The annual World Whale Film Festival promotes visual storytellers who are passionate about our oceans. Our mission is to tell powerful stories that inspire ocean and wildlife conservation around the world. The official theme of World Whale Film Festival 2019 is ‘inspiring ocean health through waves of change’.
5:00pm - Film projects and eco partners host informational booths in the courtyard adjacent to Iao Theater. Dine at HI Thai Food Truck, located across the street from Iao Theater, event guests will receive 20% off!
5:30pm - Doors open
6:00pm - Welcome
6:10pm - Films Begin
7:30pm - Intermission. Snacks and beverages available for purchase through Iao Theater
7:45pm - Films proceed
9:00pm - Event concludes
9:15pm - Après Film Social at Wai Bar- continue the conversation and mingle with film makers. This is a private event in the back courtyard, for film festival guests only.
Special guest and film presenter, Kimi Werner.
The ocean has long been a source of sustenance, inspiration and adventure for Kimi Werner. As a young child growing up off the grid in an isolated part of coastal Maui, she floated behind her father as he freedove for her family's primary food source. Only later as an adult on Oahu did she understand the central role the ocean was to play in her life when she discovered her own passion for free diving. Kimi has gone on to become the United States National Spearfishing Champion, a certified culinary chef, an award winning artist and a sought after speaker. Her daily life is a pure fusion of her talents, rooted in sustainability and geared towards a healthy future for our global community.
Madison Stewart, aka ‘Shark Girl’ returns to the World Whale Film Festival with an update on her goal to convince shark fishermen in Indonesia that tourism is a viable and profitable alternative to the shark fin industry.
In 2018, a small team lead by shark conservationist Madison Stewart travelled to one of Indonesia’s largest shark fisheries with one intention, to befriend a shark fisherman. In a world where shark stock is collapsing, changing generations of hark fishermen who work for survival is not easy. There is one trade however, that can rival the multi-million dollar shark trade, one trade that can save sharks and people, tourism. This short film depicts the initial journey of project Hiu (project shark) to find a shark fisherman among the fleet willing to let us onto his boat, and pay him for tourism, distracting the boat from its usual shark fishing trip. Through the grasp of Chinese buyers, struggles of developing nations, crystal clear water and thriving reef, we find a glimmer of hope, in an ocean decimated by demand, we find an alternative source of income.
In 1999, the hoaʻāina families (traditional tenants & caretakers) of Hāʻena, Kauaʻi embarked on a mission to perpetuate the knowledge and practices of their ancestors by caring for the natural and cultural resources within Hāʻena State Park on the north end of Kauaʻi. This is a story of their work to establish Hawaiʻi’s first community-based subsistence fishing area and the collective effort it took to make it happen. The Hoaʻāina Of Hāʻena tells the inspiring story of a rural Hawaiian community's journey to perpetuate traditional and customary practices of their kūpuna (ancestors) and their multi-generational effort to mālama (care for) the natural and cultural resources that have sustained their families for generations.
This film will be presented by the Kipahulu Ohana, who are focused on shoreline and near-shore stewardship resource management. Among the projects of their Malama I Ke Kai (Take Care of the Ocean) program is a 'Opihi Rest Area along the shoreline adjacent to Haleakala National Park, and the proposal to designate Kipahulu Moku as a Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA).
Big wave surfer Paige Alms and world champion windsurfer Sarah Hauser present a short film on their conservation campaign titled ‘Trashy Selfie’. Using their platforms as professional athletes, Sarah and Paige are working towards cleaning up marine debris, one selfie at a time.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Ed Lyman presents ‘In the Wake of Giants’. This documentary shares the true stories of the dedicated individuals who risk their lives to free entangled humpbacks and other large whales in Hawaiian waters. Lyman, coordinator of the response efforts in Hawaii and featured in the film, will speak about his experiences in responding to at least 80 marine mammal entanglements under NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.
One year ago, almost to the date of our 3rd Annual World Whale Film Festival, Pacific Whale Foundation’s Founder Greg Kaufman passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer. A pioneer in noninvasive humpback whale research in the mid-1970s, Greg founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980 to educate the public, from a scientific perspective, about whales and their ocean habitat. The trailer for Greg’s upcoming biography film ‘A Voice for Whales’ will be shown exclusively to the audience of this event.
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are a large species of dolphin and one of a group of dolphins known as the “blackfish”. Research conducted by Pacific Whale Foundation focuses on the Main Hawaiian Islands insular population which has fewer than 200 individuals, of which very few are females capable of breeding. Due to its extremely small population size and limited range, the insular population was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2012. This short film will introduce the false killer whale and describe the research being conducted to locate them in the Maui Nui region and collect identification photos, underwater footage, and aerial measurements. Research activities are conducted under NMFS Research Permit #21321.
Maui Huliau Foundation will introduce a film created by one of their students in partnership with the Benioff Ocean Initiative. Students traveled to Kamilo Beach on the southeast coast of the island of Hawaii, known for its accumulation of plastic marine debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, to learn more about marine debris. This film was was created as Hawai'i contemplated joining over 60 places in the US to ban the use of throwaway styrofoam/polystyrene.
Calling all filmmakers! Pacific Whale Foundation is seeking unique and meaningful short films for the 3rd Annual World Whale Film Festival.
Submissions should be at least 3 minutes in length, no longer than 20 minutes and will be presented during the 2019 World Whale Film Festival on Friday, February 8 at the Historic IAO Theater in Wailuku, Maui.
PAST films include
Support a Great Cause
All proceeds from the event support Pacific Whale Foundation's humpback whale research in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific, marine education programs for local school children, as well as conservation programs including efforts to keep marine debris out of our oceans, prevent vessel-whale collisions, and end whaling worldwide.