A new documentary that follows a multigenerational group of inspiring women leaders striving to protect the world’s second largest coral reef system.

Belize is home to the Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site supporting the livelihoods of more than half of the country’s population. Even though protected, the reef is under pressure of exploitation that could impact the delicate balance between ecological and economic sustainability.

The Message

 UNBELIZEABLUE shares a revealing look at the multi-disciplinary, multi-decade, community-based conservation work led by women in the fisheries, tourism, and non-governmental sectors in Belize. Their collaborative vision to preserve a unique and threatened ecosystem serves as a model for coastal communities around the world. 

Join Us

We’d like to collaborate with aligned partners committed to preserving our planet’s oceans and promoting courageous community efforts, especially led by women at the forefront of marine conservation. We will reach an international audience through our strategic approach to distribution and community engagement, including:

  • Partnerships with influencers in conservation, women’s leadership, and social responsibility.
  • Red carpet film festival screenings.
  • Presentations at conferences and universities.
  • Educational materials to facilitate conversations.
  • National broadcast on public television.
  • Digital release on streaming platforms.

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Filmmaking Team

We are a team of award-winning filmmakers and ocean advocates joining forces to create an inspiring feature documentary on marine protection efforts and women’s conservation leadership in Belize. 

Eladio Arvelo

Eladio Arvelo

Director/Producer

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Eladio is an award-winning independent filmmaker specializing in uplifting documentaries that resonate with global audiences looking to build a better world. An adventurer at heart, he is a certified Master Scuba Diver and a passionate ambassador for all the living creatures in the sea. [LinkedIn]

Phil Karp

Phil Karp

Producer

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Phil is an independent citizen scientist and ocean advocate, formerly with the World Bank, who has visited Belize annually since 2013 to support management of invasive lionfish, build relationships with Belizean conservation leaders, and participate in the country’s efforts to protect its marine resources. [LinkedIn]

Shareef Haq

Shareef Haq

Producer

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Shareef is a filmmaker and environmental advocate who has traveled the world to volunteer for conservation causes in countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, Namibia, and Thailand. He appreciates that all living beings are interconnected as one system on planet Earth. [LinkedIn]

Nyasha Laing

Nyasha Laing

Producer

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Nyasha is a Belizean-American producer, documentarian, and writer focused on stories of leaders, cultures, and global communities. Her independent storytelling addresses the role of culture and the arts in sustaining the knowledge and ecologies of vulnerable coastal communities. [LinkedIn]

Luke Schiefelbein

Luke Schiefelbein

Screenwriter

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Luke is an award-winning writer of documentary and spec dramatic screenplays. His journalistic work has appeared in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Bloomberg. He grew up on his family’s cattle ranch and appreciates the delicate relationship between nature and its sustainable use. [LinkedIn]

Jen Solomon

Jen Solomon

Advisor

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Jen is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University. As a conservation social scientist, she has collaborated with other women scientists on various biodiversity projects in Belize, which inspired her current research focus on the experiences of women in conservation leadership. [LinkedIn]

Mary Ann Beyster

Mary Ann Beyster

Advisor

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Mary Ann is a retired technology executive now advancing entrepreneurship, sustainability, and community wealth-building through her foundations, impact investing, and award-winning film producing. She is an Emeritus CA board member of The Nature Conservancy and on the advisory board of Scripps Oceanography. [LinkedIn]

Steve Gittings

Steve Gittings

Advisor

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Steve is Chief Scientist for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. He has over 40 years of experience in scientific diving, robotic vehicles, and submersible use. He is active in the regional response to lionfish and is designing traps to help control deepwater lionfish populations. [LinkedIn]

Jim Hart

Jim Hart

Advisor

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Eladio Arvelo

Eladio Arvelo

Director/Producer

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Eladio is an award-winning independent filmmaker specializing in uplifting documentaries that resonate with global audiences looking to build a better world. An adventurer at heart, he is a certified Master Scuba Diver and a passionate ambassador for all the living creatures in the sea. [LinkedIn]

Phil Karp

Phil Karp

Producer

Learn More

Phil is an independent citizen scientist and ocean advocate, formerly with the World Bank, who has visited Belize annually since 2013 to support management of invasive lionfish, build relationships with Belizean conservation leaders, and participate in the country’s efforts to protect its marine resources. [LinkedIn]

Shareef Haq

Shareef Haq

Producer

Learn More

Shareef is a filmmaker and environmental advocate who has traveled the world to volunteer for conservation causes in countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, Namibia, and Thailand. He appreciates that all living beings are interconnected as one system on planet Earth. [LinkedIn]

Nyasha Laing

Nyasha Laing

Producer

Learn More

Nyasha is a Belizean-American producer, documentarian, and writer focused on stories of leaders, cultures, and global communities. Her independent storytelling addresses the role of culture and the arts in sustaining the knowledge and ecologies of vulnerable coastal communities. [LinkedIn]

