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Awards Announced for 20th Annual International Ocean Film Festival 

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DP&A, Inc / David Perry (415) 676-7007 / 

Awards Announced for
20th Annual International Ocean Film Festival 

8 Films Cited in Categories including Conservation, Ocean Sports,
Female Filmmaker and Diversity & Equity & Inclusion

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

23 March 2023  – San Francisco, CA:  the 20th Annual International Ocean Film Festival has announced this year’s award winners in categories including Conservation, Ocean Sports, Female Filmmaker and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.  The 20th annual Festival runs April 13 – 16 at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason and San Rafael’s Smith Theatre.  All told, there are 42 films representing 17 countries. Tickets to the entire festival are on sale online

“All of our films and filmmakers are standouts and advance our mission of saving our oceans through the beauty and education of the visual medium,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the Festival. “In a field of exceptional quality and diversity, especially this year, we have eight standouts deserving of special recognition.”

This year’s 20th Annual International Ocean Film Festival is marked with four days of ocean-focused, independent films. In addition, the Festival will host 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.   

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, RBC Wealth Management, PADI, PADI Club, The Philippine Office of Tourism, Thor Hope Foundation, Dynamico Space and the Consul General of Canada in San Francisco. Note: Additional sponsorship opportunities are available through April 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.

2023 Awards – Official Selections (Alpha List)

  1. Collision, Philip Hamilton (London, UK) 80 min 2023 Environment Award
  2. Deep Rising, Matthieu Rytz (USA) 98 min 2023 Conservation Award & 2023 Director’s Award 
  3. Gender Outlaw, a bodysurfing story, Peter Williams (USA) 16 min 2023 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Award
  4. Havana Libre, Corey McLean (USA) 85 min 2023 Ocean Sports & Exploration Award
  5. The Impossible Wave, Jessica Frankovelgia Johnson & Jay Johnson (USA) 40 min 2023 Female Filmmaker Award
  6. Mediterranean LIFE UNDER SIEGE, Fred Fougea (France) 91 min 2023 Wildlife Award 
  7. New Boats, Lansana Mansaray (Sierra Leone) 50 min 2023 Coastal and Island Culture Award
  8. Rise of the Clambassador, Alexander Davidowski (USA) 8 min2023 Short Award

The 20th International Ocean Film Festival runs April 13 – 16, 2023 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center and San Rafael’s Smith Theatre. The International Ocean Film Festival is a 501(c) 3 non-profit.