San Francisco Ocean Film Festival to send audiences to the Baltic

The 8th annual San Francisco Ocean Film Festival will splash into Theatre 39 on PIER 39,  March 9-13, 2011, taking audiences on a five-day journey from San Francisco Bay to the Baltic Sea;  Costa Ricato  Antarctica  and beyond.

Billed as  North America's premier cinemaquatic event, the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, presented by NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries and The Bay Institute and Aquarium of the Bay, features more than 50 films, divided into 12 programs over its five-day run.

"With San Francisco Bay as our backdrop, the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival connects attendees with the world's ocean, marine life, and environmental concerns, as seen through the eyes of accomplished filmmakers from around the world," says San Francisco Ocean Film Festival Director  Ana Blanco.

More than just movies on the screen, the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival continues the conversation long after the credits have rolled, with Q&A sessions and panel discussions by filmmakers, producers and ocean champions.

Highlights for the 8th annual San Francisco Ocean Film Festival include:

  • Wednesday, March 9: Opening Night Meet the Filmmakers Reception: Party with the sharks, rays and exotic aquatic animals at Aquarium of the Bay while enjoying hosted wine and light hors d'oeuvres before moving next door to Theatre 39 to view four films, including  Sex Under the Sea.
  • Friday, March 11  at  7pm: Surf Film Program: This Film Festival favorite features the  San Francisco  premiere of three award-winning films:  The Westsiders,  Ocean Monk and  Monsterboards, along with discussions by filmmakers and professional surfers.
  • Saturday, March 12  at  1pm:  Sharks & Endangered Species Program and Panel Discussion: This festival-favorite program features powerful films on sharks, whales, manta rays and more.  Following the program, a panel discussion will be hosted at Aquarium of the Bay. Topics include: threats to sharks and the recently introduced assembly bill, AB 376, that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in  California. Titled "Sharks, Fins and Sustainability," confirmed panelists include WildAid Director,  Peter Knights; Greenpeace Seafood Campaigner,  Casson Trenor; Aquarium of the Bay's Director of Husbandry,  Christina Slager;  Jennifer Fearing  of the Humane Society of  the United States  and others.
  • Friday, March 11  at  1pm: International Marine Protected Areas Program and PanelDiscussion: Program films focus on establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in  California; the development of  Mexico's Loreto Bay National Park and how an unlikely alliance of surfers and fishermen successfully battled to save  Baja's most iconic spots. Fishermen, scientists and conservation leaders will lead a panel discussion following the films on the challenges associated with MPAs.  Confirmed panelists include Loreto Bay National Park Director,  Everado Marino Melendez; Monterey Bay Aquarium's Vice President of the Center for the Future of the Oceans,  Mike Sutton; Martir Island Biosphere Reserve Fisher,Noe Bustamante Flores  and others.
  • Saturday, March 12  and  Sunday, March 13  at  10am:New Family Programs: New for 2011, the film lineup will bring families up close with  Amazing Jellies and  Killer Whales; and more.
  • Continued Underwater Exploration at Aquarium of the Bay - For the first time, all tickets will include complimentary admission to Aquarium of the Bay, conveniently located next door to Theatre 39.


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