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Student Film Finalists Announced for 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival

Student Film Finalists Announced for 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival

Winners To Be Announced May 3, Highlight of Annual Event that Runs
April 15 – May 2 Virtually

24 March 2021 – San Francisco, CA:  In a year when school was anything but normal, and students found themselves making classrooms out of bedrooms, 52 creative young people continued their learning and love for the oceans by making films for submission to the 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival.  The top 10 finalists will be screened and the top three winners announced on Monday, May 3. San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival, the largest ocean film festival on the planet, runs April 15 – May 2 —18 days of films to mark 18 years of saving the world’s oceans one film at a time available online at The submissions represent work by young filmmakers from the United States, Thailand, South Korea, India, Pakistan , The Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, and Brazil.

“All of our filmmakers inspire me every year, but our student filmmakers inspire us all,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the Festival. “This year, my respect and admiration for these young artists is greater than ever.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners in each age group (High School, Middle School) as well as an eLearning Course provided by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). All of the films will be available for viewing for FREE during the 18th Annual Festival April 15 – May 2, 2021. During the virtual film festival, audiences will be able to vote for their favorite film during the 18 day festival and take part in selecting the 2021GLOBAL AUDIENCE AWARDS in each age group.

This year’s 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival is marked with 18 days of ocean-focused, independent films. The Festival will screen a record 80+ films from 17 countries, including 10 premieres and 9 award-winners.   In addition, the Festival will hosting 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.   Also included is the Student Film Competition, featuring films from middle school and high school students (grades 6 through 12) from 12 countries around the world. 

According to Blanco, a year of  “Virtual Oceans” online films was seen by a record breaking 10,000 people and more than 2,500 students took part in the free online education series – critical for teachers and students managing distance learning challenges.

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 Wildlife, Exploration & Ocean Sports, Coastal Cultures, Female Directors, and Conservation.

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, ocean 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 upcoming 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival include National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Consul General of Canada, RBC Wealth Management, Pacific Gas & Electric, The Joseph R. Parker Foundation, and the Orange County Community Foundation.

The International Ocean Film Festival encourages its patrons, supporters and partners to follow the most current advice from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for preventing the further spread of the COVID-19 in Northern California and beyond, and to stay tuned for announcements about International Ocean Film Festival events once the threat level is reduced. The 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival will take place April 15 – May 2, 2021 online at Possible in-person events, dependent upon COVID protocols, may be scheduled at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. The International Ocean Film Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit.  The video trailer for the 18th Annual International Ocean Film Festival may be viewed here:

Following is the complete list for the 2021 18th International Ocean Film Festival Student Film Festival Finalists:

  • Consequences, 11th Grade, Jay Choi, Yongsan International School of Seoul, South Korea
  • Manatee Migration, 11th Grade, Alexandra Adamo, Lakewood Ranch High School, Bradenton, FL
  • The Adventures of Super Loro, 11th Grade, Mikaela Penelope D. Saltiga, Infant Jesus Academy Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines
  • Ocean Life in Pandemic, 9th Grade, Natnicha (Meiji) Vichitudomchock, Ruamrudee International School, (RIS), Minburi, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Confined Waters, 9th Grade, Monrada Sae Seal, Ruamrudee International School (RIS), Minburi, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Our Ocean is Haunted, 11th Grade, Minh Tue Nguyen, Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for The Gifted, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Breathing Water, 11th Grade, Robert Ydan A. Embornal, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, Quezon City, Philippines
  • The Dying of the Light, 11 th Grade, Unna Wijitprapai, Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Weasel of the Sea, 11th Grade, Setthawut (Champ) Sinpibarn, Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Sea Fever, 11th Grade, Bobby Springer, St. Margaret #39 Episcopal School, San Juan Capistrano, CA


  • A Turtle Tomorrow, 8th Grade, Andy Deng, Herbert Hoover Middle School, Potomac, MD
  • The Beautiful Life of the Ocean, 8th Grade, Esi Attipoe, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle School, Savannah, GA
  • Black Ocean, 8th Grade, Edna Luna, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle School, Savannah, GA
  • We Are Our Own History, 8th Grade, Nora Thomas, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle School, Savannah, GA
  • Spartina Significance, 8th Grade, Ella Shaffer, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle School, Savannah, GA
  • Our Beautiful Ocean, 8th Grade, Aneri Sanghani, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Germantown, MD
  • Saving the Ocean, 6th Grade, Zyris Alexa Salanga, Hillcrest School, Antipolo City Philippines
  • Toxic Tides, 8th Grade, Pranshu Gupta, Blue Bells International School, New Delhi, India
  • Sea the Sea Matter, 8th Grade, Khadija, Alpha Core School, Karachi, Pakistan
  • not just a WATER…it’s a HOME, 8th Grade, Hayah Irfan, Alpha Core School, Karachi, Pakistan