San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival has announced its slate of films for the 20th annual Festival, April 13 – 16 taking place at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason: 33 films representing 11 countries. Especially anticipated is the Festival’s opening night offering Deep Rising, a Sundance Film Festival winner. This up-to-the-minute tale of geopolitical, scientific, and corporate intrigue that exposes the machinations of a secretive organization empowered to greenlight massive extraction of metals from the deep seafloor that are deemed essential to the electric battery revolution. Other Festival highlights include Collision, an eye opening film about the main cause of death in large whales, and Patrick and the Whale in which stunning underwater footage explores the fascinating nature of the Sperm Whale and its intriguing and complex intelligence and relationship with humanity.
“After 20 years we’re still making waves and saving our world’s oceans one film at a time,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the International Ocean Film Festival. “In an era when climate change is topic number one, and the state of our oceans is a daily priority, never has the work of our filmmakers and activist been more vital, or more newsworthy.”
The Festival accepts films of all genres that focus on any of the varied aspects of our big, blue ocean. Subject matter ranges from, but is not limited to, marine wildlife, conservation efforts, ocean environments, coastal cultures, ocean sports and exploration, ocean heroes, and innovative technology designed to help protect the ocean. Films can be documentaries, narratives, shorts, animation, and full-length films from around the world. A number of finalists from the main film festival program will be selected to participate in the world-renowned International Ocean Film Festival Traveling Program. This year’s film categories include Environmental, Marine Sciences/Wildlife, Exploration & Ocean Sports, Coastal Island Culture, Animation, Conservation, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Shorts and Female Directors.
Sponsors for this year’s festival include RingCentral, Jenga Ocean, Hapag Lloyd, SSA Group and the Consul General of Canada in San Francisco. Note: Additional sponsorship opportunities are available through March 1st.
Since its launch in 2004, the San Francisco-based International Ocean Film Festival has attracted thousands of spectators of all ages from around the world, including film enthusiasts, sea athletes, educators, and environmental supporters. Since then, the Festival has presented over 815 films from 40 different countries and featured post-film Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, special panel discussions with content experts, and the Annual Free Student Education Program. It was the first event of its kind in North America, inspired by the well-established ocean festival in Toulon, France, which has continued to draw large audiences for more than 40 years.
Below is the full list (in alphabetical order by title, followed by director, country of origin and running time)
1. And yet, I remain, Rick Wall (South Africa) 8 min
2. The Arctic Halocline, Amy Lauren (USA) 21 min
3. Big Waves Guardians, Luke Stirtz (USA) 90 min
4. Blue Carbon, Paul Nicklen (USA) 3 min
5. Bottle Cap, Marie Hyon & Marco Spier (USA) 5 min
6. Changing Seas: Vanishing Whales, Alexa Elliott (USA) 27 min
7. Cold Refuge, Judy Irving (USA) 79 min
8. Collision, Philip Hamilton (UK) 80 min
9. Deep Look: Barnacles Go To Unbelievable Lengths To Hook Up, Josh Cassidy (USA) 4 min
10. Deep Rising, Matthieu Rytz (USA) 98 min
11. Fishing Into The Future: A San Diego Story, Lindsay Bauman & Andrea Sanchez Davidson (USA) 5 min
12. Gender Outlaw, a bodysurfing story, Peter Williams (USA) 16 min
13. The Gift of Bathsheba, Zach Hellmuth (USA) 4 min
14. Havana Libre, Corey McLean (USA) 85 min
15. Huff, David Mangum (USA) 7 min
16. Hypnotise, Ste Everington (Australia) 4 min
17. The Impossible Wave, Jessica Frankovelgia Johnson & Jay Johnson (USA) 40 min
18. Inseparable: Ava, Andrew Harrison Brown (USA) 11 min
19. Mediterranean LIFE UNDER SIEGE, Fred Fougea (France) 91 min
20. New Boats, Lansana Mansaray (Sierra Leone) 50 min
21. Patrick and the Whale, Mark Fletcher (Austria) 72 min
22. Planting Coral Forests, Johann Vorster (Kenya) 27 min
23. PLSTC, Laen Sanches (France) 2 min
24. Restoring the Farallon Islands: A Critical Conservation Opportunity, Brandon Schilling (USA) 4 min
25. Rise of the Clambassador, Alexander Davidowski (USA) 8 min
26. Robots in the Deep, Leo Richards (UK) 13 min
27. SAGRES, José Eduardo Zuzarte (Portugal) 44 min
28. SB2508: A Death Threat to Everglades Restoration, Noah Alexander Miller (USA) 30 min
29. Seagrass for Sea Change, Whitney Beer-Kerr (Australia) 12 min
30. The Storm Chaser, Jack Pirie (UK) 7 min
31. Tangled in the Tides, Henk Ekermans & Barend van der Watt (South Africa) 50 min
32. Truluck, Matt Cannon & Jake Smallwood (UK) 20 min
33. Washed Ashore, Ley Heimgartner, Cameron Nielsen (USA) 16 min
The 20th International Ocean Film Festival runs April 13 – 16, 2023 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. The International Ocean Film Festival is a 501(c) 3 non-profit.