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Local film series named finalist in 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Fest

“American Samoa Culture and Ocean Conservation Film Series”

The "American Samoa Culture and Ocean Conservation Film Series" has been named a finalist in the Broadcast Series Category of the 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, set to be held in St. Petersburg, Florida on November 10- 13.

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival is the premiere ocean film festival in the world for promoting, honoring and sharing great ocean films.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) is proud of the accomplishment, with Superintendent Gene Brighouse being optimistic that a win is in our future.

“Like when we won the Swains Documentary Film in 2014, we have a very good standing to win the Broadcast Series Category Award this year,” Brighouse wrote in an email to Samoa News over the weekend.

There are a total of five clips, five minutes each (25 minutes total) in the series, and they can be viewed at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit occurs every two years, and brings together ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives, and members of the general public in sunny Florida “to honor the best in ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing our oceans, and to collaborate on improving the future of our oceans and humanity.”

According to “the seven-day event is charged with energy as these diverse groups of people share knowledge and ideas with each other and with the general public.”

The heart of BLUE is the international film competition and film festival. “Over 100 finalist films are screened and recognized for achieving excellence in more than 20 award categories. Memorable social events provide an intimate environment for networking with the filmmakers and scientists who come together to create some of the most engaging films of our time.”

The Conservation Summit, on the other hand, involves discussions and presentations by renowned explorers, scientists, conservationists, celebrities, and policy makers from around the globe, who gather to “share scientific insights, discuss the issues, and present innovative solutions in inspiring and thought-provoking sessions.”


In 2014, filmmaker Jim Knowlton, producer of “Swains Island – One of the Last Jewels of the Planet,” said that because of the new Sanctuary designation, the beauty or wildlife of Swains Island would be there for many years to come.

Knowlton, of the Ocean Futures Society, accepted the award for the Swains Island documentary that won the “Cultural Connections, People, and the Sea” category during the BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit two years ago.

At the time, Knowlton told Samoa News via email correspondence that as a filmmaker, “I’ve learned to capture remarkable things when I see them because they might not be there next time.”

He continued, “As an environmentalist, I’ve learned that we need to protect special places because we can’t assume they will always be healthy.”


“All of Blue’s activities and goals are driven by our fundamental belief that film is the most powerful tool we have available to engage a broad global audience in a direct way that educates them about the ocean, creates a better understanding of complex issues, and empowers positive next steps.”