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December 15th is Extended Deadline for Submission to International Ocean Film Festival

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December 15th is Extended Deadline for Submission to International Ocean Film Festival

January 9th is Student Submissions Deadlines

Filmmakers around the world encouraged to submit works that inspire people to appreciate and care for the ocean by revealing its wonders through independent films.

17th annual celebration of features films about marine life, the ocean, coastal cultures and conservation takes place in San Francisco March 12 – 15, 2020 

29 November 2019 – San Francisco, CA:  Coming off its sold-out annual “Off The Reef” benefit earlier this month honoring “Ocean Champions” Dr. Sylvia Earle and Greta Thunberg (en absentia), San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival is gearing up for its 17th annual Festival, March 12 – 15, 2020. Filmmakers around the world are encouraged to submit their films for consideration by December 15. The deadline for student filmmakers is January 9. Open to middle and high school students internationally, the contest offers prizes of up to $500 per category.  Entry details for both competitions may be found online at

“Next year is an election year of incredible importance: perhaps the most important presidential election as far as what the next president might do to protect – or not protect —  our oceans,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the International Ocean Film Festival. “We’re expecting an even more robust selection of envelope pushing films than ever before.”

According to Blanco, for the 2019 Festival, a record 148 submissions were received from around the world, including films from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia and Germany. Submissions may include films of all genres – documentaries, narratives, shorts, and animation films of all lengths. Subjects may focus on all oceanographic themes including but not limited to: ocean exploration, wildlife, environmental, conservation, oceanography, seafaring adventures, maritime issues, ocean sports and coastal cultures. Student film submissions are limited to five minutes in length.

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 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 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival include National Marine Sanctuary, BigBus of San Francisco, Gray Line Tours, SSA, Alcatraz Cruises, the Port of San Francisco, the Consul General of Canada, and Pacific Gas & Electric. 

The 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival takes place March 12 – 15, 2020 at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. The International Ocean Film Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit. and social at: