BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit Coming to Monterey
Monterey, California, is a lovely seaside community with a world-class aquarium. It’s long been a vacation destination for ocean enthusiasts. And now, it is the new, permanent setting for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit.
If you’re planning to be in Northern California August 24–29, consider attending the festival to see the year’s leading films about the wonders of the ocean, to hear lectures and panel discussions by leading ocean researchers, to view an ecstatically beautiful photo exhibit by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, and to participate in other exciting events.
It’s hard to say what’s the greatest highlight of the six-day event. But the BLUE Ocean Film Festival has to be among them. Inaugurated last year in Savannah, Georgia, the festival is a global event that attracts filmmakers, photographers, scientists, and, of course, the public. Last year’s Best of the Festival film, The Cove, went on to win a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
This year’s films are equally exciting, with 350 entrants vying for top honors. Finalist Films will be shown at six venues around the city, and the remaining films can be viewed through a film library during the event. You can find a complete listing of the Finalist Films and Honorable Mentions on the Festival website.
If you’ll be bringing children with you or have a specific interest in films for kids, be sure to check out the five finalists in the Children’s Programming category.
The opening film at the Festival is Disneynature’s Oceans, which debuted on Earth Day (April 22) earlier this year. This event has limited seating and will be introduced by Disneynature’s executive vice president Jean-Francois Camilleri. Following is a description of the film from the BLUE Ocean website:
Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and OCEANS boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind—exploring the harsh reality and the amazing creatures that live within. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan and featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, OCEANS offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful motion picture that unfolds on April 22, 2010. For more information, visit disney.com/oceans or become a fan on Facebook.
BLUE Ocean is also a Conservation Summit, hosting leading scientists, explorers, filmmakers, photographers, and environmentalists. For the full lineup of events, go to the Conservation Schedule. Here are a few of the many offerings —
Wednesday, August 25
“Aliens of the Deep: Presented by Dr. Bruce Robison. Join veteran ocean explorer and MBARI Senior Scientist for a visual journey into the ocean depths and discussion about the amazing alien creatures that have been discovered recently.”
Thursday, August 26
“Gulf Oil Spill: Tragedy to Turning Point. Roundtable panel discussion presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau.”
“Eco-Tourism: Exploitation or Salvation? Panel discussion: Join conservation leaders, whale shark researchers and ecotourism experts in a discussion of the pros and cons of whale shark ecotourism. Will it be a tale of sustainable, well-managed ecotourism-or that of a precarious balance upset by overzealous commercial exploitation? Moderated by Shari Sant Plummer; Panelists: Dr. Sylvia Earle, Rafael de la Parra, Dr. Rachel Graham, Wallace J. Nichols”
“Key Note Presentation: David Doubilet” National Geographic photographer
Friday, August 27
“Forum on Climate Change. Panel Discussion. Moderated by Meg Caldwell; Panelists Jim Barry, Rob Dunbar, Lisa Sautoni, Jim Steele”
“The Value of Forage Species in the Sea. Presented by Geoff Shester. It’s the little things that matter. Forage species like sardines, anchovies, squid, herring and krill form the base of the ocean food web and in the face of increasing stresses on the ocean are ever more critical to maintaining the health and resilience of ocean food webs. Changes in the abundance of these small fish affects everything from whales to seabirds to the fishing and restaurant industries. This panel will discuss the latest science & policy approaches to managing forage species at ecologically sustainable levels.”
Saturday, August 28
“Multimedia at Museums. Presented by Katie Snider. Tips and techniques for producing videos that can hold the attention span of a 12 year old and keep the integrity of the science.”
“My Father, The Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau. Presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau. Join Jean-Michel Cousteau in an intimate conversation with insights from his book and a glimpse at his upcoming documentary by the same title.”
Sunday, August 29
“Making Waves Forum. Moderated by Mike Sutton. Join a panel of veteran filmmakers and policy advocates in a thought provoking discussion on effectively leveraging the power of film to help protect the ocean and the life within.”
Festival participants will be treated to an incredibly beautiful exhibit of ocean photographs by renowned National Geographic photographer David Doubilet. Examples of Doubilet’s work are included in this post.
In addition, festival-goers will be able to see entrants in a photo contest in which they were asked to interpret the story of the ocean in just 12 shots. The winner will be announced during the festival.
Two categories of festival passes are available for purchase at various levels: Community Festival Passes and Industry Conference Passes. A single day Community Festival Pass costs only $45. If you plan to attend, be sure to check out the various pass options and rates on the Festival website.
For More Information
Whether you want information about volunteer opportunities, lodging, or venue locations, the place to check is the official BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit website.
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