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14th Annual Gray’s Reef Film Festival expands to Tybee Island and adds second 3D Night

by Michelle Riley / Gray’s Reef NMS

Moviegoers gave rave reviews to the Gray’s Reef Film Festival’s first-ever “3D Night” last year, spurring Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary to offer two consecutive nights of 3D fun at the Trustees Theater in downtown Savannah for the upcoming festival. The sanctuary also is expanding the event’s reach by adding a daytime slate at the Tybee Post Theater.

“We’re having a lot of fun putting together this year’s festival,” organizer Chris Hines, deputy superintendent of Gray’s Reef, said.  “Our theme this year is ‘Our Community, Our Ocean.’ These beautiful movies highlight the deep bond with nature and the ocean we are so fortunate to experience as a coastal community, and how important a healthy ocean is to preserving our way of life.”

On tap for the 3D showings at the Trustees Theater Feb. 3-4 are “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland,” “The Last Reef 3D,” “Wonders of the Artic 3D” and “Secret Ocean 3D.” “Galapagos 3D” is directed by award winner Martin Williams, who is well known for his documentaries with David Attenborough. “The Last Reef 3D” was shot in five countries and is the production of Academy Award nominees Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, while “Wonders of the Arctic 3D” is a sweeping film by David Lickley, who describes himself as a “wilderness environmental-themed filmmaker. “Secret Ocean 3D” is a beautiful jewel of a movie by Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Galapagos sea lion and lava lizard from "Galapagos 3D"

Galapagos sea lion and lava lizard from “Galapagos 3D”

The Tybee Post Theater offerings on Feb. 5 will include a delightful sampling of films from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, the premier venue in North America for ocean-related movies, most of which are largely unavailable to the general public.

“Our partnership with the Tybee Post Theater this summer exceeded our expectations, with more than 1,000 attendees expressing their interest in ocean-themed movies,” said Hines. “We are excited to expand the film festival and deepen our engagement with our beach communities.”

Like last year, Gray’s Reef suggests a donation of $10 per day for adults, $5 per day for children, students and military, to benefit the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The foundation will host a pre-festival party on Feb. 2, with limited tickets available.

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Save the Date for the 13th Annual Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival!

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will present the Ocean Film Festival on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30, 2016, at the Lucas Theatre and Trustees Theater in down Savannah.

“This year’s film festival is slated to be the best ever,” said Gray’s Reef’s Michelle Riley.

For the first time, the festival will include 3-D movies, including “Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D.”

“When I was introduced to the new technology developed specifically for us, I immediately understood that this was a breakthrough in underwater filming that would allow us to capture extraordinary, never-before-seen images that I had never witnessed in my 69 years of diving,” Cousteau said.

The wonderful sports film, “The Current,” features people of all abilities who enjoy adaptive sports and shows participants scuba diving and ocean kayaking alongside whales and dolphins in exotic locations, including Bimini, the Bahamas, Mexico and Hawaii.

“Another film we will present is “The Crystal Labyrinth,” featuring cave diver and explorer Brian Kakuk,” Riley said.  “The film is a fascinating look at the Bahamas’ cave network.”

For additional information and a schedule of films, visit www.graysreefnmsf.org.