Ocean Film Festival

In celebration of World Ocean Week, a collection of films from Waterbear.

Africa’s Hidden Seaforest

A quest to discover and reveal the Great African Sea Forest, the vast biodiversity that depends on it, and its importance to the planet.In the cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean, fears of swimming are overcome, and mental health issues are faced.
A magical sea forest of kelp is brought to light, and a story of bravery and biodiversity teaches us that nature heals, if we just feel and listen.

Every Living Thing: Save the Whales Again

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) values earth’s whale fleet at over $1 trillion. To find out why, join Dr. Iain Kerr of Ocean Alliance and dive into the most beautiful fecal fueled love triangle on earth. Meet the cast of whales that safeguard the seas. Journey into their deep past. Learn how they got so big and why size DOES matter. Discover how their sh*t keeps you breathing. And most importantly, see what you can do to avoid accidentally killing the life that supports all life.

Inseparable: Ava

The ocean has been a source of spiritual connection, traditional knowledge and cultural practices for the Makah people for generations. After learning to surf through a local non-profit nearly half a decade ago, 13-year-old Ava now uses her sport as a way to connect with the land, ocean, and her elders. Alongside her five siblings and her mother, Ava surfs the well known swell of Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the United States. Ava’s story highlights the critical role Indigenous youth play in the preservation of language, culture, and knowledge.

Martha’s Delta

The Niger Delta is home to the third largest mangrove ecosystem in the world, but following the discovery of oil in 1956, the area has been plagued by oil extraction. Activist Martha Agbani has dedicated her life to restoring the local environment.

Mother of the Sea

This short film tells the legend of The Mother of the Sea – a tale that virtually every Inuit from Greenland to the Canadian Arctic knows in some form or another. This is a “living story”, it’s not about the past; this story is taking place right now. Updated with plastic trash and climate change, telling this tale does more than scare children away from the dangerous ice– it warns us all about the perils of disrespecting Mother Nature.

The Black Mermaid

Throughout history, Black communities have had a treacherous relationship with water, depicted as a powerful yet destructive entity by African folklore. This is a story never told before, but necessary now more than ever: a modern day tale of the Black Mermaid, Zandile Ndhlovu, who is changing the perception of the ocean in her community since 2016, when she overcame her fears and fell in love with freediving. Following Zandile’s expedition to see the Sardine Run, this intimate story shows us the danger of incomplete narratives, particularly around Black people and water; unpacking the challenges faced by minorities, who are living one step away from the ocean but often excluded from enjoying its natural wonders. Meanwhile Zandile’s grandmother and a skipper named Rob, who has traversed the ocean for the past 20 years, offer their view on who the ocean is for and what happens when one person decides to take the matter into their own hands.

The Whale Who Saved Me

In 2017, whale biologist Nan Hauser had an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experience. While snorkelling in the pristine waters of the Cook Islands, a Humpback Whale approached her and for 10 minutes pushed her around with its mouth and fin.

Tide to Nature

After struggling to fit in the standard educational system, 15-years old Oliver Riley decides to leave school to be homeschooled. With more time to develop his interests outside of studying, such as photography and surfing, Oli starts growing his confidence and developing a strong sense of self. As he grows older he nurtures a deeper connection with the nature surrounding his home, in the stunning coastal town of St. Ives, situated at the edge of the UK on the Atlantic Ocean. This bond empowers him to start shaping his life for the better and making positive changes to try and protect our shared home: Earth.

Within the Water

Post-natal depression is increasingly understood but in a society that portrays pregnancy as an uncomplicated journey of maternal joy, prenatal depression is a taboo, and frightening. Yet it can also make a mother stronger than ever. Within the Water is a short documentary film exploring the experiences of a number of women with prenatal depression and how the ritual of cold water swimming throughout.

The Pole of Inaccessibility: a photographer’s perspective

Launching from the UK and sailing via Madeira and the Azores archipelago, adventurers duo, the Turner Twins, are on a mission to reach the Atlantic “Pole of Inaccessibility” — the area in the Atlantic Ocean which is the furthest away from land in any direction. Sailing a 100% emission-free 40ft yacht, the twins are aiming to reach this geographic location with the support of three additional crew members – amongst them is Nikon Ambassador George Karbus. Whilst at sea for 21 days, they will conduct a plastic survey for the Plymouth University Marine Litter Research Unit.
In this short doc, we take you behind the scenes of this unique expedition, seen through the lens of an inspiring wildlife photographer, as he ponders on our relationship with the ocean and how photography can deepen our connection to nature.

In collaboration with Nikon.

Mame Coumba Bang

This “Living Story” introduces us to Mame Coumba Bang, a goddess living among the people of Saint-Louis in Senegal. Where the mouth of the Senegal River meets the Atlantic sea, there dwells a volatile, shapeshifting spirit. For many years, she has lived in harmony with the community. She controls the flow of the Senegal River, protecting them from the dangerous currents, enabling them to fish, even bathe, in these treacherous waters – but outsiders who do not pay tribute should beware. In a city that could be described as ‘ground zero’ for climate change, it is the belief of many that the constant flooding, lack of fish stocks and the rapidly eroding coastline are all directly linked to Mame Coumba’s wrath… there are few left among the Saint-Louisians who remember a deal that was struck moons ago, and continue to uphold their end of the bargain.