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Want More Movies on Sailing at the International Ocean Film Festival?

The annual International Ocean Film Festival is an event we look forward to each year. Largely because we love the ocean that covers at least 70 percent of the planet and provides us with our vast playground. But we also look forward to the festival in hopes of catching a film about sailing (of course). We know most of the films don’t cover our favorite topic, but there’s no reason for there to be none at all. All it takes is for an aspiring, enthusiastic filmmaker (and yes, amateur counts) to create a film that fits within any of the listed award categories.

“The film festival considers films of all genres which focus on the many varied aspects of our big, blue ocean. Award categories include Animation, Conservation, Coastal and Island Cultures, Director, DEI, Environment, Female Filmmaker, Golden Gate (recognition of a local Bay Area filmmaker), Innovation, Marine Science/Wildlife, Ocean Sports and Exploration, and Short.” How hard can it be? (cough …)

But seriously, the International Ocean Film Foundation (IOFF) is now calling for submissions for next year’s 21st Film Festival. We would love to see a couple of sailing-related films on the program.

Here’s an example (and a suggestion if you’re reading this, Call of the Sea): The IOFF offers an Annual Free Student Education Program. It’s described as “an opportunity for middle school and high school students to discover a wide range of ocean related topics such as marine wildlife, conservation efforts, maritime sports, environmental issues, international coastal cultures and global efforts to help protect our oceans and [their] diverse ecosystems.” Imagine if this program were combined with youth educational sails on the Bay or along the coastline.

The IOFF also hosts an Ocean Filmmaking Workshop, which “is designed to teach young middle school and high school students the basic principles of creating and producing a film about the ocean.” There’s also the Annual Student Film Competition, with submissions opening on September 1.

Does anyone know anyone who could take advantage of these opportunities? (If only we were still in school …)

Here’s the trailer from the 2023 International Ocean Film Festival to get your creative mind ticking:

The call for film submissions is now open. Early deadline is October 12. Regular deadline is December 31.

We can see that this is short notice, particularly if you haven’t even thought about doing anything. But maybe you have something partially completed in the bottom drawer? Or maybe this can serve as notice for the next round of submissions?

If you would like to know more about submitting a film, check the IOFF’s page For information about the Free Student Education Program, check here. And for the Student Film Competition, click here.

The International Ocean Film Festival, now in its 21st year, is considered the largest ocean-themed film festival in the world. The organization behind it works with the vision of “a world with healthy and productive oceans for the benefit of all” facilitated through a “platform for ocean literacy and education through independent film.”

We hope to see some local names in the program for next year’s International Ocean Film Festival, which will run April 13–14, 2024, in San Francisco.

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