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18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival Drive-In

Thursday, April 22 “Earth Day”
18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival Drive-In 
at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Honors Coast Guard First Responders

21 April 2021 – San Francisco, CA:   With the theme of “Restore Our Earth” this year’s Earth Day in San Francisco will also pay tribute to, a very special branch of first responders: Our Bay Area Coast Guard contingent. Thursday, April 22, 8:30pm – 10:30pm, the 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival sponsors a special drive-in screening at Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture (2 Marina Drive, San Francisco) of two 2021 award-winning films, Ocean Souls (Festival Wildlife Award), and Whales in a Changing Ocean (Director’s Award).  In tribute, free tickets to the event are being provided to local Coast Guard members.  Due to COVID, for the second year in a row, with the exception of the Fort Mason special event, this year’s Festival is all virtual. Tickets for the special “Earth Day” screening are available for purchase online at

“We’ve all learned to pivot quickly during the last year and also, to say thank you to people who have helped us every day during COVID,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the Festival. “With the slight loosening of COVID protocols and increased vaccinations, we felt comfortable sponsoring this last-minute live drive-in event. And, since Fort Mason looks out on one of the great Bays on Planet Earth, we thought this event was the perfect way to salute our first responders in the United States Coast Guard by offering free tickets to them.”

“One of the Coast Guard’s statutory missions is marine environmental response,” said Richard Hooker, the Eleventh Coast Guard District’s Command Master Chief. “Coast Guard men and women play a vital role in protecting the San Francisco Bay, whether it’s through maintaining federal aids to navigation to facilitate the safe flow of maritime commerce, monitoring and managing commercial vessel traffic movement,  conducting facility and vessel inspections to ensure compliance with federal regulations or working with partner agencies responding to oil spills. Donated tickets will be distributed to some of our finest representatives at Coast Guard units throughout the Bay Area.”

This year’s 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival is marked with 18 days of ocean-focused, independent films. The Festival will screen a record 80+ films from 17 countries, including 10 premieres and 9 award-winners.   In addition, the Festival will hosting lively Q&A panels with film directors, marine scientists, and industry experts, as they discuss the films and share insights into ocean conservation, preservation, and legislation.   Also included is the Student Film Competition, featuring films from middle school and high school students (grades 6 through 12) from 12 countries around the world.

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, ocean athletes, educators, and environmental supporters. Since then, the Festival has presented over 560 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.

Current sponsors for the upcoming 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival include National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Consul General of Canada, RBC Wealth Management, Pacific Gas & Electric, The Joseph R. Parker Foundation, and the Orange County Community Foundation.

The International Ocean Film Festival encourages its patrons, supporters and partners to follow the most current advice from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for preventing the further spread of the COVID-19 in Northern California and beyond, and to stay tuned for announcements about International Ocean Film Festival events once the threat level is reduced. The 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival will take place April 15 – May 2, 2021 online at Possible in-person events, dependent upon COVID protocols, may be scheduled at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. The International Ocean Film Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit.  The video trailer for the 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival may be viewed here: