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Winners Announced for the17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival “Global Online Audience Award” for Student Films

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Winners Announced for the17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival “Global Online Audience Award” for Student Films

In Preview of Upcoming Festival Slated for Fall 2020
Student Films Were Highlighted Online in Response to COVID-19

10 April 2020 – San Francisco, CA: In a nod to the many young student film and video artists who are participating in the 17th Annual Ocean Film Festival ( – postponed to fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – a special virtual competition was with voters weighing in for a special Global Online Audience Award.  More than 2,200 votes from all over the world, including Ireland, Argentina, Antarctica, United Arab Emirates, American Samoa and from across the United States were received. The winning films and filmmakers are:

o   Middle School: The Legend of Bahari, Yasumi Sapphire Villareal and team, 8th Grade, Multiple Intelligence International School, Quezon City, Philippines

o   High School: See Me! Victor Kasila & Khalid Ahmed, 10th Grade, Light Academy Boys Secondary School, Nairobi, Kenya

The winners each win $200, a Jenga Ocean and a Global Audience Award certificate.  All of the competing films are still online for viewing online at 

“Congratulations to all of our student filmmakers, all winners for taking part,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director of the International Ocean Film Festival.  “We all are honored and grateful by their telling their own personal stories about our oceans and for using the power of film to communicate how important the oceans are to us all. This was so successful, we have decided to make this a recurring annual event.”

Now in its nightyear, the Student Film Competition is hosted by the International Ocean Film Festival as an opportunity to give middle school and high school students around the world to tell their stories about the ocean through film. The rules are:

·      The entries must by done by an individual student or group of students

·      The film or video must be about the ocean

·      The total running time must be five minutes or less 

This year the Festival received 68 submissions from the Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, Kenya and across the United States. All 13 finalists’ films will be screened when the film festival is rescheduled in later 2020 with winners at the end of the Festival

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 activists. 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, Heidrick & Struggles, Pacific Gas & Electric and Troutman Sanders LLC.

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. A new date for the entire 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival will be announced in a few weeks.