Somos parte de:

Making Our Oceans Great Again: DREFF Team Is Proud to Be Part of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival

November 14, 2016

St. Petersburg, Florida – The BlUE Ocean Film Festival and Summit took place once again in Saint Petersburg, Florida, from November 10 to 14. The DREFF’s (Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival)  and GFDD’s Executive Director, Natasha Despotovic, attended the four busy days of film screenings, panels, workshops and discussions, together with Semiramis De Miranda, DREFF’s Director of Digital Publications and Media.

Mrs. Despotovic served for the third time as a judge on the BLUE’s jury: in 2012 she was part of the Jury in the Foreign Language Category, in 2014 in the Ocean Sports and this year in the category of Cinematography. Together with Mrs. De Miranda she represented the short movie Value of Life, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development’s (GFDD) latest production, at the Awards Gala that took place on November 12 at Don Cesar Hotel. Value of Life has been chosen as a finalist together with other 5 films, in the category of Short Productions. This category honors the best short films between 5 and 20 minutes in length that are “engaging, creative and empowering”, according to the organizers.  It was the second time that a GFDD production was chosen as a finalist film by the Blue Ocean Film Festival. In 2014, Garbage or Resource? – A Dominican Republic Experience was a finalist in the category of Foreign Language Film; this year Value of Life has been selected, among more than 300 films, in the Shorts Program Category. The winner in the Shorts category this year was the movie Souls of the Vermillion Sea: Searching for the Vaquita, by Matthew Podolsky and Sean Bogle.

“To be a finalist in this world renowned competition, among filmmakers from all around the world, is a great honor and an encouragement to continue making films for all of us at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD). A small non-profit like ours, that dedicates itself to so many different programs in numerous areas of development, produces movies like this one only thanks to all the staff members who join their very diverse professional skills in one passionate effort to make a film that has a meaning for them and that they hope will convey a meaningful message to others. The recognition that we have received for our work, in midst of professional filmmakers of international renown, tells us that we must be doing something right, and gives us faith and courage to continue.”, said Mrs. Despotovic, the director and producer of the movie.

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit 2016 is an event celebrated every two years in the United States and in the odd years in Monaco, where ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives and the general public gather to honor the best in ocean filmmaking. They come together to praise ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing our oceans, and to collaborate on improving the future of our oceans and humanity. The four-day event is charged with energy as these diverse groups of people share knowledge and ideas with each other and with the general public.

Every year, the Blue recognizes leaders in ocean exploration and conservation. The 2016 Blue award honorees were: David Shaw, who received the Making Waves Award; Nainoa Thompson, BLUE Legacy Award and Greg MacGillivray, BLUE Legacy Award. The Festival opened with the already highly popular Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie “Before the Flood” and closed with the Keynote Speech delivered by Dr. Sylvia Earle, President of Mission Blue, and a National Geographic Explorer in Residence who is probably the most famous marine biologist and ocean conservation activist in the world.

Debbie Kinder, the CEO of the BLUE, and a member of the DREFF’s International Advisory Board, once again accomplished her mission of bringing together the most articulate voices in ocean conservation and exploration and creating a platform where they can spread and exchange their knowledge and educate and inspire audiences of all walks of life to do the same.

About Value of Life
Historically, little value is placed on natural capital when looking at growth equations and socioeconomic development. It is difficult for big businesses, and more so for ordinary people, to quantify the significance of natural resources and make the value of nature tangible in our daily lives. The production responds to those questions: How much is the natural capital of the Dominican Republic worth? How do we put a price on the ecosystem the planet has given us and that allows us to survive?

About GFDD Short Productions
The program seeks to highlight and raise awareness of important local environmental and socio-economic issues, showcase best practices, and educate audiences on the different and unique cultural aspects of the country, as well as to serve as an example and inspiration for young filmmakers on how to address this incipient field in the Dominican Republic.

SHORTS PROGRAM: Between 5 – 20 minutes

Finalist Films
26 Years and Counting
Producers: JJ Kelley, Ben Clark, Josh Thomas

Tsunami Tuna: Free Billy
Creators: Jim Wilkie and Daryl Wilcher

In Pursuit of Plastics
Producers: Katie Jewett, Gianna Savoie, and Jeff Reed, Ocean Media Institute

Souls of the Vemilion Sea: Searching for the Vaquita
Producers: Matthew Podolsky and Sean Bogle, Wild Lens

Thailand’s Seafood Slaves
Producer: Environmental Justice Foundation

Value of Life
Producer: Natasha Despotovic

For more information:

DREFF’s Programs
Throughout the Year

Since the inception of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in 2011, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) has created and developed 6 year-round programs that make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic.

More Information

Sponsors and Collaborators

We thank our partners, sponsors, collaborators and friends.

© Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) - All Rights Reserved