7 Reasons Why You Need To Be Excited For BLUE Ocean

The bees aren't the only things buzzing in St. PeteBLUE Ocean Film Fest is just one month away and we want to make sure all our appreciated readers have the event on their radar.

BLUE Ocean shines its tide changing moon on the Burg beginning November 2.  The festival will go all week and will end with a final wrap party on Sunday, November 9.

It promises to be a week filled with critically acclaimed films and introductions to new and innovative technologies. The festival will also provide ambitious filmmakers, photographers and environmentalists opportunities to network with industry pros. There's a multitude of reasons to be excited about this upcoming event. We don't want to overwhelm you so we consolidated our elation into 7 points.


1) Sir Robert Swan is a keynote speaker. In case you're wondering why that name sounds familiar it's probably because he is THE explorer extraordinaire. Swan is the first person ever to have walked to the North and South poles. Read more about the one man sustainability machine here.

Robert Swan will be a featured keynote speaker on Tuesday, November 4, at 10am at the Hilton in St. Pete (333 1st St S)

*Video by Crown Publishing Group


2) There will be a special screening of James Cameron's DeepSea Challenge 3D. On opening night go to the farthest depths of the ocean with Oscar-award winning director of Avatar and Titanic. 

*Video by National Geographic

*If diving with Cameron isn't enough, wait until you experience Google's Liquid Galaxy.

*Photo by BLUE Ocean Film Festival


3) Michael Aw, more than just exhibiting his own world renowned photography, will engage fellow enthusiasts in workshops. The opportunity to learn from an artist that was just named one of the world's most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography is kind of a big deal.


*Photo via Nat. Geo & Michael Aw


4) The laundry list of industry experts doesn't stop there. Dan Basta, director of National Marine Sanctuaries,  Paul Baribault, VP at Disney Studios, and legendary underwater filmmaker Stan Waterman will be in attendance providing lectures and workshops.

*Video by ScubaPro


5) The festival will host industry sessions throughout the week. Attendees have the opportunity to learn directly from the unsung heroes of Disney, Netflix, Sony, Google and other production companies. For those photographers, filmmakers, marine bio enthusiasts and scientists of the like still cutting their teeth, these lectures have a value that cannot be quantified.

*Netflix will be streaming their original documentary Misson Blue on Thursday, November 6. Ticket info can be found here.

*Video by Netflix


6) Because unlike other festivals, BLUE Ocean wants to leave the Burg more beautiful than when they found it. While in St. Pete the film festival will host a coastal cleanup all over the Bay. They also have several sustainability concepts that will be revealed closer to November. The cleanup is FREE and open to the public. Click here for several more exceptional events that are free to attend.

*Photo by WUSF


7) Want to learn how to take photos from the professionals? Go beyond lectures and classroom banter. On Saturday, November 8th, you can get a hands on learning experience with Bill Mills. Mills is a well-known cinematographer/photographer who has worked with National Geographic for years. Are you ready to experienced, St. Pete?


Dive Clearwater from Bill Mills on Vimeo.


Want more information? Follow BLUE Ocean on Facebook and Twitter for a stream of updates as the event draws nearer and stay tuned to their official website as dates and activities are finalized. You can purchase tickets to the event/parties/workshops/screenings here.  You can also download the BLUE app to stay connected with the latest happenings and announcements for the festival. 

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me