At MANAIA PRODUCTIONS, we make films about terrestrial and marine conservation, and the need to build a more responsible, deeper understanding of our planet’s ecosystems in a changing climate.

As a strategic communications, film and media production company our aim is to convey science and policy in the environmental and nature conservation sectors. From concept to public presentation, we work with you to fulfil the objectives of your specific conservation work, within an interdisciplinary, objective and creative approach.

Our Philosophy

Te Manaia is a mythological creature in Māori culture, with the tail of a fish, the body of a man and the head of a bird. It is believed to be present in each of us as a guardian angel, and also to accompany us on our journey from life, through death and into the afterlife. It also represents the essential balance between heaven, the earth and the sea.

Manaia Productions strives to provide an understanding of humanity’s relationship with the natural world by seeking to bridge the systemic gap between our built civilisation and the natural world. By focusing on factual storytelling, our films tell the story of building a better balance in our world through scientific knowledge, management practices, and spirituality.

Using principles of environment and ocean literacy but also traditional nature science documentary filmmaking techniques, Manaia Productions builds upon scientific evidence and socio-economic realities to convey stories about nature, with a deeper meaning intended for wide audiences. We do so working with key scientific, academic institutions and agencies, reinforcing ecosystem-based approaches to conservation and advocating for the fundamental balance we must reach in our relationship with nature and biodiversity.

Our Work


Our Team

James Nikitine

co-founder, CEO

Growing up in the Alps, I was always attracted to distant seas. I got my first camera at 16, my Bachelor in Film at 22, and moved to New Zealand for a year. I then worked as a Divemaster in Samoa and on the Great Barrier Reef, a moment when I truly understood the importance of the ocean. After working in sustainability communications in Geneva and Oxford, I studied for an MSc in marine systems and policies in Edinburgh. With Manaia, I am combining my strategic communications and filmmaking skills with my marine science and policy expertise, making films that convey strong messages about protecting the blue planet. This also involves marine conservation social science, supporting SDG14, ocean literacy, the ocean decade and aiming to reach MPA targets.

Fabiano D’Amato

co-founder, Creative Director

For as long as I can remember, I have felt an unquenchable thirst to explore our planet. A camera became the best way to discover this unique world, its people and the environments they live in. After studying film in London, I embarked on environmental and social film projects, from the depths of the Amazon to the high seas of the Indian Ocean. I never feel more at home than on the road, trying to capture the mad beauty and beautiful madness of our world, and the need to protect it all.