Try a film festival with a difference this September. Lots of festivals set out to showcase the best upcoming releases, celebrate a certain genre or even a specific film format. The Ocean Film Festival has more ecological aims – don’t expect Jaws or Flipper here — with a stated mission to inspire cinemagoers to explore, respect, enjoy and protect the world’s oceans. The event originates in Australia, but UK audiences can experience a taste with this World Tour screening at Stockport Plaza.
Attendees can expect over two hours of ocean-themed films of various lengths and we’re promised a mix of the inspirational, the educational and straight-up entertainment that reflects the variety of life and leisure to be found on the seven seas. Subjects range from epic historic solo voyages, in the case of Robert Manry’s 1965 journey from Falmouth in the US to Falmouth in the UK inManry at Sea, to Ben Thouard’s personal devotion to innovation in the niche of surf photography in Surface. I Am Fragile highlights the spectacular landscapes and wildlife of the remote Arctic, in a bid to invoke a sense of protection in us.
Meanwhile, Nate Dappen’s The Passage revisits a 1974 canoe from Washington to Alaska up the Inside Passage for a coming of age story about families and the wild places that define us. Tom Parry’s A Place for Penguins looks at the place where art meets science, featuring that most cinematic of birds. Katy Fraser also focuses at ocean art as she follows extreme painter Philip Gray to paint subterranean pools in Mexico, while Cornwall-based artist Tony Plant films his own transient work, that can last only a few hours on the beach that is his canvas.
In skipping from continent to continent, The Ocean Film Festival World Tour provides a global perspective on the ways in which we interact with our oceans and why we should be fighting to protect them.