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Films Announced for 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival: San Francisco March 12 – 15, 2020

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

Films Announced for 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival:
San Francisco March 12 – 15, 2020

Celebration of cinema about marine life, the ocean, coastal cultures and conservation features works from 15 countries:

Four World, Six U.S., Nine West and Six Bay Area Premieres 

5 February 2020 – San Francisco, CA: “Far and away, the greatest threat to the ocean, and thus to ourselves, is ignorance,” Dr. Sylvia Earle once remarked: “But we can do something about that.” For 17 years, San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival ( has been doing just that – dispelling ignorance with its simple, cinematic and emotion packed mission: Saving Our Oceans –  One Film at a Time. As we head into an election year, arguably the most important one for issues facing environmental awareness and climate change, this year’s Festival taking place March 12 – 15 features 56 films from 15 countries including four world premieres, six United States premieres, nine West Coast premieres and six Bay Area Premieres.

“This is easily the most diverse group of films we’ve ever had, with the greatest international participation,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director of the International Ocean Film Festival, the largest ocean film destination event in the world. 

According to Blanco, for the 2020 Festival, 160 submissions were received from around the world, including films from the USA, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Turkey, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Korea, Madagascar and South Africa. The list includes films of all genres – documentaries, narratives, shorts, and animation films of all lengths. As always, the Festival focuses on all ocean centric themes including but not limited to: ocean exploration, wildlife, environmental, conservation, oceanography, seafaring adventures, maritime issues, ocean sports and coastal cultures. 

In addition to screening the films, the IOFF will be aligning itself with the Oceans Unite #Love30X30 initiative to bring more awareness to this global effort. #Love30X30 is a call to action to safeguard at least 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030 through a network of highly protected marine areas where no destructive or extractive activities like fishing or mining can take place. 

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 600 films from 50 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, Blue and Gold Ferry, RBC Wealth Management, 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, as well as the Smith Rafael Film Center in Marin County and the Roxie Theater in the Mission District of SF. The International Ocean Film Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit. and social at: 

2020 Film Listings

  1. 7 Lessons from Japan, Rafael Mellin & Gustavo Ferolla, Brazil, 13 min
  2. A Better Life – Blue Habits Baja (Sustainable Travel), Ben Hamilton**, United States, 7 min – Bay Area Premiere
  3. A la Mar (To the Sea), Bruno Monteferri & Dana Bonilla, Peru, 32 min – West Coast Premiere
  4. A Voice Above Nature, Annie Moir, United Kingdom, 13 min – West Coast Premiere
  5. All Inclusive, Corina Schwingruber Ilić, Switzerland, 10 min
  6. Anna and the Thresher Shark, Franck Sanson, France, 52 min
  7. Artifishal, Josh Murphy*, Ecuador, 80 min
  8. Back to the Roots, Alessandro Piu, Italy, 27 min – US Premiere
  9. Be a Better Roommate, Patrick Gilmore, United States, 3 min
  10. Black Moon Trent Mitchell, Robert Sherwood, Australia, 5 min
  11. The Beauty, Pascal Schelbli, Germany, 4 min – Bay Area Premiere
  12. By the Sea, Lynn Bianchi, United States, 3 min – Education Program Only – Bay Area Premiere
  13. Changing Seas: Mystery of the Humpback Whale Song, Alexa Elliott*, United States, 27 min – West Coast Premiere
  14. Changing Seas: The Cordell Bank: A National Treasure, Alexa Elliott*, United States, 26 min 
  15. Dammed to Extinction, Michael Peterson, United States, 51 min – Bay Area Premiere
  16. Dick Ogg: Fisherman, Cynthia Abbott*, United States, 9 min – West Coast Premiere
  17. Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy, Mimi Armstrong deGruy*, United States, 83 min – Bay Area Premiere
  18. Eco-Drone, Michael Hanrahan**, United States, 10 min – World Premiere
  19. Elude Surf Film, Perry Gershkow*, United States, 33 min 
  20. freeFLY, Avery Bazan**, United States, 4 min  – West Coast Premiere
  21. Future Planning Trilogy Blue Green War Part. 1, Woo-gwang Hwang, South Korea, 49 min  – US Premiere
  22. Galapagos Evolution, Roberto Ochoa**, Ecuador, 32 min
  23. George & The Whales, Nessim Stevenson**, United Kingdom, 8 min – World Premiere
  24. In Your Hands, Brandon Moore, United States, 1 min
  25. Junk, Chris Jones, United States, 29 min
  26. Just Keep Swimming – A Waterlust Film about Sockeye Salmon, Patrick Rynne, United States, 12 min 
  27. Kodiak Queen, Rob Sorrenti, United Kingdom, 17 min – Education Program Only
  28. Kokoly, Matthew Judge – Blue Ventures*, United Kingdom, 15 min – Bay Area Premiere
  29. Last Cast, Ashley Siana, United States, 13 min  – World Premiere
  30. Lionfish, David Chang, United States, USA, 5 min – Education Program Only
  31. Made in Paradise, Yang Yang*, United States, 34 min – US Premiere 
  32. The Mill, David Craig, Canada, 52 min – US Premiere
  33. The Mother, Lutfi Tanriover, Turkey, 4 min
  34. Norway’s Magical Fjords, Jan Haft, Germany, 52 min
  35. Octopus: Making Contact, Anna Fitch*, United Kingdom, 59 min 
  36. One Breath Around the World, Guillaume Néry, France, 13 min 
  37. Only One World Left, Alican Abacı*, Turkey, 3 min – West Coast Premiere
  38. Our Atoll Speaks, Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua, Gemma Cubero del Barrio*, United States, 12 min – West Coast Premiere
  39. Picture of His Life, Yonatan Nir & Dani Menkin**, United States, 71 min
  40. Rock-Paper-Fish, Colin Arisman & Connor Gallagher, United States, 26 min – Bay Area Premiere
  41. Saving Gentle Giants, Justin Dalaba*, United States, 6 min  – Education Program Only
  42. Scott Portelli | Swimming with Gentle Giants, Stefan Andrews, Australia, 10 min 
  43. Sea of Shadows, Richard Ladkani & Sean Bogle, United States, 65 min
  44. Space Sharks, Stefan Schumacher*, United States, 5 min – West Coast Premiere
  45. Spinnaker Documentary, Nadine Licostie, United States, 14 min – Bay Area Premiere
  46. Spot Stands Up, Zach McCune, United States, 2 min
  47. Stories from the Blue: Million Waves Project, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries*, United States, 6 min – West Coast Premiere
  48. Street Surfers, Arthur Neumeier, South Africa, 9 min – Bay Area Premiere
  49. Tahiry Honko, Matthew JudgeBlue Ventures*, Madagascar, 6 min – US Premiere
  50. Tassy, Sarah Niemann, Germany, 8 min – US Premiere
  51. The Tide Pool: Where the Ocean Begins, Lim, Hyung Mook*, South Korea, 58 min
  52. Transformation, Gui Garcia & Cathryn Castle Garcia, United States, 4 min – West Coast Premiere
  53. Under the Sea, Paula Schwabe, Germany, 1 min
  54. Under Thin Ice, Denis Blaquière, Canada, 88 min – Bay Area Premiere
  55. Warty Sea Cucumbers: A Story of Collaboration in California, Natasha Benjamin*, United States, 6 min – World Premiere
  56. Whale Wisdom, Rick Rosenthal*, United States, 50 min

 *Filmmaker expected for post-screening Q&A

**Film representative expected for post-screening Q&A