We needed a break from the blistering cold and infinite snowstorms of the Northeast, so we hope diehard Cape Codders will forgive us for choosing the sunny Left Coast. Now in its 12th year, SFIOFF is a four-day showcase of some of the best ocean filmmaking the world has to offer (including The Watershed). From surfing to sharks to coral reefs, we were immersed in our colleagues’ fine work and perspectives from all over the Blue Planet. While it seems there’s no end to the problems caused by overfishing, ocean acidification, and climate change, it feels like this is the kind of filmmaking (and film festival) that can make a difference.
Our screening of The Watershed on Sunday went really well. In the post-screening Q&A and after-party, we were super impressed with the level of awareness in the audience. And as we took in sunset over
San Francisco Bay, we truly felt our shared connection to the ocean. Though it’s much bigger than the estuaries on Cape Cod, SF Bay is an estuarine system. Development has impacted it in similar ways as embayments on the Cape. Only with strong protections, like boat pump-out programs and environmental monitoring, does this ecosystem keep on sustaining the millions of lucky people who call the Bay Area home.
Beyond our own screening, we were really inspired by the other films we saw. We were blown away by the combination of art and oceanography in Gyre, shocked by Acid Oceans, and awed by Shark Girl. From the minutae of sand ecosystems to the big wave surfers (nice use of drones), we realize that this niche of ocean filmmaking goes as far and as deep as the ocean itself. We’re looking forward to turning this inspiration into even better films for you, going underwater and in the air in a big way in 2015!