Oceanographic Museum of Monaco co-hosts BLUE Film Festival – A message of hope and a call for action to protect our ocean and reverse the damage

The power of visual arts to inform and inspire

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, under the leadership of Robert Calcagno (on the photo below right), welcomed the 5th edition of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit that run from November 6-9, 2015, making the Principality into BLUE’s very fitting second home, while at the same time expanding internationally.

It was during BLUE-2013 that a strategic partnership was announced with Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, a magnificent landmark dedicated to Art & Science that is the temple of the ocean, founded on March 29, 1910 by Prince Albert I (1989-1922) who dedicated his life to the science of oceanography. BLUE Film Festival now alternates between Monaco and St. Petersburg, Florida every other year.

The tiny Principality is a big world player committed to environmental sustainability, with HSH Prince Albert II at the helm in protecting the ocean, its role in climate change and sustainable life in the planet. At that important junction Prince Albert emphasized: “This event uses the power of film, photography, entertainment and science to educate, empower and inspire ocean stewardship around the globe,” And he added “to awaken consciousness toward environmental protection more effectively, our best weapons are those that win over our hearts and minds.” Prince Albert II will emphasize this commitment to environmental sustainability by joining leaders at COP21 in Paris November 30-December 11, 2015 to convert promises into action and come up with urgent solutions.On Sunday, November 29 at 10:45 on the Palace Square the foundation organizes the March for Climate lead by Prince Albert.

Kinder, co-founder of BLUE @BLUE2015Monaco

BLUE is an international non-profit organization, co-founded in 2009 by Debbie and Charles Kinder (Debbie Kinder on the photo to the right), using the power of film, visual arts, and science to inform and inspire ocean conservancy throughout the world. Their annual Festival gathers world opinion leaders in ocean science, conservation and exploration, and share fantastic films and photographs to create awareness and inspire people to take action for the protection of our ocean and by extension our ecosystem.

BLUE is dedicated to promoting, honoring, and sharing great ocean films. When Debbie Kinder was asked what success means to her, she responded: “Success is to inform and induce people to spring into action.”

Prince Albert honored with Blue Legacy Award

Blue’s Legacy Award was presented to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco on Saturday, November 7, 2015 to recognize his devoted leadership and tenacious advocacy for global ocean conservation and environmental protection. This award honors individuals with a history of bold leadership and an unrelenting commitment to ocean conservation, exploration, innovation and the pursuit of knowledge that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of the ocean, creating a lasting legacy for the ocean community and the world.

Prince Albert’s achievements

  • Advancing Conservation of the Arctic Marine Environment
  • Monk Seal Mission
  • Sea turtle release program and Community Income-Generating Activity (CIGA) for coastal villages
  • Advancing Conservation of the Arctic Marine Environment
  • Monaco Arctic Carbon Observatory
  • Ocean acidification international coordination office (OA-ICO)

To learn more about the different projects visit the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

No ocean, no life  – No blue, no green

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, the tenacious and inspiring scientist with a plethora of outstanding achievements, gave a keynote speech on Monday, November 9, during BLUE, and she presented the Mission Blue Award 2015.

The Sylvia Earle/Mission Blue Award was presented to H.E. President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kribati, on Monday, November 9 during the BLUE Carpet Awards, in recognition of his passionate advocacy for global action on Climate Change and his foresight to establish the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) one of the world’s largest (408,250 Km2) and most diverse marine protected areas. Kiribati is one of the new “V20” nations joining together in the face of climate change. BLUE first presented this award for outstanding ocean advocacy to Dr. Earle in 2009 during the first edition of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, and now this award carry the name of its first honoree.

Dr. Earle is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society, Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) / Mission Blue, Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research In. (DOER), Chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. Author of more than 200 publications and leader of more than 100 expeditions with over 7,000 hours underwater. Dr. Earle is a graduate of Florida State University with M.A. and PhD. Degrees from Duke University and 27 honorary doctorates. Her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and development of technology for access to the deep sea. She is the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Netflix documentary, Mission Blue, and the recipient of more than 100 national and international honors and awards including being named Time Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, 2014 UNEP Champion of the Earth, Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Woman of the Year, member of the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, and winner of the 2009 TED Prize, the Walter Cronkite Award, the 1996 Explorers Club Medal, the Royal Geographic Society 2011 Patron’s Medal, and the National Geographic Hubbard Medal.

Below is the official trailer for Mission Blue, a Netflix original documentary released in 2014. Mission Blue tells the story of tireless world-renowned oceanographer and ocean advocate Sylvia Earle as she travels the globe on an urgent mission to shed light on the dire condition of Earth’s oceans.

Interesting photo and art exhibits

Sea Legacy Photography Exhibit

SeaLegacy works with a team of the best photographers, filmmakers, journalists, and media experts in the world. The objective is to produce visual images to create awareness about the state of the marine ecosystems and engage audiences, propel campaigns, and help further shared causes. SeaLegacy’s mission is to create high-impact visual communications that inspire people to take action to protect our ocean with hope as the solution, becoming a bridge between information and emotion.

Cristina Mittermeier, Mexican born writer, photographer and marine biologist, cofounded SeaLegacy with partner photographer Paul Nicklen, globally acclaimed Canadian-born photographer and marine biologist, to put their skills as photographers and visual storytelling to the service of our oceans.

In 2005 Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) a consortium of the best photographers in the world, whose work is dedicated to visually communicating conservation issues.

