The Waimea Ocean Film Festival brings a dynamic, exciting and world-class film festival event to the Big Island each January. Through a combination of film, breakfast talks, Q&As, receptions, art exhibits and activities, the festival is designed to inspire, educate and engage participants in a celebration of the ocean and island culture, and an increased awareness of the same.
The ocean is part of the beauty and joy of the land in Hawaii, and interwoven into the culture. It is where we surf, and play, and paddle and fish, where we watch whales, and see the sun rise or set. The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is about the ocean, about Hawaii, about the common connections people everywhere share between land and sea, and, above all, about all that we love about being here.
Past festival highlights include Q&A’s and breakfast talks with Jake Eberts, producer of films such as Gandhi, Dances With Wolves, Chariots of Fire, A River Runs Through It, and Oceans; Tom Shadyac, the director of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar/Liar and his first documentary film, “I Am;” and Flip Nicklin, the National Geographic photographer known for his thirty years of work with humpback whales.
Integrated into traditional Hawaiian culture is the understanding that everything we do on land affects the sea. Na Kalai Wa’a, the Hawaiian voyaging society on Big Island, shared some of this traditional wisdom during a wonderful cultural evening at Mauna Kea, and in a stunning exhibit at Piko Gallery, where original photographs were displayed from the 1976 voyage of Hokulea. This element of sharing Hawaiian wisdom and culture, and building bridges in the community, will continue to be an important part of the event.