Big Blue Film Fest Schedule

January 27 – 28, 2023



The festival is officially SOLD OUT! Tickets will NOT be sold at the event's door, and the ticket waitlist is closed.

Film Blocks & Breaks

An hour break is given between each block. This allows you to grab food, explore our fantastic building or poke around the lovely city of Newport. There will be food and drink for purchase, as well as t-shirt and sticker sales! (cash only).

Friday, January 27

Kick-off reception - Doors open at 5:15 p.m. It is hosted by the Marine Studies Initiative and UltraLife Cafe.

Block A Films - Stunning Sea Scapes & awards ceremony - 6 - 8 p.m.

  • This first showing includes films and a reception. Awards will be presented to the winning filmmakers.

Saturday, January 28

Block B Films - Exploring the Tides - 10 a.m. - noon

Block C Films- Untold Stories - 1 - 3 p.m.

Block D Films - Majestic Marine Life - 4 - 6 p.m.


VENUE And Parking

All films for the BBFF will be shown at the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building Auditorium (GVMSB). Seating is limited to 250 people. Parking for the event is free. The lots are adjacent to the GVMSB. See this map for directions.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the UltraLife Cafe in the lobby of the GVMSB.

Our lodging partners, the Hallmark Resort Newport and The Whaler, are offering specials for guests attending the BBFF this weekend.   


Block A - Stunning Seascapes

Friday, January 27, 6 - 8 pm


  • The Sanctuary (7 minutes)
    • Recounting his love of the water, Ray Lewis, OAM, snorkels among the vibrant sea life of the marine sanctuary he has helped to protect. Directed by Timothy Raymond Brown and Michael Bruce Portway.
  • Oregon's Edge: The Creative South Coast(9 minutes)
    • Life on the edge of Oregon requires creativity and it's that creativity that makes the Southern Oregon Coast so special. Join a marine debris artist, a science advocacy team, and the chief of a Native American tribe in exploring the Creative South Coast. Directed by Darryl Lai.
    Fire Under the Sea
    (52 minutes)
    • From northern Sicily to the Bay of Naples, a scientific expedition led by Italian vulcanologist Francesco Italiano and Laurent Ballesta's team of deep divers will study volcanoes by exploring the seabed more than 100 meters below the surface. On the sunken slopes of the Mediterranean Sea, they will probe these territories in an attempt to discover clues about the workings of these mountains of fire hidden beneath the surface, encountering rare and secret ecosystems and sources of energy that were previously inaccessible. Directed by Gil Kebïili and Roberto Rinaldi.

Block B - Exploring the Tides

Saturday, January 28, 10 am - noon


  • Oregon Surfing: A Vital Way of Life (4 minutes)
    • Oregon surfing might seem intimidating and complex, but the experience of riding waves in the chilly Oregon water can be extraordinary. What does surfing on the Oregon Coast have to offer? What might a surfer interact with while in the ocean? Why is activism for our ocean important? Directed by Maia Insinga. Student film.
    Horseshoe Crabs: How 350-Million-Year-Old Sea Creatures are Vital to Human Survival
    (6 minutes)
    • With the worldwide race to develop and manufacture vaccines came a renewed interest in horseshoe crabs. These sea creatures are over 350 million years old and their blue blood has been critical to the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Numerous species, including humans, depend on horseshoe crabs and it's up to us to help ensure their survival. Directed by Andrea Kramar.
  • ISIIS (11 minutes)
    • When you record sea creatures in the ocean down at 100 meters, you never know what you will find. Abroad a science research vessel this film features what it's like to be at sea watching the coolest black and white movie to exist; ISIIS (In-Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System). Directed by Ellie Louise Lafferty. Student film.
  • Undersea (52 Minutes)
    • Photographer Nanna Kreutzmann studied photojournalism. Now she has become a Free Diver. UNDERSEA is a unique and beautiful story about living your passion in a place where the majority of the planet’s population doesn’t have access and where one little step can be fatal. This film is a portrait of a strong woman who faced her own fear and found freedom in her love for the sea. Directed by Jannik Splidsboel.

Block C - Untold Stories

January 28, 1 - 3 pm


  • Pumping at Sea (5 minutes)
    • Jami Ivory is a mother and a scientist. During a two-week-long science research vessel, four times a day, Jami pumped breastmilk amidst the chaos of the boat. Jami shows us that you don't have to put your dreams on hold to be a mother. Directed by Ellie Lousie Lafferty. Student film.
    Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith
    (5 minutes)
    • Breaking barriers and making her own waves, Natasha Smith is a core member of the Ebony Beach Club. She shares her own story in hopes of increasing representation in surf, skate and any other sport or activity that has historically been exclusive and can give such an individual sense of freedom. Directed by Faith E. Briggs.
  • Salt Lines (16 minutes)
    • This film is set in Correa, Down East, Maine. Salt Lines tells the extraordinary and uplifting story of a single mother hauling lobster traps for a living in an unforgiving man’s world. She is raising her own son, created with an anonymous sperm donor, to be the fifth generation “Lobsterman” in her family whilst consigning gender stereotypes to the past. Directed by Dan McDougall.
  • Two Kinds of Water (23 minutes)
    • This film explores the lives of a family living in the Guet Ndar fishing community on Senegal’s north coast – a country whose name literally means ‘our boat’. The 5,500km coastline of West Africa, is home to some of the most diverse and dangerous fishing grounds in the world. It provides a livelihood to eight million people as skills are handed down from generation to generation, yet climate change, over-fishing, and contested waters are producing new and deadly threats every day. A combination of deeply poetic voices and lyrical journeys vividly render the lives of ocean communities on the frontline of the climate crisis and the fishermen whose lives lay on the line each time they leave the shore. Directed by Dan McDougall.
  • Above Water (26 minutes)
    • On the remote island of Sarichef off the Northwest coast of Alaska, 20 miles below the Arctic Circle, there’s a small village they call Shishmaref. It continues to get smaller every year as rising water levels erode away at its shores. In the summer of 2021, two artists were invited to the island to paint a mural, but as they learned more about the culture and the impact of the melting permafrost, they began to appreciate the deeper history of the local Inupiaq people and their struggle to maintain their culture in the face of an impending climate disaster. Directed by Ken Honjo and Kentaro Yoshimura.

Block D - Majestic Marine Life

January 28, 4 - 6 pm


  • Journey of Theresia (6 minutes)
    • An artistic adventure through the Atlantic Ocean and a look at the journey that both scientists and a young mother whale must take. Directed by Jessika Raisor.
    Kelp Me Please
    (6 minutes) 
    • Created by students at OMSI's Documentary Explorers Camp in Newport, Oregon. Directed by Fiona Cummings, Helena Miller, and Sienna Cooper. Student Film.
  • Close Encounters (19 minutes)
    • Reporter Laura Madrueño travels to the Riviera Maya in Mexico to see firsthand whether the bad reputation of one of the most feared wild animals in the world is warranted. Directed by Daniel Aldaya.
  • The Sand-Eating Shark (52 minutes)
    • A lemon shark called Manoela grows up in the waters of Fernando do Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Her extraordinary senses allow her to detect scents, sounds and even the tiny electric fields of her prey. In particular, she specializes in a hunting technique that has only ever been observed in this spot: hunting sardines in the waves. When we look closer behind the breakers, we discover unsuspected alliances and unusual behaviors. Directed by Bertrand Loyer.