Film Schedule for SUNDAY, March 11

Today's films screen at Cowell Theater, Fort Mason; the Roxie Theater in San Francisco and Lark Theater in Larkspur. Tickets are now on sale on Eventbrite!

FULL FILM SCHEDULE  |  THURSDAY  |  FRIDAY  |  SATURDAY  |  SUNDAY

* Indicates filmmaker is expected to attend for Q&A.

Program 10 at 10:00 am – Student Film Competition

Middle school and high school student finalists in the 7th Annual IOFF Student Film Competition screen their films in this free program. Registration is required for admission, so be sure to register for Program 10 on Eventrbite.

 
 

Program 11 at 1:00 pm

An Icelandic whaling vessel - film still for The Cook, the Hunter, the Whales and Their Watchers

WATER, BLOOD AND SPERMACETI (USA), 7 min
Nicholas Dean*

In the 1950s, Grigory Derviz, in his twenties, went to Russia’s Kiril Islands north of Japan, to join a whaling expedition — a world of rough seas, lots of blood and spermaceti, a substance found in the head cavities of sperm whales and used in manufactured goods. He impressively captured the whalers in the “heroic” Soviet style of his day, but he no longer sees their work that way. —SJPH

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MEXICAN FISHING BATS (Canada), 6 min
Meigan Henry

Most marine mammals swim, but these tiny winged denizens of caves on the island of Partida in the Sea of Cortez rely on the sea as much as any sea lion. An intrepid young scientist studies these endangered Mexican fishing bats as they flit every night into the desert darkness to fish, attempting to unravel their secrets before they become lost forever. —DM

Man in a rowboat near Port Townsend - film still for Reaching Blue: Finding Hope Beneath the Surface

SOULS OF THE VERMILION SEA (USA), 29 min
Matthew Podolsky

Beautifully shot in Mexico, this film documents the imminent extinction of an entire species: the vaquita, or Gulf of California porpoise. Drowned in illegal fishing nets intended to capture totaba, an endangered fish — illegally caught for questionable medical purposes — the vaquita die needless deaths. An international team now struggles valiantly to pull them back from the brink. —MJS

A smiling Inuit girl - film still for Tallurutiup Tariunga - Lancaster Sound

FISHPEOPLE (USA), 49 min
Keith Malloy

To some, the ocean is a fearsome and dangerous place. But to others, it’s a limitless world of fun, freedom, and an opportunity to live life to the fullest. This film’s unique cast of characters have dedicated their lives to the sea: from surfers and spear fishers to a long-distance swimmer, a former coal miner, and a group of at-risk kids from the streets of San Francisco, together they introduce us to the transformative effects of time spent in the ocean and of finding fulfillment in the saltwater wilderness that lies just beyond the shore. —AB


Program 12 at 4:00 pm

Man with a camera and a coastal sunset reflected in water - film still for Reflections of an Underwater Cameraman

HOW DO PELICANS SURVIVE THEIR DEATH DEFYING DIVES? (USA), 4 min
Elliot Kennerson

A few years back, millions of sardines crammed into San Francisco Bay and Aquatic Park Cove. Brown pelicans, so striking in soaring flight, dove with wings akimbo to scoop them up. How do these pterodactyl look-alikes survive hitting the water at 45 miles an hour? They’ve had 30 million years to adapt––bones, feathers, bill, and pouch––as this film explains. –SJPH

Clownfish being reared for the aquarium industry - film still for Changing Seas - The Secret Sex Life of Fish

ALBATROSS (USA), 97 min
Chris Jordan*

If you only see one film about birds this is the one — a prayer, a love poem and an elegy. Running to take off, a Laysan albatross can look like Bobo the clown. But once aloft, it becomes the magical essence of soaring flight. A million breed on Midway Island, where the birds have no natural predators, enabling Chris Jordan to film close up their graceful courtship dances and their encouragement to chicks breaking out of their shells. Jordan also shows us ravenous chicks gulping down plastic mistakenly scooped up by parents on foraging journeys. The horrific fatal effects of this man-made detritus are not easily forgotten. –SJPH


Program 13 at 1:30 pm – Roxie Theater

Roxie Theater
3117 16th Street in San Francisco's Mission District

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BON VOYAGE (Switzerland), 21 min
Marc Wilkins

A couple’s pleasant Mediterranean sailing trip is thrown into tension-filled turmoil by an encounter with refugees desperate to escape their violence-torn North African homelands. In just 20 minutes, this powerful film puts us in the middle of a moral quandary, not unlike some of our own, that demands life and death choices. –SJPH

