nations and IUCN global competition. National Geographic’s Scott Wallace recognized Bryson as “The whiz kid at the forefront of filmmaking in service of the preservation of the planet.”
Jonah has had extraordinary experiences with extraordinary people, and we spoke with him during the Blue Ocean Summit 2015. Learn more about the issues directly from Mission Blue’s Sylvia Earle and Sharkwater filmmaker Rob Stewart whom we interviewed during Summit 2015.