St. Petersburg, FL – November 17, 2016 – The power of the ocean to inspire the creation of entertaining content is nowhere more evident than at the 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit (BLUE). Held last week (Nov 10 -13) in St. Petersburg, Florida, BLUE showcased spectacular, provocative and inspiring films from 24 countries, along with discussions with filmmakers, award presentations, deep conversations, technology workshops, high-powered panels, demos, virtual reality dive trips, keynote speakers, and parties by the beach.
A special screening of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary “BEFORE THE FLOOD” opened the festival followed by an after-party. St. Petersburg’s Mayor Rick Kriseman was the guest speaker for the event, welcoming attendees from around the world who were eager to share experiences and lessons from the field.
Legacy Award honoree and large format director Greg MacGillivray shared anecdotes on the stage at Palladium Theater and offered sage advice to filmmakers, young and old. “The ocean has always been a driving force for a new wave of films,” he said while reflecting on the path he began as a young surfer making films for the fun of it.
Making Waves honoree David Evans Shaw was presented his award by legendary Dr. Sylvia Earle and CEO of BLUE Debbie Kinder, while entertaining the crowd with clips from his award-winning National Parks film and a short music number.
At the Blue Carpet Awards on Saturday night, Legacy Award honoree and famed Hokule’a voyager Nainoa Thompson gave a moving acceptance speech attributing much of the ocean conservation movement to film. “I am truly inspired to be surrounded by so many others here at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival who are taking risks and making great strides towards global sustainability, respect for our ocean, and the kind of education that prepares our next generation of stewards who will navigate our communities to a brighter future.”
In the closing keynote on Sunday before public screenings in the park, Dr. Sylvia Earle said, “We now know what we’ve done and what we need to do. We are at an exciting, yet very narrow, point in history when we must change the tide quickly.”
Among the diverse talent of presenters at 2016 BLUE were Michael Aw, Alison Barrat, Erika Bergman, Jon Bowermaster, Andy Casagrande, Mark Brownlow, Michael Cain, James Crotty, David Guggenheim, Colleen Hahn, Thomas Hayden, Henthorne, Susi Mai, Wallace Nichols, Jeff Orlowski, Scott Parazynski, Hugh Peason, Shari Sant Plummer, Charles Poe, Bob Richmond, Alexa Rose, Oliver Steeds, Matt Stout, Bruce Sutphen, Charlotte Vick, Ingrid Visser, Carlton Ward and others. (see schedule)
Festival partners included Rolex, the official timepiece, Okeanos Foundation, Code Blue Foundation, City of St. Petersburg, Florida Trend, WEDU, Green Apple Supply, Disney Nature, Earth Advertising, Triton Submarines and numerous other collaborative organizations.
2016 BEST OF FESTIVAL WINNER
Best of Festival, A Plastic Ocean
Journalist Craig Leeson is searching for the elusive blue whale, but discovers a startling amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Director and Screenplay, Craig Leeson; Producers, Adam Leipzig and Jo Ruxton.
2016 CATEGORY WINNERS
Broadcast Program, Dispatches from the Gulf
Broadcast Series, Water Brothers Series
Children Series, My Haggan Dream
Cinematography, The Hunt: Hunger At Sea
Documentary Feature Film, Sonic Sea
Educational Non-Broadcast, Second Century Stewardship: Acadia National Park
Emerging Filmmakers, A Fish Full of Dollars
Marine Life/Marine Animal Behavior, The Grouper Mystery
Marine Science, Sea Turtles: The Lost Years
Maritime History, Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale
Music, Far Away to Ambon
Ocean Exploration & Adventure, The Forgotten Coast
Ocean Issues, A Plastic Ocean
Ocean Sports, Chapter One
People & the Sea: Cultural Connections, Saving Jamaica Bay
Shorts (5-10 min), Souls of the Vermillion Sea: Searching for the Vaquita
Shorts (under 5 min), I am Morgan
Student Filmmaker, Living the Ocean (Vey Nou Lagon)
BLUE is dedicated to the power of film, visual media and education to expand ocean literacy, increase active engagement in conservation initiatives, and empower an ocean stewardship movement around the globe. Founded in 2009, BLUE alternates each year between Monaco and St. Petersburg, Florida. A unique convergence of arts, science and entertainment, BLUE’s unique platform attracts global ocean conservation icons and a diverse public audience to connect, engage and inspire change. Visit www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org and www.facebook.com/BlueOceanFilm/ or follow @BlueOceanFilm