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7th Annual International
Maritime Film Festival
: 2023

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September, 2023

Congratulations to this year's winners:


Director: Thor F Jensen
Runtime: 1:37:204


Danish filmmaker Thor F. Jensen, under the apprenticeship of three Papua New Guinean master sailors, Justin John, Sanakoli John and Job Siyae, sets off from Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, on a world-first circumnavigation of the island of New Guinea in a traditional Sailau (sailing canoe) called the Tawali Pasana. While Thor wants to tell a contemporary story of the island, the sailors wish to inspire new generations of sailors, but the team soon realizes that the journey is much more difficult than first anticipated.
Thor is forced to rethink his position on the canoe and the sailors have to adapt their traditional skills as they face the deadly North West Monsoon. Over the course of 13 months and 21 days and 6300 km – dodging treacherous reefs, witchcraft and crocodiles – the fellowship of the Tawali Pasana captures the imagination of the island. But to reach the finish line they must all make sacrifices.

Women Captains
Runtime: 52:00
Director: Phil Comeau





Marilyn fishes lobster with her father and dreams of becoming a captain herself. She meets other determined women captains who encourage her. But, when her husband suddenly dies in an accident, she becomes a single mother and questions her dream.



Science and Exploration:
French voyages of discovery
to Australia
Runtime: 45:00
Director: James Baker


This richly illustrated documentary uncovers the stories of the French navigators and naturalists who risked their lives to explore Australia and New Zealand to learn about their people, plants and animals. Science on the high seas was a constant battle with the elements, insects and rats as well as with other people, both onboard and onshore. These young men, and sometimes women, risked storms, shipwreck, scurvy and starvation all for the glory of science and posterity. 





Love & Grease:
The Story Behind Gloucester's
Greasy Tradition
Runtime: 48:27
Director: Nick Emmons
United States



The Greasy Pole is a beloved tradition dating back to 1931 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The event takes place every year during St. Peter's Fiesta, an annual 5-day festival honoring the patron saint of fishermen. One by one, participants (mostly locals) try to make it across a grease smothered telephone pole extending more than 40-feet across the chilly waters of Pavilion Beach. Those brave enough and skilled enough to make it across are looked at as hometown heroes. Who are these brave walkers, and why do they do this crazy test of skill? Love & Grease explores the deep connection between the community, the walkers and the event.



A Watershed Moment
A Story About People, Fish, and
Fresh Water That Connects Them

Runtime: 41:15
Director: Tate Yoder, Mike
Thalhauser, Ciona Ulbrich
United States





Mother Sea
Director: Giannandrea Carpanzo
Runtime: 6:03




When we evolved from fishes to humans, we forgot our aquatic origins. Through free-diving we reconnect to our deepest self by rediscovering our ancestral link with the sea. Holding our breath we live again the experience that we lived in the womb, because the sea welcomes and protects us, as a mother does with her child. In the sea, we let ourselves be enveloped by the endless blue and, by feeling its call, we realize what brings us back to its depths every time. Beginning to breathe again is like being reborn, and this is our deepest awareness.




Tonga Volcano:
Shotgun Blast from the Deep
Director: Rebekah Lee Parsons-King
Runtime: 15:00
New Zealand


In January 2022, the Hunga Tonga volcano erupted, creating a tsunami and sending shockwaves around the world. In March, researchers from New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) embarked on a month-long voyage to study the underwater volcano to better understand what happened and the impacts of the eruption on the seafloor and to the sea life in the future. Tonga Volcano tells the story of the eruption, documents the voyage and the discoveries the researchers continue to make on their return to New Zealand, as they analyze the samples they collected. They discover that almost 10km3 of seafloor was displaced, the equivalent of 2.6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, making it the largest volcanic explosion recorded by modern instruments.


Fifth Tide
Directors: Lena Kemna and
Christina Gindi
Runtime: 18:44


Winter swells, thundering waves, sharp reefs, paddling larger waves with guns, and the struggle and joy that comes with all of that. Fifth Tide shows the life of two women during the rough Portuguese winter season. It shows their connection to the ocean, waves, and nature, and how they found sisterhood through all of this.


Maine's First Ship
Directors: Kirstie Truluck
Runtime: 9:54
United States




Maine's First Ship launched a reconstruction of a 17th century wooden sailing vessel in June 2022. Through the voices of our volunteers and committed community, the documentary tells the tale of the nearly forgotten history of the Popham Colony and the mission to build a boat to tell the tale. With this film, Maine's First Ship celebrates 25 years of history, ingenuity & community.

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