.Preview: ‘Beneath The Waves’ Film Festival

Ever wonder what really goes on beneath the ocean’s surface? A lot more than most of us know, it turns out. That’s why the Beneath the Waves Film Festival aims to lift the veil of mystery with an afternoon of short films, discussions and presentations.

This Saturday, Nov. 19, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary will host the fourth annual film festival, which will present works on environmental issues in our oceans and some of today’s most important conservation efforts.

The event will be broken into two sections, the first starting at noon with the theme “Threatened and Thriving,” and the second, “Wave Makers,” beginning at 2 p.m.

Several of the short films were made by students, like Take Ten for Turtles and Man and Manatee, which outline the plights of their respective subjects. Hundreds of high school and even elementary students competed to have their pieces shown through the festival’s “Youth Making Ripples” contest.

The “Threatened and Thriving” segment aims to inform viewers about species that are struggling, and projects successfully working to save them. The film Bali Close Up, for instance, chronicles how many animals are fighting to survive without a reef in a desert of black volcanic sand on the northeastern part of the island, offering a window into a rarely seen ecosystem.

Some films, like Antarctic Sea Science Expedition and Cashes Ledge: Jewel of the Gulf of Maine, take viewers below the ocean’s surface to the world of plankton, benthic invertebrates, pelagic organisms and the deep sea. One Voice focuses on a conservation success story: the humpback whale’s return from the brink of extinction. In the 1970s, there were only about 500 left in the entire North Pacific; today, there are over 25,000.

“Threatened and Thriving” will be followed by a presentation from Dr. Andrew Devogelaere of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and Dr. James Lindholm, director of the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, will speak after “Wave Makers.”

Info: Noon-5 p.m. Sanctuary Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free.


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