For readers in the Bay Area, this coming weekend, Feb 1-3, is the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. For those outside the Bay Area, check out the trailers below. Looks like some really great stuff!! Here is a sampling of a few of the films to be screened this weekend. For a complete schedule, see this link.
(USA) Chloe Webb, 25 mins »watch trailer
Three women with late-stage cancer live and surf in the immediacy of the moment. Their attitude, courage, and sharp, dark humor combine with the restorative surge of the ocean beneath them to help them face that one last wave.
Restoring Balance: Removing the Black Rat from Anacapa Island
(USA) Kevin White, 28 mins »watch trailer
Rats were eating just-laid eggs of endangered birds on Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park off Southern California. After years of planning and court battles, the rats were poisoned. Populations of native species—from lizards to mice to birds—encouragingly recovered. Since we’ve helped hitchhiking rats occupy 80 percent of the world’s islands, who or what will stop their devastation of native plants and animals if we don’t?
Around Tasmania: Sea Kayaking Australia
(USA) Jon Bowermaster, 26 mins »watch trailer
Off remote Tasmania’s wind-lashed, wave-carved coast, explorer Jon Bowermaster and team tackle kayak the biggest seas of their lives. When not braving 40-mph winds and sliding down 20-foot waves, they venture inland to visit with aboriginals and a few million muttonbirds amid magnificent scenery.
(UK) Janette Scott, 21 mins »watch trailer
If you’re thinking crab, you’re in for a surprise, and a different kind of delectable treat. This Dungeness is a small coastal community perched on the southeastern tip of England with a way of life that is teetering on the edge of survival. Its flat, almost rainless terrain is as unique as its fishing families, artists, and purveyors of smoked fish. And then there’s the wind.
Ordinary Won’t Change the World
(UK) Chris Lotz and Lewis Gordon Pugh, 8 mins »watch trailer
West Coast Premiere
Lewis Pugh needs no steamy jungle for his heart of darkness—just a couple of swim caps, goggles, and some lovely open water at the North Pole, where the real polar bears log their miles. — SH
Global Focus: Iceland – Orri Vigfüsson
(USA) Will Parrinello, 5 mins
For years, the numbers of spawning salmon returning to the streams and rivers of Europe’s North Atlantic were steadily dropping. In the early 1990s, Orri Vigfüsson, Icelandic businessman and angler, decided to do something unheard of—negotiate directly with the driftnet fishermen to see if they would shift to another occupation or seek other fish. His success has been remarkable. However, some driftnet fishers were not happy, believing that sport anglers and factory fishing bore equal responsibility. Time will tell.
(Canada) Suzanne Chisholm & Michael Parfitt, 93 mins »watch trailer
The subtleties of relationships between humans and wild animals are explored in this moving feature documentary, which follows the life of Luna, an orphaned baby orca. Luna appears surprisingly far into Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where he befriends and charms the local residents. Seen by some as a treasure and others as a nuisance, Luna’s presence stirs deep conflict within the local community.
What’s Killing the Sea Otters?
(USA) Amy Miller, 13 mins
Almost extinct in 1911 and listed as endangered in 1977, California’s coastal sea otters have slowly recovered. Recently, however, their population growth has stalled. Like netting a sleeping otter, finding out why was no easy task. Keeping the otters healthy and growing in number will be harder still.
Higher Ground: The Battle to Save Florida’s Beaches
(USA) Chad Calberg, 20 mins
West Coast Premiere
Florida’s beaches, and the endangered sea turtles that nest there, are under siege from devastating hurricanes, erosion, rising sea levels, and government-sanctioned, high-risk coastal development. This recipe for disaster may ensure that the ultimate tenants of the shorefront high-rises will be fish.
Titans of the Coral Sea
(New Zealand) Jordan Plotsky, 18 mins
This exquisitely photographed film chronicles the life of the ancient Titan people of Papua New Guinea, subsistence fishermen who have depended on the fish from their reef for 40,000 years. Now they face a dilemma: join the global economy, or preserve their fishery and way of life.
The Science of Big Waves
(USA) Chris Bauer, 10 mins
Those four-story waves at Mavericks, just south of San Francisco, don’t come out of nowhere. They are spawned by the mother of the North Pacific’s great waves, the Gulf of Alaska, three thousand miles away. One look at an ass-over-teakettle wipe-out on one of these babies will make most of us want to stay clear of their mother.
Seal Hunting With Dad
(USA) Andrew MacLean, 10 mins
On the frozen Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska, an Inupiaq boy learns to hunt seals. With stark visuals and little dialogue, his rite of passage is tempered by the nuances of the father-son relationship.
Of Wind and Waves—The Life of Woody Brown
(USA) David L. Brown, 63 mins
Woody Brown wanted to challenge death: to get as close to it as possible and dodge it. As a record-setting glider pilot, a pioneering big-wave Hawaiian surfer, and the inventor of the modern-day catamaran, he did just that. Gifted with unique physical strength and ability, a remarkable outlook on life, and luck, he even did, as this fine film movingly shows, much more.
The Faroe Islands
(UK) Justine Curgenven, 25 mins
Equidistant from Scotland, Norway, and Greenland, the Faroe Islands rise in isolated splendor from the North Atlantic. In rough water and glassy calm, roaring wind and brilliant sun, a pair of camping sea kayakers discover the birds, spectacular sea cliffs, and warm, welcoming people of these remote islands.
Project Puffin: Restoring Puffins to the Coast of Maine
(USA) Daniel Breton, 20 mins
Atlantic puffins can live to 30, have a call like a creaky hinge, and sport an outrageously large and colorful bill. They are also considered good eating by people and gulls—hence their near demise on Maine’s coastal islands. It took eight years to lure them back to their former nesting sites in a project that has since been a model for other efforts around the world. — SH
19 Arrests, No Convictions
(USA) Judy Irving, 29 mins
Colorful George Farnsworth, who owned several San Francisco bars, was, at 71, the oldest swimmer to swim from Alcatraz on New Year’s Day. This affectionate film will make you feel like George is an OB, or Old Buddy, the all-purpose moniker for Aquatic Park swimmers.
(India) Sumer Verma, 16 mins
When 1998’s El Niño raises the water temperature around Lakshadweep’s coral reefs off India’s west coast, the coral dies. By 2003, when this exquisitely photographed film was made, the reef was recovering. Nature can restore itself, but it needs our help. This film asks whether we will do enough before it is too late.
Bay Oil Spill Video Project
Golden Gate Oil Spill
(USA), Tyler Manson, 4 mins
Oil on Ocean Beach, San Francisco
(USA), Justin Beck, 4 mins