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Arena Theater: Ocean Film Festival Celebrates Whales, Wildlife, Fisherfolk

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Arena Theater: Ocean Film Festival Celebrates Whales, Wildlife, Fisherfolk

On Saturday, April 9, 2016 the Arena Theater Ocean Film Festival will launch, featuring some of the premier independent ocean-themed films from around the world. Geared to entertain, inform, inspire, motivate – and sometimes shock – people with an interest in the sea and its creatures, the festival takes place at the Arena Theater, 214 Main Street, Point Arena, California. Three separate afternoon and evening film programs include a family-friendly matinee of film shorts, and two later programs featuring over 10 films. The festival also features Question & Answer sessions with film makers and ocean experts.

Topics include challenges to California’ fishing families – an endangered species; and threats to marine life survival and the ocean’s health, such as noise, marine debris, disappearing fish populations, harmful toxins that impact our fisheries, and wildlife disturbance.

But other films celebrate and gorgeously illustrate the sea’s magnificence, resiliency and solutions for conservation, with stunning visuals, musical scores, and insightful scripting. They recount the dreams the sea inspires, overcoming personal handicaps to embrace its wonder, and the innovations and partnerships that bring marine conservation within our grasp. 

The Arena Theater Ocean Film Festival and related activities are presented by NOAA’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries and the Greater Farallones Association, in partnership with the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, Gualala Arts Whale and Jazz Festival, Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce, and California State Parks.

Saturday, a highlight will be a special Festival Reception with featured filmmakers at 215 Main in Point Arena. Festival participants are invited to attend the festival celebration, sponsored by 215 Main, across from the Arena Theater.  At the nearby Point Arena Library, the festival will offer free ocean-related children’s activities. To complement the film programs, on Sunday, April 10th the  Farallones marine sanctuary and California State Parks will conduct a naturalist-led “Wildflowers and Whales” walk at Salt Point State Park starting at 10:00 a.m.

Ticket prices are $5 each for the 2 p.m. Family Matinee Film Screening. The 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. screenings are $11 each in advance, or $12 at the door, $5 youth (12 and under). VIP Passes, which include all screenings, discounted admission to the Point Arena Lighthouse, and local merchant discounts, are $50 per person. All are available in advance at arenatheater.org and at the door. 

Tickets for the Wildflowers and Whales walk at Salt Point on Sunday, April 10th are $20 per person. Advance reservations are required. Contact Sara Heintzelman at sara.heintzelman@noaa.gov or (415) 561-6622 x306.

Proceeds from the Festival Reception and April 10th Whales and Wildflowers walk benefit Greater Farallones’ ocean education and science programs in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.