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BIG PACIFIC (New Zealand), 53 min
Samantha McKegg & Samantha Young

In an ocean that covers one third of the Earth’s surface are many mysteries: the “arribada” in Costa Rica when half a million turtles all converge on the same beach; strange symmetrical patterns in the sand off Japan; the daily migration of the chambered nautilus; the 10-eyed horseshoe crab; and firefly shrimp each with 20,000 eggs. There are even huge stone cities built by ancient, long gone civilizations. –KH

Program 14 at 4:30 pm – Roxie Theater

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ONE BREATH: A LIFE WITHOUT GRAVITY (UK), 7 min
Sebastian Solberg

Husband and wife free divers Eusebio and Christina Saenz de Santamaria share many adventures underwater. Among them is an attempt to set a new world record for diving depth for two people together: 100 meters. Try holding your breath along with them. —KH

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DEDICATE: DIVING FREE (Norway), 8 min
Shams

A chemical engineer turned free-diving photographer, Jacques de Vos has pursued his love for orcas since childhood. He shares the magic and wonder of being in the water and interacting with humpback whales and orcas off the coast of Norway. —YI

 
 
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DIVE TO BE ALIVE (Germany), 5 min
Florian Fischer

"Diving keeps you alive," claims Hayward Coleman, 70-year-old yogi master. You don't become a zombie in the mind-controlled world in which we live." —AB

 
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ALICE IN BORNEO'S WONDERLAND (USA), 12 min
David McGuire

Alice, a sixteen-year-old aspiring biologist, learns to scuba dive off the coast of Malaysian Borneo and discovers a wondrous world. With the help of Shark Steward instructors, she learns to respect the key predators of that astonishing world — the sharks, endangered worldwide because of shark finning. Her next step is to share with other students her new knowledge about the importance of protecting the oceans. —SJPH

PATTERNS OF THE OCEAN: PROTECTING INDONESIA MANTA RAYS (Germany), 45 min
Hendrik & Claudia Schmitt*/The Jetlagged

The eagles of the sea, manta rays are a giant, gentle and graceful kind of flat shark. With a wingspan of twenty-one feet and weighing well over a ton, these acrobatic denizens are favorites among scuba divers. Now coveted as a dubious traditional medicine, these rays are becoming a shark fin substitute and rapidly endangered. A German team of filmmakers tirelessly document the work of scientists and conservationists in Indonesia, working to save these beautiful animals from extinction. —DM

Program 15 – Lark Theater at 5:00 pm

Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur

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CHIRIPAJAS (Russia/Spain), 2 min
Olga Poliektova & Jaume Quiles

This film tells the big adventure of one small baby turtle. Lost and trapped in ocean pollution, he strives to reach the ocean and search for his family. A beach cleanup saves the day! —GC

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REEFS AT RISK (USA), 11 min
Malina Fagan


Something else to worry about: The health of reefs near Hawaii started to decline around 1985, about the same time the tourist industry in the islands exploded. Any connection? All those visitors are lathered in sunscreen that often includes the chemical oxybenzone, an endocrine disruptor, lethal to coral — and fish, and dolphins (and maybe you). Who knew? —KH

DedicateDivingFree.jpg

DEDICATE: DIVING FREE (Norway), 8 min
Shams

A chemical engineer turned free-diving photographer, Jacques de Vos has pursued his love for orcas since childhood. He shares the magic and wonder of being in the water and interacting with humpback whales and orcas off the coast of Norway. —YI

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THE STORY OF FORCE BLUE (USA), 43 min
Sara & Bobby Sheehan*

Force Blue is a nonprofit organization that seeks to unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine resource conservation for the betterment of both. It’s the story of the six (6) men who comprise Force Blue’s Team One — how each of them has dealt with their own personal struggles to reorient to civilian life after years of combat deployments, and how, together, they are now as a force for change. This new “mission” to heal the planet is giving them a pathway home. —AB

* Indicates filmmaker is expected to attend for Q&A.

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FULL FILM SCHEDULE  |  THURSDAY  |  FRIDAY  |  SATURDAY  |  SUNDAY

Film synopses were written by the following Screening Committee members:

AB: Ana Blanco
GC: Gretchen Coffman
SJPH: Sidney JP Hollister
KH: Keith Howell
YI: Yuko Inatsuki
DM: David McGuire
MJS: Mary Jane Schramm
ST: Stan Teng

Photo: Getty Images