Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films announces official film selection

World Oceans Day & Orca Awareness Month celebrated through film on June 4

The Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films is back for its 8th year on June 4, presenting a selection of short- and feature-length documentaries that focus on the ocean and the important role that this resource has in supporting healthy and prosperous communities and economies.

This year, marine experts and filmmakers will lead Q&As after each screening, and there will be a panel discussion (starting at 6:30pm) on cross-border marine protection, with experts from Canada and the United States.

“Oceans are a bellwether for the planet’s health and they’re extremely important for our communities, but we often need to appreciate something in order for us to work to conserve it, and before we can value something that’s in danger, we have to first understand it,” says Christianne Wilhelmson, executive director of Georgia Strait Alliance. “By hosting this Festival for World Oceans Day, we’re showing that the ocean needs to be cared for as a place for adventure, sport, resource management, economic development, and enjoyment.”

This year, the Festival is also highlighting the Pacific Northwest’s Orca Awareness Month in June by presenting Sonic Sea, a feature film that investigates the impact that human-made noise is having on whales.

“We’re urbanizing our coastal waters,” says Michael Jasny, Senior Policy Analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which co-produced Sonic Sea. “BC’s resident orcas are struggling right now for their survival, and all the noise we’re producing just off our shores is making it harder and harder for them to live.”

The Festival takes place on Sunday, June 4 at the Vancity Theatre. There are two screenings: 3pm and 7:30pm, with Q&As at 5:30pm and 9:30pm. The panel discussion on coastal waters begins at 6:30pm. Tickets are $15 for a single screening, or $25 for the double header.

Net profits will be donated to Georgia Strait Alliance to assist with the organization’s mission to protect and restore the marine environment, and promote the sustainability of the Strait of Georgia, its adjoining waters and communities.

The Festival is made possible with the support of Deep Cove Kayak, and with support from media sponsor The Tyee.

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Single screening: $15 | Double header: $25

About the Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films
The Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films is dedicated to the issues, personalities and sports of the world’s oceans. The goal is to increase awareness about relationships with oceans, while educating and motivating audiences:

About Georgia Strait Alliance
The non-profit conservation organization collaborates with individuals, businesses and government to protect and restore the marine environment, and promote the sustainability of the Strait of Georgia, its adjoining waters, and communities:

Allison Murray
Communications Associate
Georgia Strait Alliance
T: 604.442.1846



Feature films

Sonic Sea (2016). As more sounds are filling our seas, more marine life are dying.
This 60-minute documentary focuses on human-made noise and the true impact it’s having on whales and other marine life. Watch the trailer.

Atlantic (2016). Oil and politics.
Share the struggles of fishing communities in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland as they compete with big oil and fishing companies for resources in their waters on both sides of the Atlantic. Watch the trailer.

Short films

Bruhwiler Country (2017). Travel with Canadian surfing legend Raph Bruhwiler on a trip into the open waters off Vancouver Island, where he and his family have staked a claim to the waves and the woods for generations.

What if you fly? (2016). Hawaiian climate change artist Sean Yoro (HULA) travels to the remoteness of the arctic waters of Baffin Island in Nunavut to paint a gigantic portrait of a local Inuit woman on large pieces of moving sea-ice plates. With little more than his tools and a paddleboard, he races against the tides and the challenging and unpredictable weather conditions.

Ocean Stories: the Halls (2016). You’ll be pulled beneath the waves into the depths of a visually sublime adventure as Howard and Michele Hall, the winners of seven Emmy awards, recount stories of danger, wonder, hope, and warning. Watch the trailer.

Super Salmon (2016). The story of one fish’s determination to reach the origin of Alaska’s Susitna River—the Everest of rivers, which is under threat from a mega-dam proposal. Director Ryan Peterson presents a humorous yet powerful story that balances views on a controversial topic, and adds a dash of humour. Watch the trailer.

Keepers of the Coast: Issues (2016) & Sustainable Economies (2016). These two short films explore how British Columbia’s Kitasoo/Xai’Xais, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, and Wuikinuxv Nations are using a combination of traditional knowledge and science to inform marine plans that uphold indigenous laws and steward our marine resources in a manner that sustains our cultures and ensures intact ecosystems, healthy communities and local sustainable economies.