In a world of oceanic pollution, rising sea levels and fragile ecosystems it is easy to lose hope in the future of our oceans. We are thus very lucky that the 2017 Ocean Film Festival reminds us that there is a lot to celebrate and marvel over in the vast, life-filled depths that make up 71% of the Earth’s surface: only 5% of which has ever been seen by human eyes.
The Ocean Film Festival offers a night of seven carefully chosen films, showcasing different aspects of the world’s oceans. With run times ranging from 3 minutes to nearly an hour, the audience is treated to a range of experiences: from deep-sea exploration to the lives of some of the planet’s strangest sea creatures. It is a format that for the most part works well. It is to the festival’s credit that some of the shortest films still manage to stand out in the nearly 3-hour long event. ‘Ocean Rubbish’ a short about artist David Day who creates remarkably realistic marine models from rubbish found on beaches is notable for its uplifting simplicity. Sadly, not all the short films are quite so impactful. Films such as ‘The Legacy’ and ‘Haven’, struggle to stay with you after the credits have rolled, they still feature stunning shots but lack sufficient substance in their brief existence.
The strongest showing of the night is one of the longer films. ‘Sea Gypsies’ documents the 8000-mile adventure of a ragtag group of nomads, from New Zealand to Chile with a stop-off in Antarctica. Encountering whalers, mechanical failure and Antarctic storms, the resilience of their community and strength of the most ordinary people is truly a wonder to behold. ‘Sea Gypsies’ is a masterpiece of storytelling, deftly mixing prepared shots with some very candid dialogue. Watch out for an infectiously joyous surprise encounter with seals on the shores of Antarctica.
The Ocean Film Festival’s underlying themes are those of hope and beauty. The films present the great potential of our oceans and the admirable harmony humans can develop with them. They tell a story of a world that is fragile and hostile yet accessible and breathtaking. Presenting a very humbling look into humanity’s small place in the world, the Ocean Film Festival will leave you yearning to abandon the city and experience the limitless wonders of this magical world.
For tickets, tour dates and more information check out: