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20th Annual celebration features 33 films from 11 countries about marine life, the ocean, coastal cultures and conservation

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20th Annual celebration features 33 films from 11 countries
about marine life, the ocean, coastal cultures and conservation 

April 13 – 16, 2023 at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre Fort Mason
and the Smith Theatre San Rafael

Festival Highlights Include
Deep Rising (Opening Night), Collision and Patrick and the Whale 

17 February 2023 —  San Francisco, CA:  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) for this year’s 20th Anniversary Festival. 

And yet, I remain, Rick Wall (South Africa) 8 min
The Arctic Halocline, Amy Lauren (USA) 21 min
Big Wave Guardians, Luke Stirtz (USA) 90 min
Blue Carbon, Paul Nicklen (USA) 3 min
Bottle Cap, Marie Hyon & Marco Spier (USA) 5 min
Changing Seas: Vanishing Whales, Alexa Elliott (USA) 27 min
Cold Refuge, Judy Irving (USA) 79 min
Collision, Philip Hamilton (London, UK) 80 min
Deep Look: Barnacles Go to Unbelievable Lengths to Hook Up, Josh Cassidy (USA) 4 min
Deep Look: Skeleton Shrimp Use 18 Appendages to Feed, Fight and… Frolic, Mike Seely (USA) 5 min
Deep Rising, Matthieu Rytz (USA) 98 min
Fishing Into the Future: A San Diego Story, Lindsay Bauman & Andrea Sanchez Davidson (USA) 5 min
Gender Outlaw, A Bodysurfing Story, Peter Williams (USA) 16 min
The Gift of Bathsheba, Zach Hellmuth (USA) 4 min
Havana Libre, Corey McLean (USA) 85 min
Horseshoe Crabs: Survival of a Living Dinosaur, Andrea Kramar (USA) 6 min
Huff, David Mangum (USA) 7 min
Hypnotise, Ste Everington (Australia) 4 min
I Want Sun, Manlio David Martinez (Honduras) 30 min
The Impossible Wave, Jessica Frankovelgia Johnson & Jay Johnson (USA) 40 min 2023 Female Filmmaker Award
Inseparable: Ava, Andrew Harrison Brown (USA) 11 min
Mediterranean LIFE UNDER SIEGE, Fred Fougea (France) 91 min
Molokai and the Frog, José Gerardo Flores Ruiz (Mexico) 19 min
New Boats, Lansana Mansaray (Sierra Leone) 50 min
Patrick and the Whale, Mark Fletcher (Austria) 72 min
Planting Coral Forests, Johann Vorster (Kenya) 27 min
PLSTC, Laen Sanches (France) 2 min
Restoring the Farallon Islands: A Critical Conservation Opportunity, Brandon Schilling (USA) 4 min
Rise of the Clambassador, Alexander Davidowski (USA) 8 min
Robots in the Deep, Leo Richards (UK) 13 min
SAGRES, José Eduardo Zuzarte (Portugal) 44 min
SB2508: A Death Threat to Everglades Restoration, Noah Alexander Miller (USA) 30 min
Seagrass for Sea Change, Whitney Beer-Kerr (Australia) 12 min
The Shark with a Thousand Names, Hendrik Sebastian Schmitt (Germany) 18 min
The Storm Chaser, Jack Pirie (UK) 7 min
Tangled in the Tides, Henk Ekermans & Barend van der Watt (South Africa) 50 min
Truluck, Matt Cannon & Jake Smallwood (UK) 20 min
Washed Ashore, Ley Heimgartner & Cameron Nielsen (USA) 16 min
Windshipped, Jon Bowermaster (USA) 39 min
VR Film: 360 Sea Plastic, Narrated by Tim Robbins (USA) 7 min
VR FIlm: Dive into Sipidan (Malaysia) 7 min
VR Film: Roots to Reef 360 (Singapore) 16 min