Mahalo for celebrating World Ocean Day 2022 with Pacific Whale Foundation with our 6th Annual World Whale Film Festival: Inspiring action for a better, bluer future. We hope you enjoyed our showcase films from around the world, invoking the power of storytelling to raise awareness of environmental conservation and major threats impacting nature and humankind. In-person events were June 8 (film festival) and June 9 (VIP cruise) and films were available online June 8 – July 31, but some films are still available to watch in their entirety below!
6th Annual World Whale Film Festival Commemorative Apparel
Design in collaboration with renowned ocean artivist, Janina Rossiter.
2022 Films Available Online
Our online Film Festival concluded July 31, 2022 but some films are still available to watch in their entirety today!
Ocean Guardians, a film by Pacific Whale Foundation created by PWF documentary filmmaker Selket Kaufman. This 20-minute film documents the journey of humpback whales as they migrate between Alaska and Hawai‘i and the efforts of the Pacific Whale Foundation to save them from extinction. In the face of emerging threats, the organization employs research, education, and conservation methods as it races against time to restore and sustain the delicate balance between humankind and marine life.
Visionary creates grassroots social enterprise to prevent whale extinction. Now the organization races against time to battle new threats using research, education and conservation methods to help sustain a delicate balance between humans and marine life.
I invite you to enjoy my latest film Ocean Guardians, a story about an organization that is very dear to my heart, Pacific Whale Foundation. Started in the 1980 by late founder Greg Kaufman with a mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy. The film talks about the struggles and accomplishments within the last 42 years as well as a strong look into the future. This story is narrated by “Ohana” a first-time mother humpback whale preparing for her journey back to the feeding grounds of Alaska with her new calf. Unity, reconnecting with knowledge from our elders and responsibility are some of the themes. I hope to inspire viewers to feel empowered to do their part for our ocean home and through that collaboration in this empowerment will find our path to a bigger bluer future. For more information about me or previous films please visit, https://www.racreativemultimedia.com/
Healing Land, Healing People
Healing Land, Healing People is a documentary short filmed entirely on the islands of Maui and Moloka’i during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Hawaiian culture, each person has the kuleana (responsibility) to malama (care for) ʻāina (land). As Covid-19 brought Maui County’s tourism industry to a halt and many faced the hardships of unemployment, more than 70 residents experienced a unique opportunity to engage in nature-based restoration projects that provided paychecks and job skills training — and reinvigorated deep and meaningful connections to the ʻāina, the power of kuleana and their own sense of purpose.
Directors’ Statement: In order to care for our ocean, we must malama ‘aina — care for the land, as many problems facing our ocean environment originate there. During Covid-19, when so many residents were suddenly unemployed, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council gratefully worked with the Maui CARES program to provide seven local conservation nonprofits with needed labor to support stewardship of the lands of Maui Nui, including cultural landscapes, natural resources and local biocultural diversity. More than 70 Maui County residents received paychecks through this program, participating in and learning about resource management, applicable technology and cultural restoration, and receiving training in traditional Hawaiian ecological knowledge, Hawaiian values and practices. The work was often physically difficult and under challenging conditions. Yet, the participants in this program received more than paychecks; they experienced the deep satisfaction of reconnecting to the ‘aina and sharing traditional knowledge and values. We are grateful to the talented crew at Inflatable Film, including LEAH WARSHAWSKI (Producer/ Director); TODD SOLIDAY (Director/Camera and Editor) and ERIC FRITH (Editor) for beautifully capturing this unique period when the global pandemic shut down Hawaii but opened up an opportunity for local residents to step up and do good for the land and the ocean.