Luke Schiefelbein

Luke Schiefelbein

Screenwriter

Learn More

Luke is an award-winning writer of documentary and spec dramatic screenplays. His journalistic work has appeared in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Bloomberg. He grew up on his family’s cattle ranch and appreciates the delicate relationship between nature and its sustainable use. [LinkedIn]

Jen Solomon

Jen Solomon

Advisor

Learn More

Jen is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University. As a conservation social scientist, she has collaborated with other women scientists on various biodiversity projects in Belize, which inspired her current research focus on the experiences of women in conservation leadership. [LinkedIn]

Mary Ann Beyster

Mary Ann Beyster

Advisor

Learn More

Mary Ann is a retired technology executive now advancing entrepreneurship, sustainability, and community wealth-building through her foundations, impact investing, and award-winning film producing. She is an Emeritus CA board member of The Nature Conservancy and on the advisory board of Scripps Oceanography. [LinkedIn]

Steve Gittings

Steve Gittings

Advisor

Learn More

Steve is Chief Scientist for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. He has over 40 years of experience in scientific diving, robotic vehicles, and submersible use. He is active in the regional response to lionfish and is designing traps to help control deepwater lionfish populations. [LinkedIn]

Jim Hart

Jim Hart

Advisor

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News and Press Coverage

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Eclectic Aspirations issues a press release announcing the start of post-production work for its upcoming documentary, UNBELIZEABLUE.

Filming on location at Little Water Caye

UNBELIZEABLUE is featured on conservation news article published by Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle.

Producers Phil Karp and Nyasha Laing chat about UNBELIZEABLUE at The Morning Show by Love FM Belize.

Crew Production Trip 1

Eclectic Aspirations issues a press release announcing the continuation of principal photography in Southern Belize for its upcoming documentary, UNBELIZEABLUE.

Producer Phil Karp, Director/Producer Eladio Arvelo, and Beverly Wade from the Belize Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation chat with 7 News Belize reporters to announce the start of film production for UNBELIZEABLUE.

Producer Shareef Haq chats with Love FM Belize reporter about the UNBELIZEABLUE storyline during a live broadcast on the final day of La Ruta Maya’s river challenge in Belize City.

Crew Production Trip 1

Eclectic Aspirations issues a press release announcing the start of principal photography for its upcoming documentary, UNBELIZEABLUE.

Director/Producer Eladio Arvelo and Producer Shareef Haq chat with Scott Gonnello from The Lionfish Podcast to introduce the filmmaking effort behind UNBELIZEABLUE.

Partners and Supporters

Lionfish University Logo

Abhas Jha
Agustin Balaguer
Aiden Pham
Alex Mounts
Alyssa Koslow
Andy Ullah
Anne Hudson
Anthony Saner
Barjor Mehta
Becky Flores
Brandon Koslow
Bruno Laporte
Charlene Chiu
Christine Young
Cristian Budianu
Daniel Sveiteris
Daniella Chambers
Dave Christenson
David Gill
David Hulata
Dean Allan Cira
Deedar Haq
Delores W Gardner
Dylan Pham
Edward Keehr
Eladio J Arvelo
Elie Challita

Ellen Hamilton
Emeka Iffih
Enrique Zender
Eric Func Chen
Franklin Garcia
Fred and Bonnee Gruber
Gitana Juskaite
Hani Bonaya
Helena Arvelo
Irene Khalek
Irma Sveiteryte
James Hart
Janina Sveiteriene
Jeff Levin
Jerry Miller
John VanDuynhoven
Jon Gordon
Josefina Cicconetti
Judith Flamm
Julie Chiu
Julie Mounts
Justin Sveiteris
Kelly Hogan
Kevin Sveiteris
Lee Facklis
Leopoldo Cicconetti
Leslie Christenson

Leticia Lovera
Leyla Garcia
Liam Pham
Ligia Burri
Lionel Mendoza
Luke Schiefelbein
Ly Nu
Maitreyi Das
Marc & Pam Estvold
Marco Bolllinger
Marcos Corminas
Marie L’Heureux
Mark Davis
Mark Koslow
Mary Ann Beyster
Melanie P Zenor
Michelle Petrov
Muhammad Haq
Muoi Phan
Nighat Ullah
Nina Nguyen
Pablo Fuenzalida
Polly Alford
Povilas Sveiteris
Quyen Pham
Raffaele Cutrignelli
Rasa Kolciniene

Razvan Suprovici
Robin Grandl
Rogelio Azuela
Ryan Goldstein
Sean Haq
Sean Roberts
Seth Inman
Shabana Haq
Shana Karp
Shazmeen Haq
Shobha Kumar
Silvia Garcia
Stacy Frank
Steve Smith
Susan Crafts
Suzanne B Schwartz
Thomas Hennessy
Tracey Williams
Tuy Pham
Velvet Arvelo
Vidas Sveiteris
Violeta Dauksaite
Vladimir Baranov
Vy Haq
Yannick Gargadennec
Young Sun Lee
Zhu Shen

Contact Us

Email the film producers with any inquiries:

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Donate

UNBELIZEABLUE is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization based in the United States. Contributions for UNBELIZEABLUE are payable to IDA and are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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