Blue Water Film Festival lineup will feature local filmmakers

Two films by North County filmmakers are part of the Blue Water Film Festival lineup from June 2-5, with screenings in multiple locations and online in commemoration of World Oceans Day.

A total of 35 films will screen at venues including the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, the Museum of Photography in Balboa Park and the Media Arts Center in downtown San Diego, in addition to the festival’s virtual component.

For memory :

2:41 a.m. on May 31, 2022The outdoor screening of “Whale Wisdom” on June 4 will take place at the Freedom Boat Club and the Media Arts Center is located downtown. The original article misrepresented the name and location of the places, respectively.

Howard and Michele Hall, who live in Del Mar and have combined for seven Emmy Awards, directed the documentary “Soul of the Ocean.” They used their underwater cinematography to capture communities of interdependent marine species and how biodiversity helps maintain the health of the ocean.

“We’ve been collecting footage from around 2000, mostly putting it aside,” Howard said. “We were making Imax movies around the same time. We started thinking about what to do with all this footage and the COVID hit. I started stitching the footage into animal behavior sequences and ended up making the movie .

The festival will be the first time they have a film screened in front of an audience at La Paloma.

“We are very honored to be a part of it,” said Michele, who began her career in nursing before joining Howard Hall Productions about 30 years ago.

Nick and Cheryl Dean, who live in Encinitas, weave interconnecting stories together in their film “The Witness is a Whale.”

“The film tells two interconnected stories,” Nick said. “One is an environmental detective story: The revelation of the secret and illegal whaling by the Soviet Union in Japan during the Cold War. The other part of the story is the recovery of whale species from these illegal and legal hunts since then and the impact this has had on various ecosystems.

“We started doing shorts and then we found this story and tried to do something a little more ambitious,” Cheryl added.

The festival’s executive director, Greg Reitman, said he was proud that these two films came from “our backyard”.

“I just think they’re so unique and really capture the innocence of the ocean and this world,” he said.

A total of 35 films will be screened during the festival, which kicks off on Thursday June 2 with a cocktail reception and the screening of “Inside Antarctica: Machine Learning & Microplastics” at the Museum of Photographic Arts. There will also be an outdoor screening of “Whale Wisdom” on Saturday, June 4 at the Freedom Boat Club, followed by an after-party celebration on the water.

“We generally felt there was nothing more important than water and our oceans,” Reitman said. “They are the lungs of our planet. As Captain Paul Watson said, if the oceans die, we die. So we’re integrally connected to them and felt that was a really important time and place to get that message across, and we felt there was no better location than here in San Diego.

For more information, visit bluewaterfilmfestival.org.

About Debra D. Johnson

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