Entangled chronicles the efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales from extinction, the impacts of those efforts on the lobster industry, and how the National Marine Fisheries Service has struggled to balance the vying interests. There are now estimated to be about 350 right whales, making them among the planet’s most endangered species. The main threat to their survival, scientists say: millions of lobster lines that stretch from New England up through Atlantic Canada, standard gear for North America’s most valuable fishery. Exacerbating that threat is climate change, which has sparked a collapse in the whale’s food supply in the warming waters of the Gulf of Maine, forcing them to search for food in areas where they had rarely been seen before. As a result, their population has been plummeting. In recent years, deaths of right whales have spiked while births have fallen sharply. In 2018, no calves were born — an unprecedented observation — while the previous year, a record 17 were found dead. In 2019, 10 right whales died, the second most ever recorded. NOAA officials say the population can’t sustain more than a single premature death a year. At the current rate of decline, scientists say the whales could go extinct within 20 years. Now, under pressure from lawsuits by environmental advocates to reduce right whale deaths, the federal government has been considering controversial regulations that pit the region’s politically powerful lobstermen against scientists and environmental advocates trying to save the whales. The proposed regulations, which could reduce lobster lines by half in much of the Gulf of Maine and harm the livelihoods of many lobstermen, has sparked a political backlash. The future of the iconic species hangs in the balance. https://entangled-film.com/
Director Statement David Abel: In 2019, a landmark report by the United Nations found that more than a million species are at risk of extinction by the end of the century.
That number was overwhelming and hard to comprehend. After writing a story about the report for The Boston Globe, where the director works as an environmental reporter, he began to think about how to tell a story about such a vital but difficult-to-fathom statistic.
David Abel’s work — including his previous films “Sacred Cod” and “Lobster War” — has focused on stories that reflect how climate change is not some distant, abstract threat, but one that’s having an impact on people’s lives today.
This was an opportunity to tell a similar story, one that touched on how climate change has produced a surge in extinctions. The way to do that, he thought, was by telling the story one iconic species, which happens to be among the world’s most endangered marine mammals.
From there, Abel sought and obtained a rare permit to shoot North Atlantic right whales from NOAA, and he went on to spend the following year shooting from the waters off Northern Florida where the whales give birth to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, where many of the whales have died in recent years.
He interviewed more than a hundred people for the film, including scientists, fishermen, regulators, and many others. The film has raised awareness about the plight of right whales, the dangers of mass extinction, and the impact of regulations to protect endangered species on the livelihoods of many people. It has also prodded state and federal regulators to take action to protect the whales.
This Mortal Plastik
This Mortal Plastik: A personal dive into the world’s most impersonal substance: plastics. Amid the pandemic lockdown, a bereaved mother unfolds a surprising journey within and across oceans to understand the contemporary landscape of single-use synthetics. From the noble intentions behind its invention to scales of havoc it has wrought, this experimental documentary brings together art, history, science, and the everyday. Playfully crafted with hand-drawn illustrations and poetic interludes, this evocative “pause between deep time and no time” will change how you think about this ordinary “thing without thingness.”
Jess Irish Director Statement: I’m honored to be a part of the World Whale Film Festival, as whales are magical in their uniqueness as mammals. They are the literal heart in my film, and present us with the opportunity to connect to a world “without borders” and also to the deep mysteries of time, as they preceded us by millions of years. I believe this festival will offer a critical spotlight on the beauty, importance and challenges that face these majestic migrants.
I made this film as a call to protect the OCEAN. This film was inspired from my expeditions to some of the Ocean’s most bountiful ecosystems and that I was so deeply moved witnessing firsthand the devastation of human exploitation in the Oceans.
It is thought that we have lost a staggering 50% of our Marine Species in the last 50 years and 50% of All Coral Reefs in the last 30 years. I owe my life to the Ocean and so do you because she is our life support system. It wasn’t until I almost drowned in the Ocean a few years ago that I fully understood the life giving force that the Ocean holds for all of us.
All these experiences have inspired me to dedicate my life to Ocean Conservation. In all this time I realize that we will only make an impact if we all unite. LET’S ALL JOIN THE STAND TO PROTECT THE OCEAN.
This film is based on my story of how an experience that almost took my life in the Ocean led me to my life long purpose in protecting it. When we BREATHE, we are able to BREATHE because of the Ocean. We will continue to be able to breathe for the rest of our lives because of her …
Our Ocean is our Life Support System. It wasn’t until I almost drowned in the Ocean that I fully understood the life giving force that the ocean holds.
When I was allowed back to the surface and into my body, this is the message I was compelled to share.
Happy World Ocean Day Family.
After years in the field Samuel J now works alongside several of the world’s most impactful conservation societies including:
Sea Legacy | https://www.sealegacy.org
Only One | https://only.one
Blue Sphere Foundation | https://www.globaldealfornature.org/organization/blue-sphere-foundation
Sea Shepherd | https://seashepherd.org
Ambassador of Peace for the Country of Indonesia | https://www.upf.org/chapters/indonesia
We invite you to enjoy this moving new single Guardian (by Award Winning Artist Samuel J and Nat Geo Film Maker Terry Lilley) for SEA SHEPHERD and in doing so support the world movement to protect our oceans. https://samuelj.bandcamp.com/track/guardian
The song Guardian from Samuel’s ALBUM INTO THE LIGHT was inspired by the artist’s strong passion for the oceans and burning concern having witnessed animal exploitation in his recent tours around the globe.
Samuel J partnered with the worlds largest Marine Conservation Society SEASHEPHERD to release this powerful song, in a campaign where half of the proceeds will be donated to Sea Shepherd and their tireless work to protect the oceans. https://samjmusic.com/conservation-work
Director’s Statement Samuel J: We invite you to enjoy this moving new single Guardian (by Award Winning Artist Samuel J and Nat Geo Film Maker Terry Lilley) for SEA SHEPHERD and in doing so support the world movement to protect our oceans.
Director’s Statement Terry Lilley: For over 20 years as a professional marine biologist living in Hawaii I have studied coral reefs and marine life in Hawaii and worldwide and produced a free underwater educational series for schools and TV that is posted up on my web page at www.underwater2web.com and YouTube at Underwater2web.
I have spent over 3,000 hours underwater with our whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and marine life here in Hawaii and have come to know these creatures well. In 2015 I was filming an underwater series to document the negative effects of the US Navy near shore submarine activity on our marine life as many of our corals, whales and dolphin were dying from unknown causes.
While doing a scuba dive near a Navy warship in 2015 right offshore of Kauai North Shore I was electrocuted and almost died. At the same time a pod of pilot whales that was in the area also got electrocuted by the Navy underwater weapons testing. I came back to shore along with a dozen pilot whales and was medevaced to the hospital where my life was saved after heart surgery. My pilot whale friends died.
After this event I realized that I am the voice of these whales and I was kept alive to help them get back to a safe ocean home to live in and to educate the world about our amazing marine life with my underwater series. Since 2015 I have done thousands of dives and over 100 movies documenting the effects to our marine life due to military activity and doing my best to speak on behalf of my underwater ohana.
When I met musician Samuel J we knew instantly we had a similar mission in life and when he wrote the song Guardian I knew that the whales were protecting me, so I could protect them. We are each other’s “guardian” because we are inner connected and one being. I live, because they live.
My life is donated to sharing their story and lives with the hopes that humans will once again learn how important our connection is to the whales and other marine life that we share this amazing planet with, spinning through the galaxy.
The song Guardian from Samuels ALBUM INTO THE LIGHT was inspired by the artists strong passion for the oceans and burning concern having witnessed animal exploitation in his recent tours around the globe.
Samuel has partnered with the worlds largest Marine Conservation Society SEASHEPHERD to release this powerful song, in a campaign where half of the proceeds will be donated to Seashepherd and their tireless work to protect the oceans. Thank you. May the Guardians of this world always be with you.
After years in the field Samuel J now works alongside several of the world’s most impactful conservation societies including:
Sea Legacy | https://www.sealegacy.org/
Only One | https://only.one/
Blue Sphere Foundation | https://www.globaldealfornature.org/organization/blue-sphere-foundation/
Sea Shepherd | https://seashepherd.org/
Ambassador of Peace for the Country of Indonesia | https://www.upf.org/chapters/indonesia
My 25: The Ocean Between Us
MY 25: The Ocean Between Us – By the age of 6, I had already decided I was going to be a Marine Biologist but I never imagined that by the time I graduated I would be fighting to save the last of a species and documenting the end of an era. It became apparent that the changes that are occurring in our oceans are happening at a staggering rate and that in just my short lifetime, in just 25 years I have been able to observe a rapid decline in health and biodiversity. As a passionate diver that has always had an affinity with our oceans I set out to make this film to show the power of marine protected areas and show a younger generation it is not too late for our generation to make a genuine and lasting impact changing the future of our oceans for the better.
Inka Cresswell Director Statement: In addition to the science behind marine life, film has always been a great passion of mine. Sometimes telling someone why something is magnificent and needs to be protected isn’t enough, they need to be shown. Film creates a unique aid in storytelling, captivating moments that would otherwise go unseen allowing us to illustrate interactions between humans and nature, assisting in the education and inspiration of future marine biologists and conservationists.
After graduating with a degree in marine biology I decided to study a Masters in wildlife filmmaking so I could communicate important ocean conservation messages with a bigger audience highlighting some of the fantastic work marine biologists are doing around the world and sharing complex marine problems in a way that inspires and educates the general public.
This film was created as the final project in my master’s program. I hope you enjoy it.
Contrasts is a declaration of principles on freedom from captivity of marine species. It arises at the beginning of the pandemic, with the aim of generating empathy in the viewer about life in confinement.
All living beings have the right to freedom, and humans cannot claim the right to take freedom from other species or use them for business and human entertainment, and this is what Contrasts tries to sensitize people about.
Diector’s Statement Vanessa Prigollini: Since I was little I had a particular love for whales and dolphins, particularly for orca. I drew orcas all the time, with water colors and every weekend I wanted to go and see Keiko, which was an orca in captivity in Mexico City, where I was raised.
At that time, there was no information about the terrible effects of captivity in whales and dolphins.
Years went by, and as I grew up I realized how sad the look in his eyes was, like if he was dead in life. And then the movie Free Willy came, where Keiko was the star of the movie, and that’s when I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to help orcas and focused in education, as I believe it is KEY to save animals.
I never ever thought that I would end up writing, directing and producing a film in my life. But at the beginning of the pandemic, with the lock downs and while doing quarantine I felt a huge need to do a short film where humans would probably have more understanding of what animals go through when they are in captivity for their whole lives. And that´s when and how the inspiration to make this film started.
And fortunately, I counted with the support of people from many different parts of the world to do it. Which was for sure even more challenging with all the restrictions from the pandemic, but this is the result of a group of people putting their hearts in the right place. I´d like to mention that the whole team donated their time and work to make this possible, because Contrasts was made with educational purposes so it can reach as many people as possible.
The Power of Activism
‘You can get angry about it, or you can get active.’ Jordyn de Boer – Boomerang Bags Co-Founder. THE POWER OF ACTIVISM shines a positive new light on a group of young female activists who are risking it all to change the future thinking of governments and major companies. In true ‘David versus Goliath’ style, these inspirational scientists and conservationists challenge the thinking of out-dated practices that are contributing to climate change. In an emotional and revealing journey, these women have sacrificed everything to take action. Giving their work a new dimension, one of Australia’s top actuaries investigates their actions to calculate the financial value of each of their projects… and the results are astonishing. From sacred ground above Byron Bay to Antarctica, Indonesia and to Pakistan, the women apply their energies to shark conservation, factory farming and antibiotic resistance, indigenous practices, the fight against pollution and the subsequent environmental and human health impact these issues are having. THE POWER OF ACTIVISM moves beyond a critique of the world’s inaction on climate change, it celebrates the example set by this group of gutsy future-proofers… and actually puts a dollar value on the work they are doing.
Like Pacific Whale Foundation we are passionate about our ocean, wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship. Our aim with the story we are telling is to switch people on (especially those that aren’t listening) and inspire them to engage for positive, proactive change !
THE POWER OF ACTIVISM moves beyond a critique of the world’s inaction on climate change, it celebrates the example set by this group of gutsy future-proofers… and actually puts a dollar value on the work they are doing.
Konohiki Restoration Project
Konohiki Restoration Project is a Hawaiian led non-profit that supports environmental and cultural activism through the teaching and preserving of Hawaiian native cultural practices with a deep respect and activism that protects environmental and cultural sites. Konohiki Restoration Project is one of the most beautiful and powerful examples of a native led cultural and environmental restoration project, such an honor to witness the love and strength of the Hawaiian people in their devotion to what is good for our world.
Ice Edge - The Ikaagvik Sikukun Story
Sarah Betcher Director’s Statement: I am honored to have been the documentary filmmaker for this meaningful and educational project. I hope this film helps the greater public understand how climate change is impacting the indigenous people of northwest Alaska who rely on a safe and predictable environment to carry out their subsistence way of life that is vital to their survival. I also hope that viewers gain a better understanding of how the wildlife in this region is impacted by the rapid changes in the environment and see the benefits of continuing to fund research around climate change in the Arctic.
A film following the masterful British wildlife painter David Miller. The film follows the realization of his childhood dream; to swim with and create paintings of blue sharks. The film has an upbeat conservation message portraying sharks in a new light, as the mesmeric beautiful and mostly harmless creatures that they are and why they need our protection.
Director Statement Robin Fisher: I submitted my film ‘Painted Blue’ to the World Whale Film Festival because of their focus on inspiring environmental stewardship. They work they do educating people about the marine realm and promoting ethical ecotourism experience is pioneering and of paramount importance. I believe in order to protect the natural world, people need to love it, because people protect what they love. I also believe that the best way to make people fall in love with the ocean is to experience it for themselves and learn the vital connection the ocean and its inhabitants have to us. In the modern day and age, I think we feel far removed from nature but the reality is we depend on it greatly. And so I think it is through the work of the World Whale Film Festival and the Pacific Whale Foundation that this important message is spread.
Painted Stories From The Salish Sea: Eba and the Orcas
“You can’t make this story up…a pound dog that is out saving killer whales.” Chris Morgan, wildlife ecologist, conservationist, filmmaker and host of the podcast THE WILD, takes us on a research vessel in the San Juan Islands to witness Eba, an orca-scat-sniffing dog. The scat tells the story of the challenges the orcas are facing—from toxicity and stress levels to reproductive health and more. Chris uncovers some brilliant work that has already been done to help orcas and what you can do to help. “We know what we need to do and it’s actually not that huge…Nature is resilient, humans are resilient, and the whales are resilient…We can see this population recover and rebound and we have a responsibility to do it.” – Deborah A. Giles, PhD, Wild Orca
“A pound dog that is out saving killer whales.” That’s Eba. Eba is a rescue dog that can track Orcas through the Salish Sea by smelling their poo. Scientists like Dr. Deborah Giles collects these samples to learn about the endangered whales reproductive health, microplastics, nutritional health, and stress levels. This is the final movie in the three-part series “Stories from the Salish Sea”. These films were created by Soulcraft Allstars in partnership with Seattle Aquarium, Chris Morgan Wldlife (host of THE WILD podcast, BBC, Nature Channel, PBS), and the James M. Lea Foundation
The 100 Year Old Whale
The Hundred Year Old Whale: Born in an era when whales were on everyone’s menu and her family members were being harpooned, then shot, then captured and put on display, “Granny” (J2) miraculously survived in the west coast waters for over a century as the world – and the world of whales – changed completely. We meet the world’s oldest killer whale and explore her past and her family’s future.
Heroes of the Sea
What we need most urgently today are solutions. From climate change to illegal fishing. From the death of corals to the global plastic pollution in our oceans. York Hovest finds real heroes around the world who impressively show us how to implement solutions. Heroes of the Sea is not just a cautionary appeal to humanity through shocking images. Rather, this film illustrates the positive message that we can all do something. heroesofthesea.com
I no longer wanted to listen and watch how we destroy our earth. Only solutions and hope allows us humans to positively shape the future.
The Plastic Hike
In the summer of 2020 the German biologist Andreas Noe hiked the entire coast of Portugal. His purpose was to raise awareness to the single use plastic that enters the ocean, polluting and killing marine life. Over the trek of 1000km we met more than 100 NGO’s and environmentalists that shared their experiences, ideas, problems and solutions. The Plastic Hike is an empowering tool for the community to get together and bring the urgently needed change to our consumption habits, lifestyles and connection with the ocean.
We believe our documentary portraits a call to action. The main focus is in our personal relationship with the Planet and how we consume its resources in various ways. The trash is there to show us that we are consuming at a rate that is faster than the solutions needed to tackle that waste.
The Plastic Hike shows us a journey of one person that inspires many others, promoting the sharing of experiences, ideas and solutions. Ultimately, the goal is to empower us as individuals. All acts matter!
The World Whale Film Festival is one important way to spread this message, wishing for a ripple effect in many corners of our beautiful blue planet.
Our imaginary character in the movie is a Whale that keeps singing and breathing in the background sounds, and was also animated using the microplastics picked up on this journey along the coast of Portugal.
The typeface was also done using these microplastics and is available for download.
The music was performed almost entirely using an instrument made out of some of the collected trash. All of the documentary was edited in refurbished computers and monitors that were going to trash.
Golden Fish, African Fish
The Casamance region in the South of Senegal is one of the last areas of traditional fishing in West Africa. Facing the growing menace of industrial fishing companies and overcoming very harsh working conditions, the fishermen of Casamance contribute to the food supply (our food safety) of many African countries. But for how long?
This film analyzes the recent evolutions of the smoked sardinella sector in Casamance through the point of view of workers operating in this sector (fishermen, cashiers, handlers, hullers, oven owners, smokers, traders). The fish processing sector has always generated many jobs in Senegal, attracts workers from all over West Africa and provides a steady supply of quality processed products, which are fundamental for the people of the African Continent.
But over the past decade, the development of international aquaculture has led to a new demand for wild fish meal, used to feed farmed fish and livestock, attracting the interest of many foreign investors. Russian, Chinese and Turkish factory boats operate freely and/or illegally offshore Morocco, Mauritania, The Gambia and Senegal causing distress among artisanal fishermen.
And now for 10 years, fishmeal factories have been created, settled all along the coast, close to the landing areas and ports, inducing additional pressure, a real looting, a diversion of the former product. reserved for our populations, and a loss of activity for the workers who live thanks to the fish landed on our beaches.
Fish of high commercial value, fresh or frozen, is treated and exported massively for 50 years, or reserved for the richest of our country. The Senegalese people have not had access for a long time, and must be satisfied with the sardinella to feed. And our sardinella, which costs more and more expensive, is rare and irregular in our markets.
Sardinella and Ethmalose are popular fish, fundamental for food security in West Africa (Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria…). Local, national and international citizen mobilization is needed to protect this essential fish by the absolute refusal of its treatment in export flour.
A little girl lives in a village with her mother where water sources are dwindling by day. Drought effects her imagination, even her doodles and drawings. Not only people but the nature struggles with the unrelenting aridness. This little girl though, never loses hope. She tries to do as best she can, sacrificing from herself for her beloved nature.
Film SynopsisPlastic Island: A stop-motion video, puzzled with plastic pieces collected from local Maui beaches. A collaboration with Three Tree Creative and Tavana for his song “Plastic Island”.
Open Ocean: The Big Blue
The Big Blue | Marine Ecosytem Diaries: This film captures the largest ecosystem on the planet in all its magnificent glory, exploring the thousands of species that call it home, from microscopic plankton to the largest animal in the world, the blue whale.
Whilst humans have explored just 5% of the ocean, this film delves into the vast impact that human activity is having on the health of the open ocean ecosystem, most notably, the effect of overfishing.
Fortunately, there are ways to save the open ocean. The viewer is encouraged to think of their seafood choices and learns how to protect the open ocean for the future.
Marine Ecosystem Diaries is a project launched by The Marine Diaries, an ocean science communication platform giving a voice to the ocean, its inhabitants, and the people who depend on it. The project launched in January 2021 and will be running for nine months (until the end of September 2021). It explores nine different marine ecosystems, from coral reefs to polar seas. It highlights each important ecosystem, telling their stories through easily accessible and educational materials.
Series Producer Statement Rebecca Daniel: Hi, I’m Rebecca Daniel, the Director of The Marine Diaries. I was the Series Producer for our short film ‘Open Ocean: The Big Blue’. The film was the second episode in a 9-part series, as part of our larger project the ‘Marine Ecosystem Diaries’. The project conveyed the importance, threats to, and conservation of 9different marine ecosystems found around the globe-from coral reefs to polar seas. ‘Open Ocean: The Big Blue’ captures the largest ecosystem on the planet in all its magnificent glory. It explores the thousands of species that call it home, from microscopic plankton to the largest animal in the world, the blue whale. Whilst humans have explored just 5% of the ocean, this film delves into the vast impact that human activity is having on the health of the open ocean, most notably, the effect of overfishing. Fortunately, there are ways we can all help, which you’ll discover in the film. We submitted this film to the World Whale Festival because of the vital importance of the open ocean to whales. Not only are whales fantastic moving carbon stores, but they are charismatic species which capture the hearts of people around the world. By showing our film at the World Whale Festival, we hope that it will inspire action for a better, bluer future.
I am Morgan - Stolen Freedom
Film SynopsisHave you ever wondered what it would be like to see the world from an orca’s point of view? Find out in 4 compelling minutes in this short film by independent directors. In 2010, a young female orca was spotted swimming alone in the waters of the Netherlands. Although emaciated, she was free-swimming when she was captured by a local theme park (Dolfinarium Harderwijk). Unfortunately, the theme park never fulfilled the ‘rehabilitation and release’ part of their capture permit. Instead, Morgan was trained tricks and kept in a small concrete tank for 18 months before she was transferred to another theme park, Loro Parque in Spain. To this day her plight continues.
Director’s StatementThis emotive, 4 minute film, portrays Morgan’s story from the unique view point of an orca. By using her perspective, we hope people will relate to her traumatic life in captivity. Imagine being taken away from your home, locked up, exploited and abused. Among other indignities you are then trained to perform tricks, just so you can eat. Our ultimate goal is that people will speak out for Morgan.
Rebirth of a Reef
Film SynopsisThe rocky reefs that are home to countless species of fish and invertebrates and support the giant kelp forests of the Palos Verdes Peninsula (California) are under threat. They’ve historically been ravaged by landslides, burying the rocky structure and killing plant and animal life on the reefs. Fortunately, there’s a team of scientists at the Vantuna Research Group and NOAA who are working to bring these beautiful reefs back to Palos Verdes. Join us as we watch the team put their decades of research to use, creating a new system of reefs and restoring the underwater world of Palos Verdes.
Director’s StatementThe reef restoration project in Palos Verdes is so unique. It truly is the first of its kind and hopefully something that can be replicated elsewhere. With the science team putting in decades of work to make this special project happen, it’s my job to share it with the world. I saw the World Whale Festival as a great opportunity to share Rebirth of a Reef with a large audience that is interested and engaged in marine restoration and conservation, which is a large part of who I hoped to reach with this film all along.
Vantuna Research Group | https://www.oxy.edu/academics/vantuna-research-group
Montrose Settlements Restoration Program | https://www.montroserestoration.noaa.gov
NOAA | https://www.omao.noaa.gov
California State Coastal Conservancy | https://scc.ca.gov
The Bay Foundation | https://www.santamonicabay.org
Southern California Marine Institute | https://www.scmi.net
Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission | https://www.smbrc.ca.gov
Occidental College | https://www.oxy.edu
California State Lands Commission | https://www.slc.ca.gov
Film SynopsisClimate Emergency: Feedback Loops – The Earth is warming the Earth. Learn why natural warming loops have scientists alarmed – and why we have less time than we think. Subtitled in 23 languages and narrated by Richard Gere, Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops is a series of five short films, featuring twelve leading climate scientists, that explores how human-caused emissions are triggering nature’s own warming loops. We submit the five shorts to your festival (total 57:44) for screening of any or all of the films. The film series had its official launch with the Dalai Lama, Greta Thunberg and world-renowned scientists in a webcast, “The Dalai Lama with Greta Thunberg and Leading Scientists: A Conversation on the Crisis of Climate Feedback Loops.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9GXgOMMeTg While scientists stay up worrying about this most dangerous aspect of climate change, the public has little awareness or understanding of feedback loops. Climate change discussion at all levels of society largely leaves out the most critical dynamic of climate change itself. It is urgent we remedy this. The first film in the series, Introduction (13:09), provides an overview of the feedback loop problem. The four other short films explore important climate feedback mechanisms: Forests (14:10), Permafrost (10:55), Atmosphere (8:45) and Albedo (10:35). Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are warming the planet. This warming is then setting in motion dozens of feedback mechanisms, which then feed upon themselves, as well as interact with each other and spiral further out of control. These processes are rapidly accelerating climate change. An example of a climate feedback loop is the melting of the permafrost. In the Northern Hemisphere, permafrost makes up nearly 25% of the landmass. As heat-trapping emissions warm the Earth, this frozen tundra is melting. As it does, large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane are released, which further warm the planet, melting more permafrost in a self-perpetuating loop. Human activity kicks off these feedback loops, but once set in motion, they become self-sustaining. The danger is that this process reaches a tipping point beyond which it is extremely difficult to recover. This is why it is urgent to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so we can slow, halt and even reverse these feedbacks and cool the planet. https://feedbackloopsclimate.com/
Director’s StatementDirector’s Statement Susan Gray: When I began this project, I thought I knew about climate change. As I learned more over the course of the research and production, I realized I didn’t want to know. I had limited my understanding to only the superficial level of how people’s lives were being disrupted in faraway places. The actual science of what was happening to the planet beneath my feet was too scary to look at. Making these films forced me to look, to listen to the scientists, and confront the truth. As painful as it was to open my heart to the realization that the planet was teetering on a series of catastrophic tipping points, this knowledge allows me to make a conscious decision to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Hiding my head in the sand hadn’t stopped global warming. These five short films are a frank presentation of what scientists know about how the earth is warming the earth. After watching them, viewers can decide from a place of understanding what they want to do about a reality that is becoming harder and harder to ignore.
PBS: Changing Seas
Film SynopsisChanging Seas: ‘Habitats: The Key to Florida’s Fisheries’: Florida is an anglers’ paradise. The sunshine state’s recreational fisheries are valued at around $12 billion a year, and tarpon and snook are two of its most iconic game fish. To thrive, these two species require murky, mangrove-lined tidal creeks and backcountry ponds when they are young. Mangrove forests are inhospitable to humans, and with nearly a thousand people moving to Florida every day, many have given way to coastal development over the decades. Dedicated scientists are monitoring the long-term population trends of these fishes, and are employing creative solutions to restore and reconnect some of these crucial habitats to secure the future of the fisheries. Produced by South Florida PBS, Changing Seas is a marine science series focused on ocean issues and exploration. The series goes to sea with scientists, giving viewers a first-hand look at how oceanographers and other experts study earth’s last frontier. https://www.changingseas.tv/season-13/1304/
Director’s StatementThanks so much for featuring our program. We submitted it to the festival because we thought it was a great fit with your theme this year- ‘Inspiring Action For A Better, Bluer Future’.
Charlotte Harbor Field Lab – Southwest Field Station
Florida Research Institute of Technology, Sportfish Research Institute
Indian River Land Trust
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Charlotte Harbor Field Lab – Southwest Field Station
Florida Research Institute of Technology, Sportfish Research Institute
Indian River Land Trust