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HUFF 2024 Extended Program

Houston Underwater Film Festival 2024
Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston
April 6-7, 2024

 

Saturday, April 6, 3:00 PM
Raffle drawings held at the end of the show

 

Protect and Respect the Oceans – Environmental Films 

1. Mangroves of Raja Ampat
Matthias Michael Edling, Sweden
Raja Ampat holds some of the best diving in the world and is also home to Yangefo or Tanjung
Putus as the locals call it. A fantastic island filled with mangroves and an abundance of life amongst
the roots. The trees, birds, and reefs. Simply a must-visit when in the area!

 
2. The Noble Pen Shell
Ciril Mlinar, Slovenia
The noble pen shell Pinna nobilis is a long lived Mediterranean endemic species, considered one of
the biggest bivalve molluscs in the Mediterranean Sea. As a filter-feeder, it plays a key ecological
role, removing large amounts of detritus and organic matter, contributing to water clarity.
Unfortunately, in recent years it is struggling to survive…

 
3. Isla de Magia
Casiano Perez Diaz, Antonio Miguel Perez Diaz, Spain
Welcome to “Isla de Magia”, a short film filmed entirely on the Canary Island of La
Gomera in 2022 and in which we invite you to explore and discover the wonder of life. In
a world where time seems to be running faster and faster, it’s easy to lose sight of what
really matters: the beauty of nature and the infinite amount of experiences we have at
our fingertips. This short film is a call to adventure, an invitation to get out of our comfort
zone and enter a world of possibilities. Every day is an opportunity to discover
something new, to learn something different, to immerse ourselves in the immensity of
nature and let ourselves be surprised by its beauty.

 

4. Veo,Veo! (I Spy!)
David Valverde Burguillos, Spain
Veo Veo is an informative project to show everything that ordinary people do not
usually see below the horizon line. We see the beach, we see the sea, we see the
water… but what lies beyond in the depths? Dive with me and discover the
underwater wonders of the Mediterranean. We must pay attention to the small
details, to the immensity of a blue full of color, to things that are not what they seem,
even where nothing seems to live, and yes, unfortunately, also to things that should
not be in our minds.
And you? What do you see?

 

5. Sound Immersion
Jean-Hugues Beauval, France
Welcome to an extraordinary world where noise becomes imaginary.

 
6. Above & Below
Antonia Maria Josefine Ackermans, The Netherlands
Above and Below tells the story of Laura, Pablo and their dog ChauCha who, after
witnessing the devastating decline of coral reefs in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica,
decided to turn the tides and revive the dying coral reefs of Marino Ballena National
Park.

 
7. Dream Corals
Luca Keller, Germany
Across the globe, coral reefs are dying. But there is one place, as far away from modern
civilization as you can get, that still shelters vibrant and healthy corals. Escape into the
magical underwater world of Ataúro, a remote island in Timor Leste, where corals are
thriving. But don’t be fooled; here, reefs are also facing immediate danger.

 

Short Video – Any film up to 3 minutes

1. The Bahamas
Olivier Bourgeois, Andorra
The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands, waters are beautiful green and blue. In 1958,
the Bahamas was the first country to establish a marine protected area: the Exumas
Cays Land and Sea Park, marking the beginnings of marine conservation.
Despite considerable efforts to preserve marine fauna, the Bahamas are unfortunately
not immune to ocean warming. The underwater landscapes are breathtaking but you will
see for yourself in this film that coral bleaching is becoming more and more numerous.
“THE BAHAMAS” is the third and last part of the triptych of subaquatic poems “Blue Paradises Season 2″.

2. Raja Ampat: Sea of Hope
Rodrigo Echeverri, Singapore
This film shows the wonder of the last paradise on earth: Raja Ampat. A place where endangered
creatures thrive in hope of a better future.

 
3. Fakarava – South Pass
Gilles Charvet, France
Dive in the South pass of Fakarava with hundreds of Sharks – one of the biggest density
of sharks in the world.


4. Beneath the Blue – Kisite Island
Shazaad Kasmani, Kenya
Diving Kisite Island, Kenya.

 
5. A Tour of Padre Nuestro Cave
Wyatt Fritz, USA
Padre Nuestro is a cavern located in the Padre Nuestro Botanical Park in Bayahibe,
Dominican Republic. Indiana University has been studying the cavern complex as a
Taíno water-gathering site since 1996. This video-tour of the cavern promotes the
site’s accessibility for the touring public, as well as its archaeological integrity, points
of interest, and the Center for Underwater Science’s recurring annual research as a
part of its Living Museums in the Sea Field School.

 
6. Twisting Tunnels- A Journey Into Tasmania’s Caverns
Amy Lawson, Australia
Dive into some of the most mysterious caverns and cave system in the world.
Tasmania’s rocky limestone shores have created some of the most spectacular dive
sites you can imagine. We explore Tasmania’s largest cave system, but it’s not just
inside the systems that are so magical, what awaits at the exit will blow your mind!

 
7. Dieppoise Wreck, New Caledonia
Nicolas Job, New Caledonia
Nicolas Job is a french professional underwater filmmaker. In 2011, with a solid field
experience in the maritime field, he created the HEOS Marine audiovisual agency,
based in Brest, France. HEOS Marine is specializing in maritime photo reports and
corporate short films. In 2016, HEOS Marine won a project to make a film on the
Educational Managed Marine Area in the Marquesas Islands. Once there, he falls in
love with the Pacific Ocean. He decided, one year after, to move with his wife and
their three children to New Caledonia where he currently lives, to explore the strong
potential of the Pacific Ocean.


8. Diving in Triton Bay
Thummayut Wattanawongwan, Thailand
Underwater world of Triton Bay, Indonesia.

 
9. This is Force Blue
Robert Whitney, USA
A 3-minute distillation of just some of the marine conservation deployments FORCE BLUE Special
Operations veterans have made since the organization became operational in 2017.

 

Art House Flicks – Unusual Underwater Films

1. The Magic Triangle
Alfred Schaschl, Austria
Ice and cold characterize our daily existence in my own country. Surely there is a
mysterious place – called the magic triangle. That place knows neither space nor time – it
is an authentic and boundless existence – a pure illusion – a place where I and the
miracles of the oceans play the leading part. Some day in the future we will confess that
our reality is an even bigger illusion than the world of dreams and magic….

 
2. Dear Ocean
Giovana Roskosz Reis, Brynne Rardin, USA
The story of a young woman who trusted faith over fear and found her true purpose
underwater.

 
3. I Dream In Colour Again
Marcell Nikolausz, Germany
This very personal short film is about the difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic and
lockdown, when I was dealing with a slight depression and how scuba diving and
underwater and underwater filming helped me out of the Covid-blues.

 
4. Axinos
Anna Maria Kakona, Calliopi Villy Kotoula, Greece
A little girl tries her best to protect her beloved sand sea turtles from the busy summer
beach.

 
5. The Lost Beach Towel
Myk Eff, Canada
Beach towels get blown out into the ocean by the wind, where they submerge into the
depths and merge with the fish who eat or get tangled up in them. Eventually, of
course, due to the circularity of environmental systems, humans sailing above eat the
contaminated fish, who are increasingly becoming mutated by their beach towel diet.

 
6. The Great Connection
Christen Bach, Germany
As a fiber optic cable suddenly appears at the bottom of the ocean the mythological
creatures gather to debate: Will this be their salvation? Or will the teeth of this thing
cause nothing but tears?

 
7. Jack Brian
Marc Pedrals Prat, