Ocean Film Festival, Kings Theatre, review: ‘Truly eye-opening’

Lucas Handley in the film, Blue.
Lucas Handley in the film, Blue.

The Banff Ocean Film Festival returned to the Kings Theatre last night for a sold-out show.  

With a selection of seven short films, the theatre was packed with old and young alike, all eagerly waiting to be transported to a faraway island or a boat in the middle of the ocean. 

Each film told us of an inspirational story. From Scarlet’s Tale, the story of a man who returns to the water after a shark attack, to the incredible Big Wave Project about surfers chasing the biggest and the best, the filming techniques and photography was spectacular. 

And a similar theme ran throughout all the films – positivity. Despite touching on serious subjects, from accelerating climate change to deadly sea pollution, each film was delivered with a practical outlook, instructing the audience that we can all make a difference now. 

Blue was one of these films. Featuring passionate advocates for ocean preservation, we were invited into their world and the daily tasks they face to help species cope with the ever-changing ocean climate.

One poignant moment in this film was when Dr Jennifer Lavers, a Canadian research scientist, pressed on the stomach of a dead Shearwater seabird which crunched with plastic under her thumbs. She proceeded to cut open the stomach and many bottle caps spilled out – it’s now a fact that 100 per cent of Shearwaters have plastic in their stomachs, she told us.  

This was just one of many thought-provoking moments throughout the evening. If everyone had to watch this film, I’m sure they would all consider changing their plastic consumption. 

However, there were many laughs throughout the evening too. Touched By The Water made us put down our tissues and watch the funny tale of two Latvian men who decided to row the South Atlantic with no rowing experience. From boils to broken ribs, and storms to seasickness, this humorous film was a perfect close to the night. 

The Ocean Film Festival was truly eye-opening. This educational and emotional set of films teaches everyone of the drastic effects of climate change – and what we can do to help.