In his short film Planktonium, photographer and filmmaker Jan Van IJken takes us on a journey into the unseen world of plankton. These microscopic organisms may seem insignificant, but they are some of the most important creatures on our planet. Plankton is responsible for generating half of the Earth’s oxygen and cycling carbon dioxide. Their numbers are dwindling as a result of global warming. This short film is a lovely tribute to these little-known microorganisms and an alarm about their future threats.
Phytoplankton, which come from plants, and zooplankton, which are animals, make up the two main categories of plankton. Plants, accounting for half of Earth’s photosynthesis, are one of the planet’s major oxygen producers. A variety of sea creatures, including whales, consume zooplankton as a dietary source.
Nonetheless, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the significance of all plankton. Van IJken conducted these fascinating creatures under a microscope and documented every one of their intriguing qualities to lift the curtain of ignorance. The 15-minute short film Planktonium was born as a result. The film is set to a chilling music piece by Norwegian composer Jana Winderen, in which the images are shown without dialogue.
This way, Van IJken empowers the plankton to speak for themselves. Their sluggish movements and complicated shapes are front and center, allowing viewers to examine what is typically unseen. On Vimeo, you’ll find a 3-minute version of the film. However, if you want to get the whole experience, Van IJken’s full movie can rent or download on-demand.