Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marine Protected Areas Program and Filmmaker Q&A: Kip Evans, "A Wave of Change"

The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival has often provided a forum for off-the-screen conversations on leading topics facing the world's ocean and its resources.

On Friday, March 11, the 1pm film program features three films, including Kip Evans's A Wave of Change, on establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in California, along with one following the development of Mexico’s Loreto Bay National Park, and a film highlighting ways in which an unlikely alliance of surfers and fishermen successfully battled to save Baja’s most iconic spots.

"The ocean is in serious trouble right now. If you consider that 50% of the world's coral reefs are in trouble, the growing problem of ocean acidification, over fishing and many other issues, you will see that we need to act now — we are running out of time,” says Kip Evans, filmmaker for A Wave of Change. “As a filmmaker, I want to highlight the positive steps that are being taken, actions that precipitate significant change. Marine protected areas may be our last chance to protect the ocean before it's too late."

Fishermen, scientists and conservation leaders from California and Mexico will lead a panel discussion, following Friday's films, on the challenges associated with MPAs. This unique opportunity engages festival goers and educates them about the future of international ocean protection. Confirmed panelists for the discussion include:

  • Everado Marino Melendez (Loreto Bay National Park Director)
  • Noe Bustamante Flores (San Pedro M├írtir Island Biosphere Reserve fisher and monitoring technician)
  • Jorge Torre Cosio (Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C. Executive Dircetor)
  • Mike Sutton ) Monterey Bay Aquarium, Vice President- Center for the Future of the Oceans)
  • Samantha Murray – Ocean Conservancy, Manager, Pacific Ocean Ecosystems
  • Melissa Miller Hensen – CA Department of Fish and Game MLPA, Program Manager
  • Mike Ricketts – Commercial Fisherman, Monterey Bay

Click here to purchase your tickets for Friday's 1pm film program on Marine Protected Areas, or learn more about the films, here.

What is your overall summary for the film?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are vital to safeguarding what’s left of the world’s ocean. A "Wave of Change" is a short film designed to ignite passion for the newly established marine protected areas along the central California coast. Marine scientist John Pearse and the Ocean Conservancy's Kaitliin Gaffney, help highlight the need for MPA's and why they are vital to Californian’s future.

What was your inspiration for creating the film?

I was inspired by the positive changes that have taken place along the California Coast and in other parts of the world. As a diver and filmmaker, I have spent a great deal of time both inside and outside of reserves, and I have seen first hand how protecting large areas of the ocean can make a huge impact. Marine reserves work and we need to get the word out to the general public in a way that is inspiring.

The most challenging part was dealing with the logistics of working along the coast Anyone who has ever worked along the coast, or in the ocean, knows that there are days when it’s too rough, or too dangerous to jump in and film. Days, or even weeks of rain can really restrict your ability to get anything accomplished.

What do you want to impart on your film’s viewers?

Marine protected areas work and we should push nations across the globe to designate at least 10-20% of their coastal waters into some level of protection.

What was the most enjoyable part of creating the film?

I love spending time in the field and watching the frustrations of bad weather and despair turn to gold when you finally get the break you have been looking for. I also enjoyed working with my production team – Dr. Tierney Thys, Phillip Powell, Blaise Douros, Robyn Ellisco, Dennis Long, Danielle Brown and the EcoViz team at Cal State University of Monterey Bay.

Who is your inspiration?
Dr. Sylvia Earle has inspired a great deal of what I have created in the past 10 years. She has the ability to energize and motivate people into action.

Why did you choose to submit your film to the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival?
The San Francisco Ocean Film festival is in my own backyard and the people here care a lot about ocean issues. I think it’s a great venue for making a difference.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I’m thrilled to be a part of this film festival and all the positive attention it brings to the environmental challenges we face today.

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