A Plastic Ocean
A Plastic Ocean

The 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit (BLUE) held last week (Nov 10 -13) in St. Petersburg, Florida showcased spectacular, provocative and inspiring films from 24 countries, along with discussions with filmmakers, award presentations, deep conversations, technology workshops, high-powered panels, demos, virtual reality dive trips, keynote speakers, and parties by the beach.

Legacy Award honoree and large format director Greg MacGillivray shared anecdotes on the stage at Palladium Theater and offered sage advice to filmmakers, young and old. “The ocean has always been a driving force for a new wave of films,” he said while reflecting on the path he began as a young surfer making films for the fun of it.

Making Waves honoree David Evans Shaw was presented his award by legendary Dr. Sylvia Earle and CEO of BLUE Debbie Kinder, while entertaining the crowd with clips from his award-winning National Parks film and a short music number.

At the Blue Carpet Awards on Saturday night, Legacy Award honoree and famed Hokule’a voyager Nainoa Thompson gave a moving acceptance speech attributing much of the ocean conservation movement to film. “I am truly inspired to be surrounded by so many others here at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival who are taking risks and making great strides towards global sustainability, respect for our ocean, and the kind of education that prepares our next generation of stewards who will navigate our communities to a brighter future.”

2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival BEST OF FESTIVAL WINNER

Best of Festival, A Plastic Ocean

Journalist Craig Leeson is searching for the elusive blue whale, but discovers a startling amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Director and Screenplay, Craig Leeson; Producers, Adam Leipzig and Jo Ruxton.

2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival CATEGORY WINNERS

Broadcast Program, Dispatches from the Gulf

Broadcast Series, Water Brothers Series

Children Series, My Haggan Dream

Cinematography, The Hunt: Hunger At Sea

Documentary Feature Film, Sonic Sea

Educational Non-Broadcast, Second Century Stewardship: Acadia National Park

Emerging Filmmakers, A Fish Full of Dollars

Marine Life/Marine Animal Behavior, The Grouper Mystery

Marine Science, Sea Turtles: The Lost Years

Maritime History, Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale

Music, Far Away to Ambon

Ocean Exploration & Adventure, The Forgotten Coast

Ocean Issues, A Plastic Ocean

Ocean Sports, Chapter One

People & the Sea: Cultural Connections, Saving Jamaica Bay

Shorts (5-10 min), Souls of the Vermillion Sea: Searching for the Vaquita

Shorts (under 5 min), I am Morgan

Student Filmmaker, Living the Ocean (Vey Nou Lagon)

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