Ojai Film Festival and Ojai Valley Land Conservancy present the highly acclaimed International Ocean Film Tour with screenings on August 26 at the Ojai Art Center (113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai). The screening is followed by an expert panel and special evening film tour, as well as a reception at the Mob Shop (110 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai). These two events focus on the awe-inspiring beauty of the ocean, as well as the menacing effects of climate change.
For the past four years the tour has brought a collection of the best international short films focused on the sea. These films give audiences a glimpse into adventures and exploration of all oceans on Earth. This year attendees get to watch a screening of Chasing Coral, winner of the Audience Award for documentary at Sundance Film Festival. This film brilliantly displays the coral beds of the world’s oceans, exposing audiences to their splendor. Coral reef beds are incredibly diverse and a spectacular sight to see, with so many corals of striking shapes and sizes exhibiting fluorescent colors and dramatic patterns.
Chasing Coral also shows what happens to the dazzling array of coral beds after they have expired, which is often a result of coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when there are sudden changes to their environment, such as extreme changes in temperature, light exposure or an increase in runoff and pollution. Corals don’t always die from bleaching, but they are left vulnerable and more susceptible to disease. Vast stretches of stone-gray or white fossil span the ocean floor in these coral “graveyards.”
Corals are an essential to maintaining healthy oceans, and without these animals whole reefs will collapse. This is devastating because coral reefs protect coastlines and wetlands, and support more species of marine animals than any other ecosystem. A guiding principle of the International Ocean Film Tour is to raise awareness for saving our oceans, and Chasing Coral achieves this while showcasing the beauty of the reefs that are at risk. A panel discussion of experts will follow the screening, and audience members will learn more about this issue and what they can do to help.
After the screening of Chasing Coral, guests are invited to attend the outdoor reception at Mob Shop, starting at 7 p.m. The reception showcases the International Ocean Film Tour Series of seven short films. They cover a variety of interesting topics, including sailing and action water sports, as well as touching on ocean pollution and other environmental issues. Click here for more information about these short films.
Tickets are on sale through the Ojai Film Festival website. Seating is limited at both events so advance ticket purchase is advised. Viewing of Chasing Coral and expert panel discussion is from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Ojai Art Center.
The Ojai Film Festival is in its 18th year, and the festival continues its commitment to enriching the human spirit by seeking out important films that uplift people, while encouraging them to live meaningful lives inspired by the examples of others.
The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is a community-based nonprofit organization working with partners to permanently protect the open space, natural scenic beauty, wildlife, habitat, and watershed of the Ojai Valley for current and future generations. The Conservancy is a non-governmental, land protection organization supported by private donations. For more information about what they do, visit their website here.