FEATURING movies shot above and below the water’s surface, this evening of films is a celebration of the sea. EDWIN GILSON previews the best of the bunch.

Sea Gypsies

This short follows the incredible journey of the ship Infinity, which was built by hand in the 1970s and is lacking some of the usual parts considered necessary for a major expedition. That didn’t stop its crew embarking on an 8,000 mile voyage from New Zealand to Patagonia, crossing the waters of Antarctica and all its hazardous icebergs. The so-called Sea Gypsies, the ship’s inhabitants, are a collection of nomads brought together by a love for the sea and a free spirit.

Whale Chasers

In this film, a group of “citizen scientists” in their 70s and 80s watch for humpback whales from the cliffs of New Zealand’s Cook Strait. Why? It’s all part of the Cook Strait Whale Count, a study into the recovery of the country’s humpback population since the end of New Zealand whaling in 1964. It is draining but rewarding work for the men, but they’re very well qualified for the job – they were once whalers themselves.

Fish people

Some people see the ocean as a fearful place, not to be engaged with. But for others it’s a fascinating opportunity to experience fun, freedom and endless potential. This film follows a number of sea-lovers, from surfers and fishermen to a former coal miner and a group of office workers from San Francisco. Ultimately, Fish People seeks to explore the meditative effects of the ocean and how we might find deeper meaning in the wilderness that lies just beyond the shore.

The Legacy

Over the last 50 years, dozens of healthy marine ecosystems have been devastated due to overfishing and pollution. On top of this, lots of species have vanished from their habitats. Almost 20 years ago, for instance, the pacific manta ray disappeared from the Gulf of California. The happier news is that is has found a new home in a Mexican archipelago (after it was declared a protected area). This short film shows how such endangered species can recover if given a chance.


This movie is based on the largest shipwreck in the Mediterranean – the Haven – which lies 50 metres below the surface. The film takes a trip down to the wreck, revealing haunting and fascinating insights. The expedition is made more captivating as it’s made by freedivers, including four-time world freediving champion Guillaume Nery. The group battle poor visibility and dangerous currents as they explore the wreck – without supplementary oxygen.

Ocean Film Festival, Brighton Dome, tomorrow, 7.30pm. For more information call 01273 709709 or visit brightondome.org