Prince Hussain Aga Khan diving into the wildlife

Prince Hussain Aga Khan is a professional underwater photographer, author, and founder of Focused on Nature Association, through which the distribution and sale of his photos contributes to the financing of organizations active in the protection of fragile ecosystems and endangered species. On Saturday, November 7, 2015 Prince Hussain Aga Khan was at BLUE to sign copies of his latest book Diving into the Wildlife, a collection of the underwater world with photographs of the Maldives, Vava’u (tonga), Malaysia, Bahamas, Mexico and Staya (Egypt).

The Drifters Project – Let’s clean up our act

The Drifters Project was initiated by Pam Longobardi, back in 2006 after being faced piles of plastic coming from the ocean on faraway beaches in Hawai, in an effort to clean beaches, making art and working with communities all around the planet, including the Monaco New National Museum. It is a collaboration of art, science and activism to denounce the declining condition of the ocean to create awareness about its conservation.


Beyond Beauty: Healthy Reefs – Healthy Oceans 

A discussion panel about the importance of coral reefs for a healthy ocean with: Celine Cousteau, Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Jason de Caires Taylor.

Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chairman and President of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer of the company. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has a 15-year history supporting and funding various ocean conservation efforts and in its 15-year history, the Foundation has awarded over $10 million in support of conserving coral, a slow-growing and precious animal susceptible to myriad threats.

Celine Cousteau, is a French-American explorer, filmmaker, and diver. She is the daughter of ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, the famous explorer who was Director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco for three decades from 1957 to 1988. Celine Cousteau carries on the legacy of her granddad who inspired her to start diving. “I got interested in ocean conservation because of him,” she said. In her family they were taught to be active participants in the planet, beyond your home and your backyard.

Celine Cousteau firmly believes that the oceans are fundamental to the health of our planet, and coral reefs are particularly important because they represent the foundation of many ocean ecosystems. Therefore, they should be protected, thus protecting everything that depends on them. Our own health and wellbeing depend on it too, as we are all connected to the ocean.

Jason de Caires Taylor is a British sculptor and creator of the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, in Grenada, West Indies, the first of its kind in the world. He is known for installing underwater sculptures made of special cement that in time will develop into artificial coral reefs. The artist integrated his skills as sculptor, marine conservationist, underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor.

Blue Carpet Awards

The best filmmakers were primed within six categories plus the Best film of the festival:

Best Broadcast Program: The Dark Side of the Ocean – Produced by Kayta Shirokow & Directed by Rick Rosenthal, USA

Cameraman and marine biologist Rick Rosenthal captures Earth’s biggest migration – the nightly movement of billions of animals from the ocean’s depths to its surface. Rick’s camera reveals a world whose bizarre inhabitants live out their lives suspended in darkness between surface and abyss. Each evening they travel up towards the surface to feed, and at dawn, back down again to safety of deep, dark water. Locating the migration in the vastness of the open ocean, at night, is not easy. But when he succeeds, Rick’s camera exposes a rarely seen world of exceptional beauty.

Best Emerging Filmmaker (Shorts under 15mn): The Edge

Produced by Carlos Toro, USA – This piece vignettes the true meaning of harboring a burning passion.Where would our respective passions lead us if we listened to them, cultivated them and allowed them to chart our paths.

Best feature-length film: Racing Extinction – Produced and Directed by Louie Psihoyus and Associate Director Dieter Paulmann

Oscar- winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, Racing Extinction reveals stunning, never before seen images that truly change how you see the world.

Best Short Film (over 15, up to 30mn): Fragile Legacy – Produced by David O. Brown & Denis Jensen, USA

Science meets art in the works of the Blaschkas, 19th century creators of perfect glass replicas of ocean life. As scientists around the globe struggle to understand the impact of changing ocean chemistry and temperature, marine biologist Drew Harvell and filmmaker David Brown are on a global quest to film living examples of the Blaschka collection, comparing today’s sea with that of the Blaschka’s time. The film is a celebration of human ingenuity and our potential to innovate our way out of the environmental crisis we face.

Best Short Film (less than 15mn): One Voice – Produced by Chris Cilfone

This is the story of a sentient beings epic battle to prove to the world that it has every right to call this pale blue dot their home. The North Pacific Humpback Whale was hunted to the brink of extinction. The early 70’s brought us close to no return, only about 500 left in the entire North Pacific. 40 years later and were looking at a population over 25,000. In one lifetime we have witnessed one of the greatest success stories in conservation history and that story is in its final chapter. Through all the hard work, protests, demonstrations and perseverance human beings have successfully brought back one of this planets oldest living forms of consciousness.

Best Student Film: The Lionfish Plague of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf – Produced by Preston Buchanan

Canterbury Crew 210 of the Marine Studies Program at the Canterbury School of Florida presents a short film documenting lionfish invasion and their efforts to study and eradicate them.

Best Film of the Festival: Racing Extinction – Produced and directed by Louie Psihoyos and Associate producer Dieter Paulmann

BLUE 2016

The next BLUE Ocean Film Festival will be in St. Petersburgh, Florida, November 2-6, 2016, and the year after it will return to Monaco.

Today’s quote

No water, no life. No blue, no green by Sylvia Earle


2 thoughts on “Oceanographic Museum of Monaco co-hosts BLUE Film Festival – A message of hope and a call for action to protect our ocean and reverse the damage

  1. Pingback: Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s book “Diving into the Wildlife” supports ocean’s ecosystem protection| Monaco Reporter | Ismailimail

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