NEWPORT, Ore. – Sixteen ocean-themed films will be featured during the inaugural Big Blue Film Fest Jan. 27-28 at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

The festival is an opportunity to raise awareness about marine issues and engage the community in scientific research in an entertaining way, organizers said. It is a new iteration of the popular Hatfield Marine Science Center Film Festival that ran from 2016 to 2019.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a film festival back to Hatfield. Some amazingly talented filmmakers are participating in this inaugural festival and their creativity brings marine science to life in a way that informs, inspires and entertains,” said Hatfield Marine Science Center Director Bob Cowen. “Truly, there is something for everyone at the BBFF.”

Filmmakers from 46 different countries submitted 169 films for consideration for the festival. Three of the selected films were directed by students at Oregon State University and one was directed by an Oregon State staff member. Four award-winners were selected by a panel of judges including Cowen and Marine Mammal Institute Director Lisa Ballance.

The festival will be held in the auditorium of the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. A reception with complimentary food and drinks will be hld before the Friday night screening, which also includes an awards ceremony for the winning filmmakers. On Saturday, refreshments will sold between screenings.

The schedule is:

Block A: Stunning Seascapes, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Reception begins at 5:15 p.m. Films: Best film award-winner “Fire Under the Sea,” directed by Gil Kebïili and Roberto Rinaldi; “Oregon’s Edge: The Creative South Coast,” directed by Oregon State’s Darryl Lai of OSU Productions; and “The Sanctuary,” directed by Timothy Raymond Brown and Michael Bruce Portway.

Block B: Exploring the Tides, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 28. Films: Best in education award-winner “Horseshoe Crabs: How 350-Million-Year-Old Sea Creatures are Vital to Survival,” directed by Andrea Kramar; “Oregon Surfing: A Vital Way of Life,” directed by Oregon State’s Maia Insinga (student film); “ISIIS,” directed by Oregon State’s Ellie Lafferty (student film); and “Undersea,” directed by Jannik Splidsboel.

Block C: Untold Stories, 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28. Films: Most inspiring film award winner “Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith,” directed by Faith E. Briggs; “Pumping at Sea,” also directed by OSU’s Lafferty (student film); “Salt Lines,” directed by Dan McDougall; “Two Kinds of Water,” directed by Dan McDougall; and “Above Water,” directed by Kentaro Yoshimura.

Block D: Majestic Marine Life, 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28. Films: Best student filmmaker award winner “Kelp Me Please,” directed by Fiona Cummings, Helena Miller and Sienna Cooper (student film); “Journey of Theresia,” directed by Jessika Raisor; “Close Encounters,” directed by Daniel Aldaya; and “The Sand-Eating Shark,” directed by Bertrand Loyer.

Additional information about each film is available on the event website.

All access passes are $20 for adults and $12 for students, including K-12 and college students. Passes provide access to all films shown during the festival; tickets are not available for individual blocks of films. All access passes must be purchased online; to purchase tickets, visit: Seating is limited so purchasing in advance is recommended.

The Big Blue Film Fest is a collaboration of several Oregon State University organizations, including Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Marine Studies Initiative and OSU Productions, as well as community partners.

The festival honors the legacy of Maryann Bozza, who conceived the original Hatfield Marine Science Center Film Festival. Bozza, a program manager at Hatfield who served on the leadership team for the Marine Studies Initiative, died in 2017.

Hatfield Marine Science Center

About OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center: The center is a research and teaching facility located in Newport, Ore., on the Yaquina Bay estuary, about one mile from the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. It plays an integral role in programs of marine and estuarine research and instruction, as a laboratory serving resident scientists, as a base for far-ranging oceanographic studies and as a classroom for students. In addition to Oregon State researchers and students, its campus includes research activities and facilities from five different state and federal agencies.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]


Mark Farley, 541-867-0234, [email protected]


Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.