Blue Ocean Movie Festival Makes Waves In Monaco, As Cop21 Approaches
It doesn’t drive voter turnout, as much as sizzling button, simply gamed points like unlawful immigration and taxes do.
Nonetheless, within environmentalist circles, marine safety is that stepchild. Though forty eight% of human-produced carbon dioxide finally ends up in the ocean, inflicting Ph ranges to drop and deadly acidification to rise, most environmental activism centers on terrestrial degradation. You possibly can present marine safety as Chilean Sea Bass, but most politicians and activists still view it as Patagonian toothfish.
The simply-concluded Blue Ocean Festival and Conservation Summit aims to right that imbalance. Blue affords a uncommon chance to see a variety of lengthy and quick movies solely targeted on marine protection.
Moreover, at Blue, one gets to talk with the partaking marine photographers, scientists, entrepreneurs, enterprise capitalists and philanthropists (typically multi functional individual) working to put ocean preservation at the forefront of environmental protection, especially as the 2015 United Nations Local weather Change Conference (COP21) approaches subsequent month in Paris.
There is logic in Blue’s method. Because the deep oceans are largely out of sight and out of mind for many of our species, a perfect approach to lift consciousness of their exotic magnificence and imperiled state is through film. The problem facing a festival of this kind is in creating a program varied and compelling enough that it doesn’t find yourself as one long episode of The Blue Planet, minus the BBC’s production values.
Launched in Monterey, California in 2009 by the St. Petersburg, Florida — by means of West Virginia — couple of Debbie and Charles Kinder, Blue is on its strategy to getting the combination proper. This past week’s festival in Monaco (the 2017 festival can even play within the principality) highlighted stellar examples of the marine documentary kind.
For instance, Florian Fischer’s and Michael Kugler’s 7-minute narrative short Shark and Lion artfully showcases the risk posed by the invasive lionfish.
Documentary features like Angel Azul (which chronicles the work of eco-sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor)
and doc shorts like Silke de Vos’ Coral Gardening (which follows Anuar Abdullah, founder of Ocean Quest Malaysia)
profile the frontline victims of world warming, runoff, and excessive human interplay: the fragile indicator creature generally known as coral.
Coral reefs are home to 25% of the world’s marine fish species, and comprise virtually your entire nation of Kiribati, whose President, Anote Tong, spoke movingly at Blue
about plans to uproot his folks to Fiji, except $2 billion is raised to show Kiribati (endangered by rising seas and coral destruction) right into a Waterworld-like floating island.
In accordance with the World Wildlife Fund, 27% of the world’s coral reefs have already been lost. If present developments persist, 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be misplaced inside the following 30 years.
A number of films at Blue might strike some as preachy and pedantic. Others could use more modifying. As a producer and director of three documentaries (Crotty’s Youngsters, Master Debaters, Apryl Miller: Shade and Soul), I’ve realized that the cash quote of Shakespeare’s Polonius – “brevity is the soul of wit” – is all too pertinent to the often prolix and humorless documentary type.
Nevertheless, as cartoonist Jim Toomey — creator of the ocean-themed caricature Sherman’s Lagoon
and director of the Blue-nominated brief Two Miles Deep — advised me over steak frites across from the Monaco carnival (the place, true to my invasive species, I later charged into the funhouse, in full Brooks Brothers swimsuit, with a multinational gaggle of political science students from close by Undergraduate School of Menton), “You will doubtless see better production values in something shown on Animal Planet. That is because the main target is entertainment. The films at Blue” — chosen as they’re by an eight-particular person jury of environmentalists, scientists, and filmmakers — “go deeper.”
True ‘dat, because the quick doc, The sting, about a photographer who movies sharks at night time, poetically makes clear.
However there’s one thing deeply personal that goes on as properly. Watching wave after wave of sincere, simple depictions of intensely variegated ocean life begins to affect how one views all species. I literally underwent a sea change of the guts, as I noticed how even essentially the most repulsive or violent or odd-trying organism had its place in the larger ocean scheme. One cannot help however broaden one’s acceptance of radical variety in people after viewing such epic and interconnected variety in nature.
This openhearted spirit was perfectly modeled by the Kinders and their nimble international workforce (which includes a former undercover quality assurance guide for Starwood Resorts & Resorts). Furthermore, they instinctively demonstrated the hallmarks of an ideal festival outlined in my two earlier columns on the Santa Barbara and Palm Springs movie festivals respectively.
First, Blue is now no less than partially positioned in a locale, Monaco, which is fulsomely committed to responsible tourism and historically aligned with the festival’s ocean mandate. Under the sensible, stalwart management of His Serene Excellency Prince Albert II (himself an avid explorer, who’s been to the north and south poles, and who courageously lead the cost to restrict the fishing and sale of the endangered Mediterranean bluefin tuna),
Monaco has been at the forefront of ocean protection for well over one hundred years. Prince Albert II took the ocean safety helm from his nice-nice-grandfather and explorer, Prince Albert I, who based Monaco’s breathtaking Baroque Revival Oceanographic Museum (the place Blue is held).
Secondly, Blue is aware of the necessity for extraordinary customer service, going to extra pains to make sure that guests are graciously served at multiple factors of contact. That is necessary because the prospect of visiting upscale, out-of-the-way Monaco can seem daunting to many potential attendees.