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DREFF Partners with Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Event to Kick Start the Week-Long Series of Events

New York, September 26, 2012

Members of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) team, represented by Emy Rodriguez, Director of Programming; Margaret Hayward, Panel Coordinator; and Alexandra Tabar, Workshop Manager & Multimedia Coordinator, are presently in Monterey, California working with the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Event.

The week-long program of films, presentations by world-renowned speakers, master classes, social events and other festivities kicked off on Monday, September 24, at the Sunset Center in Carmel, California.

The evening featured a welcome by Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett, Congressman Sam Farr, and keynote presentations by ocean explorers and ambassadors Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau, who compellingly conveyed the message that "taking care of the Oceans is like taking care of ourselves". 

The keynote speakers called attention to the fact that while 71 percent of our planet is covered by ocean, 95 percent of the world’s oceans remain unexplored. They expressed that while we are so dependent on it, we also take it for granted. The internationally respected environmentalists stressed that while the challenges that lie before us appear immense, it is essential that we act as stewards to conserve the environment and the planet’s oceans for generations to come.

Opening night also premiered the music video “Don’t Fight the Sea,” by Al Jardine, produced by Bob Talbot, featuring the Beach Boys and a special message from Al Jardine of the Beach Boys.

The BLUE opening film event showed a screening of the heartwarming and compelling film, Otter 501, depicting how a sea otter pup is separated from her mother, and a young woman bound for adventure blows into town. On a wild and windswept beach these lives collide and an entire species' survival gets personal. Framed against the strikingly beautiful Monterey Bay coastline, the last stronghold of these iconic animals, the young woman discovers just how serious this threat remains. Their adventure, unexpected as it was, illustrates what we can do to contribute to the growing movement to protect the southern sea otter...and ourselves.

After the screening, local Monterey filmmakers Mark Shelley and Bob Talbot, and the film’s main character Katie Pofahl and sea otter experts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium remained on hand for questions at the after reception for filmmakers and Blue Ocean Festival Delegates.

DREFF and Blue Ocean Film Festival
DREFF is partnering with BLUE in a number of ways, including providing the support of a DREFF staff member, who is working as a volunteer. DREFF is also premiering its 2012 Globo Verde Dominicano Award winner in the category of short film De espaldas al mar (With Our Backs to the Sea) by Armando Larrauri.

What is more, DREFF is also showcasing its acclaimed exhibit: “Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment,” which displays graphics and scientific information from the Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment, a reference book published by Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE).

Over 20 images are on display.

DREFF also has a booth where it is distributing GFDD promotional materials and signing copies of GFDD publications, New Perspectives: Dominican Republic and the Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment, which are available for purchase.
Now in its third year, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Event is a must for those interested in networking with industry professionals and getting to know the most recent innovations in the area of ocean films.

DREFF, launched by GFDD and FUNGLODE in September of last year, raises awareness and deepens understanding of environmental issues among Dominican audiences, while celebrating the beauty and diversity of the country’s natural heritage.

Through screening a diverse selection of high-quality films on matters of environmental concern, and organizing panel discussions with environmental experts, filmmakers and other stakeholders, the Festival seeks to foster dialogue and to inspire Dominican audiences to adopt practices that will ensure the health and environmental sustainability of the country.

By bringing together youth, scholars, experts, activists, filmmakers, representatives of public, private and nongovernmental institutions and the general public, the Festival promotes programs and projects that contribute to environmental protection, conservation and sustainability.

About Globo Verde Dominicano
Through this initiative launched this year, DREFF recognizes talented Dominican filmmakers working to create productions on environmental themes in the categories of short film and public service announcement.

About Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment
The book is an A-Z guide on the environment and natural resources of the Dominican Republic. It contains 712 terms defined with the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, and is illustrated with 700 photos, 58 tables, 123 figures, which are complemented by 17 scientific articles on environmental challenges and conservation methods. The Dictionary seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of environmental degradation, while promoting respect, care and concern for the country’s natural resources, their protection and sustainable use.

About New Perspectives: Dominican Republic
Comprised of 400 aerial images, the book is divided into 9 chapters – Reflections of Light, Coasts, Heights, Plains, History, City, People, Tourism and Work – containing text about various aspects of the country’s history, culture, environment and contemporary life. It has become a point of reference for the national population, visitors, students, art and photography aficionados, the numerous Dominicans that reside outside of the country, and all those interested in acquiring a better understanding of the Dominican Republic.

Related links:

II Muestra de Cine Medioambiental Dominicana, 5-9 de Septiembre 2012
  • Community in Action!
    Supporting grassroots organizations and communities
    Among the goals of the DR Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), is to include and support grassroots organizations and communities, schools and young people in general.

  • Marcos Diaz
    A real Universal Community leader and spokesman for the core values of the UN Millennium Development Goals as it is the Dominican swimmer Marcos Diaz. He will meet a group of youth, who will have a swimming competition, at La Caleta. The expected goals of this activity is to offer an opportunity to youth of disadvantaged areas to interact with Marcos, and to get a better understanding for the role model that Marcos represents for Dominicans and the rest of the world, as well as a better understanding of the sea and this protected area of La Caleta.

    For more details about Marcos Diaz visit Dominican Get-Together in the Big Apple

Trivias - Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment