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Central Oregon Coast's Big Blue Film Fest Shows 16 Films at Newport's Hatfield

Published 01/17/23 at 6:10 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Central Oregon Coast's Big Blue Film Fest Takes on 16 Films at Newport's Hatfield Center

(Newport, Oregon) – Where the Oregon coast's deep blue sea meets Hollywood.

What should become a regular event on the central Oregon coast is happening for the first time later this month, with the inaugural Big Blue Film Fest taking place at Newport's Hatfield Marine Science Center, January 27 - 28. A whole 16 films will be shown over the two-day event, which is the new version of the popular Hatfield Marine Science Center Film Festival that went from 2016 to 2019. (Above: photo from "Oregon Surfing: A Vital Way of Life" is a film by Maia Insinga. Photo courtesy Maia Insinga)

Hatfield's organizers say it's an opportunity to raise awareness about marine issues not just on the Oregon coast but around the world, turning audiences on to scientific research in an entertaining manner.

The festival has nabbed efforts from 46 countries, each with a different director that offers a unique perspective on the world of the deep. 169 films were submitted for consideration, with three coming from students at Oregon State University (of which the Hatfield is a part of) and one directed by an OSU staff member. Four films won awards by the selection panel, which included Hatfield Director Bob Cowen and Marine Mammal Institute Director Lisa Ballance.

Cowen said he and staff are extremely happy to be bringing this festival back to the iconic central Oregon coast facility, even with a slightly different form.

“Some amazingly talented filmmakers are participating in this inaugural festival and their creativity brings marine science to life in a way that informs, inspires and entertains,” Cowen said.

The festival will be held in the auditorium of the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. A reception with complimentary food and drinks will be held before the Friday night screening, which also includes an awards ceremony for the winning filmmakers. On Saturday, refreshments will sold between screenings.

The schedule is:

Block A: Stunning Seascapes, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Reception begins at 5:15 p.m. Films: Best film award-winner “Fire Under the Sea,” directed by Gil Kebïili and Roberto Rinaldi; “Oregon’s Edge: The Creative South Coast,” directed by Oregon State’s Darryl Lai of OSU Productions; and “The Sanctuary,” directed by Timothy Raymond Brown and Michael Bruce Portway.

Heading south, it was past Cascade Head, through Lincoln City, and eventually over the bridge at Depoe Bay, which regularly rumbled in a muted manner beyond the confines of my car windows, sometimes augmented by wild storm action that caused sprays of ocean to wash over the streets of the village and then over me. Many times did this cause me to pull over and gawk for a while.

Getting into Newport and Nye Beach was always the same thrill as the northward trek to Manzanita: I could see and hear the ocean, as if it too welcomed me – although only me. It wasn’t hard to imagine the beach was keeping its eye out for just my return, as ego-centric as this thought was.

Port of Newport Marina RV Park is an up-to-date Good Sam rated park with discount available. All sites offer full hookups and are paved with pull-thru, back-in, and pull-in options.

Port of Newport Annex is the Port’s legacy park with gravel pads and full hookups (no discounts).


Outside the Hatfield, photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Additional information about each film is available on the event website.

All access passes are $20 for adults and $12 for students, including K-12 and college students. Passes provide access to all films shown during the festival; tickets are not available for individual blocks of films. All access passes must be purchased online; to purchase tickets, visit this link. Seating is limited so purchasing in advance is recommended.

The Big Blue Film Fest is a collaboration of several Oregon State University organizations, including Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Marine Studies Initiative and OSU Productions, as well as community partners.

The festival honors the legacy of Maryann Bozza, who conceived the original Hatfield Marine Science Center Film Festival. Bozza, a program manager at Hatfield who served on the leadership team for the Marine Studies Initiative, died in 2017. MORE NEWPORT BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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