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21st Anniversary Benefit forInternational Ocean Film Foundation

media contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry /  (415) 676-7007 / 

21st Anniversary Benefit for
International Ocean Film Foundation
Thursday, March 14 at Golden Gate Club in San Francisco Presidio

Honoring Ocean Champions:
Daniela Fernandez, Founder & CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance and Jennifer Stock, Education & Outreach Coordinator Greater Farallones / Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries  

Franco Finn of Golden Gate Warriors Fame is Emcee / Auctioneer

Festival Runs April 12 – 14 at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre Fort Mason
and the Smith Theatre San Rafael 

21 December 2023 —  San Francisco, CA:  Celebrating “21 years of saving the world’s oceans, one film at a time,” San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival ( is honoring this year’s heroines of the sea at its annual benefit, Thursday evening March 14 at the Golden Gate Club in the San Francisco Presidio (135 Fisher Loop).  This year’s Ocean Champions are Daniela Fernandez, Founder & CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance and Jennifer Stock, Education & Outreach Coordinator Greater Farallones / Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries.  The evening will feature food, fine wine, a silent auction and a live auction spearheaded by “Warriors Hype Man” Franco Finn.  The evening’s schedule is 6pm – 7:30pm cocktail reception, silent auction and trailers of the upcoming Festival; 7:45pm-9:30pm sustainable dinner and awards program; 9:30pm ‘til 11pm music by DJ Lamont. Highlighted during the evening will be previews of the Festival’s upcoming films. Individual tickets are $ 225 and can be purchased at (direct event link: Also, sponsorships are available for full tables. Please find more info online at

“With a record number of film submissions, representing more than 36 countries thus far, the IOFF is giving the ocean a voice and a platform for audiences of all ages to experience the power of visual storytelling,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the International Ocean Film Festival. “Inspired by the filmmakers and their important stories about our oceans, we are thrilled to be hosting our 21st annual film festival on April 12-14, 2024. It will truly be an event to protect, restore and celebrate our oceans!”

Award recipient Daniela Fernandez is the founder and CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance and an award-winning social entrepreneur, thought leader and international speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset, ocean innovation and technology, youth empowerment, and sustainability. At the age of 19, Daniela founded Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) as a college-room idea at Georgetown University. Over the following six years, she built SOA into a global organization that is cultivating and accelerating innovative solutions to protect and sustain the health of the ocean. With phenomenal speed, SOA created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders — establishing a presence in over 165 countries and successfully launching the world’s first Ocean Solutions Accelerator to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.

How can we cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation? What are the leading technologies that can be implemented to help address the challenges facing our environment? How can established companies harness the power of young people? What trends are we seeing in Gen Z and Millennials as consumers, employees, and future business leaders? Daniela is answering these critical questions that will influence the new wave of entrepreneurs and redefine the relationship between emerging technologies, mitigating climate change, restoring ocean health and social good.

The Sustainable Ocean Alliance ( activates young, develops and implements innovative solutions, and mobilizes the global movement to restore the health of the ocean in our lifetime. Founded in 2014, SOA has cultivated the world’s largest network of next-gen leaders, entrepreneurs, advocates, mentors, and partners— all working to create solutions for the largest challenges facing our ocean. One of its newest programs is the Ecopreneur Network assembles the world’s most ambitious ocean startups, and amplifies their efforts to achieve transformative planetary impact.

Jennifer Stock believes in working to inspire a more ocean literate society.Jenny is a veteran naturalist and environmental educator with her career working as an interpretive park ranger with the National Park Service, as an environmental educator with Nature Bridge and Catalina Island Marine Institute, and for the past 23 years an all-around educator/communicator for NOAA’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. Jenny has created exhibits, teaching programs, hands on activities and curriculum, workshops, outreach events, and digital media to share and communicate about our coastal ocean treasures to increase appreciation and stewardship of them. 

Some of Jenny’s accomplishments include overseeing development of the Point Reyes National Seashore Lighthouse Visitor Center extension that is a portal to the underwater world in the sanctuaries just offshore, creating an exhibit about Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary in collaboration with the Oakland Museum of California in the Natural Sciences Gallery, directing a 360 virtual reality film (and narrating it) about Cordell Bank bringing an incredibly abundant, healthy and diverse underwater world to audiences globally. For 13 years Jenny hosted her own radio program called Ocean Currents on KWMR interviewing ocean experts to share ocean stories and information with coastal audiences (podcast online). She has led numerous teachers on coastal excursions and in classroom exercises to learn about the changing climate and the impacts climate change is having on our ocean environment. 

She has supported the International Ocean Film Festival since 2013 assisting with the student film competition as a reviewer, promoting the festival annually, assisting the production of the student film sessions where over 20,000 students have come through to see ocean films though the festival and she has worked with the film festival to bring smaller ocean film events to other areas (Point Arena Theatre and Oakland Museum of CA). 

Jenny is an avid water woman who for recreation frequently swims, boogie boards, rows, and does stand up paddling with her family. Jenny has a MS in Education from Dominican University and BS in Biology from University of Delaware. 

The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary ( protects the wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources of one of the most diverse and bountiful marine environments in the world, an area of 3,295 square miles off the northern and central California coast. The waters within Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are a nationally significant marine ecosystem, and support an abundance of life, including many threatened and endangered species.

The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary ( is entirely offshore. Within its 1,286 square miles, the sanctuary protects soft seafloor habitat, a rocky bank, deep sea canyons, and communities of wildlife throughout. Its surface waters are feeding areas for local and migratory seabirds and marine mammals.

Past recipients of the Ocean Champion Award includelegendary oceanographer and marine activist Dr. Sylvia Earle, Kip Evans, director of Expeditions for Mission Blue, Academy-Award winning director Louie PsihoyosCristina Mittermeier of Sea Legacy and Wallace J. Nichols of Blue Mind, Jeff Boehmn, Chief Engagement Officer of the Marine Mammal Center, Ashlan & Phillippe Cousteau and Swedish environmentalist and climate change activist Greta Thunberg.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, and the Consul General of Canada in San Francisco. Note: Additional sponsorship opportunities are available through March 1st. 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.

The full list of films will be released early in the New Year.

The 21st International Ocean Film Festival runs April 12 – 14, 2024 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. The International Ocean Film Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit.