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International Ocean Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years

San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival has announced its lineup for the 20th annual Festival. Thirty-three films representing 11 countries will screen at the Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason, across four days from April 13–16. While sadly none of the films are about sailing, they do cover a multitude of topics about our favorite landscape — the ocean.

The opening night’s offering is the much-anticipated Deep Rising, a Sundance Film Festival winner. The film is an “up-to-the-minute tale of geopolitical, scientific, and corporate intrigue that exposes the machinations of a secretive organization empowered to greenlight massive extraction of metals from the deep seafloor, that are deemed essential to the electric battery revolution.”

Other Festival highlights include Collision, an eye-opening film about the main cause of death in large whales, and Patrick and the Whale, in which stunning underwater footage explores the fascinating nature of the sperm whale and its intriguing and complex intelligence and relationship with humanity.

“After 20 years we’re still making waves and saving our world’s oceans one film at a time,” International Ocean Film Festival Executive Director Ana Blanco said. “In an era when climate change is topic number one, and the state of our oceans is a daily priority, never has the work of our filmmakers and activists been more vital, or more newsworthy.”

This year’s film categories include Environmental, Marine Sciences/Wildlife, Exploration & Ocean Sports, Coastal Island Culture, Animation, Conservation, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Shorts and Female Directors. The films range in length from two to 98 minutes and include titles such as Restoring the Farallon Islands: A Critical Conservation Opportunity, Washed Ashore, Robots in the Deep, New Boats, and The Storm Chaser.

While the main event takes place at Fort Mason, three films will screen in San Rafael on Thursday, April 6. You can view the full program of films here.

Ticket are available now at

Since its launch in 2004, the San Francisco-based International Ocean Film Festival has attracted thousands of spectators of all ages from around the world, including film enthusiasts, sea athletes, educators, and environmental supporters. Since then, the Festival has presented over 815 films from 40 different countries and featured post-film Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, special panel discussions with content experts, and the Annual Free Student Education Program.

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