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CNN film “Blue Carbon: Nature’s Hidden Power” Opens 21st Annual International Ocean Film Festival

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CNN film “Blue Carbon: Nature’s Hidden Power” Opens
st Annual International Ocean Film Festival
April 12
at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre Fort Mason

Film Premieres Nationally on CNN April 21: Earth Day 

1 April 2024, San Francisco, CA: The 21st Annual International Ocean Film Festival (, dedicated to showcasing films that inspire people to appreciate and care for the ocean, is proud to announce its opening night film, “Blue Carbon: Nature’s Hidden Power.” This compelling documentary, directed by Nicolas Brown and featuring Jayda Guy—a Grammy-nominated music producer, DJ, and environmental toxicologist—will have its festival premiere on Thursday, April 12, at the Cowell Theatre in San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. Following its festival debut, “Blue Carbon” will be broadcasted nationally on CNN on Sunday, April 21, at 9 PM ET/PT in recognition of Earth Day.

“Blue Carbon: Nature’s Hidden Power” explores the crucial role of coastal ecosystems in carbon sequestration, a relatively newly discovered method for combating climate change. Through the eyes of Jayda Guy, the film embarks on an international journey, traversing the United States, Senegal, Vietnam, France, Colombia, and Brazil. It examines the latest science on blue carbon and its significant, yet underappreciated, potential to help remove carbon from our atmosphere. The documentary’s powerful narrative is enhanced by an evocative score from the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, with featured performances by Seu Jorge, blending music with science to underscore the urgent need for environmental conservation and action.

“Opening this year’s festival with ‘Blue Carbon: Nature’s Hidden Power’ could not be more timely,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director of the International Ocean Film Festival. “This film not only highlights the critical role of our oceans in mitigating climate change but also embodies our festival’s mission to inform, inspire, and ignite public support for ocean protection. Nicolas Brown’s visionary storytelling, combined with Jayda Guy’s passion for both music and science, makes for a truly remarkable cinematic experience.”

The festival’s opening night will not only feature the premiere of “Blue Carbon” but also offer a post-screening discussion Jayda Guy and Executive Producer Sarah MacDonald of Making Waves. n, providing audiences with deeper insights into the film’s creation.

The International Ocean Film Festival is a celebrated event based in San Francisco that aims to inspire love and respect for the ocean by revealing its wonders through the lens of film. The festival showcases a wide array of ocean-themed films to educate and engage audiences about ocean conservation and the importance of marine ecosystems worldwide.

The year’s 21st annual Festival, April 12 – 14 features 34 films representing 13 countries. As part of the United Nations’ ongoing work to combat and educate around climate change and other environmental projects, UNESCO’s Ocean Decade Initiative ( has officially endorsed the efforts of San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival.

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 the Golden Gate Award (Bay Area filmmaker).

Sponsors for this year’s International Ocean Film Festival are: RingCentral, Jenga Ocean, RBC Wealth Management, Laura Wais Underwater Photography and The Thor Foundation.

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)

  • 841 Rachel Burnett, (USA) 16 min Marine Sciences/Wildlife
  • A Disappearing Forest Tyler Schiffman, (USA) 9 min Shorts
  • Active Anilao Walter Marti (USA) 5 min Shorts
  • Alien Contact Rick Rosenthal, (USA) 50 min Marine Sciences/Wildlife
  • Blue Carbon: Unleashing Nature’s Superpower Nicolas Brown, (UK) 85 min Environmental
  • Blue Whales: Return of the Giants Hugh Pearson, (UK) 45 min Marine Sciences/Wildlife
  • Dahican Boogs Rosales, (Philippines) 16 min Conservation
  • Daughters of the Waves Lisa Monin & Sebastien Daguerressar, (France) 53 min Exploration and Ocean Sports
  • Deep Look: How Does the Mussel Grow its Beard? (USA) 4 min Shorts
  • Deep Trouble Lavinia Currier, (USA) 10 min Marine Sciences/Wildlife
  • Disappearing Jewels Will Kim, (USA) 15 min, Environmental
  • Expedition Amana Mason Le & Kai Smith & Julian Goodman & Niki Wallin, (USA) 7 min Coastal and Island Culture
  • Fish with A Story Karen Logan & Melissa Raemakers, (South Africa) 45 min Coastal and Island Culture
  • Great White Summer Nick Armando Budabin, (USA) 79 min Coastal and Island Culture
  • HAULOUT, Evgenia Arbugaeva & Maxim Arbugaeva, (UK) 25 min Shorts
  • Kahu Mano, David W McGuire, (USA) 22 min Coastal and Island Culture
  • Keepers of the Land, Deirdre Leowinata & Douglas Neasloss (Canada) 29 min Coastal and Island Culture
  • Kingdom of Ice: Antarctica’s Leopard Seals, Paul Nicklen & Andy Mann, (Canada) 9 min Shorts
  • Konstantin’s’ Legacy – Awakening the Love for Nature, Daniel Bichsel, (Germany) 6 min Conservation.
  • Orca – Black & White Gold Sarah Nörenberg, (Austria) 93 min Conservation
  • Return of the Mangroves, Leo Thom, (USA) 9 min Conservation
  • Sequoias of the Sea, Natasha Benjamin & Ana Blanco, (USA) 14 min Conservation
  • Shark Researchers: A New Approach to Shark Conservation, Arnau Argemi González, (Spain) 3 min Shorts
  • Tahlequah the Whale: A Dance of Grief Daniel Kreizberg, (Lithuania) 15 min Shorts
  • The Blue Quest Palawan, Clément Pourtal, Jérôme Brousse, (France) 47 min Conservation
  • The Granny Grommets, Leah Rustomjee, (Australia) 9 min
  • The Passage, Boogs Rosales, (Philippines) 20 min Environmental, Conservation, Shorts
  • Why Blame the Seagulls? Philip Hamilton, (UK) 36 min Environmental
  • Wild Hope: Return of the Manatees, (USA) 16 min Shorts
  • With the Tide, Chelsea J Jolly, (USA) 25 min Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Representation
  • Zoe, Gaby Scott, (USA) 27 min Exploration and Ocean Sports

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