When Debbie Kinder, executive director of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, was asked how this multifaceted ocean event has changed since its inaugural presence in Monterey in 2010, her response was, “It’s grown exponentially.”
In particular, the international reach of the festival has stretched farther around the globe, bringing diverse perspectives to BLUE 2012, said Kinder.
This year, the conservation angle of BLUE is ramped up with the coincidence of another monumental ocean event in Monterey: the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World.
Held every four years in different locations throughout the globe, this is the first time that this academic symposium will take place in the United States.
Because more than 500 international experts on ocean acidification will be in Monterey at the same time as BLUE, the two organizations have decided to unite for joint panel discussions on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey, where scientists will talk about some of the latest research findings on ocean acidification.
Highlights include a keynote address by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, with a talk titled “Understanding the Ocean in a Changing World.”
BLUE Ocean Film Festival is an important adjunct to this year’s symposium, said James Barry, senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, one of the local hosts of the scientific conference.
“BLUE is the link between humans and the ocean,” Barry said. “BLUE helps people connect with the ocean, even if they don’t spend time swimming in the ocean. The more people can experience the ocean, appreciate the ocean, think about the ocean and learn about the ocean, the more likely they are to take action — even if it’s just voting — for ocean health.”
And for Kinder, film is the tool that provides that connection. “It’s a great way to reach large numbers of people and explain complex issues in a way people can understand,” she said. “Films help people to understand what’s going on, and also to feel empowered that we can each make an impact. Oceans are so critical for our health and well-being — and not just for future generations, but for right now.”
A summary of the film festival highlights for Sept. 24-30 follows; see www.blueoceanfilmfestival.orgfor a complete schedule.
·What: BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit
·Where: Various locations throughout Monterey; see www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org for film screening and event schedule and locations
·When: Monday, Sept. 24-Sunday, Sept. 30
·Tickets: Tickets may be purchased individually, or a variety of passes can be purchased (see website for details and pricing); some events are admission-free; tickets and passports available at www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org or at BLUE’s Festival Office, 663 Lighthouse Ave. Unit F, Pacific Grove, (920-3527); day-of-show tickets sold at venue, one hour prior to program (provided seating availability)
·Information: www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org or 920-3527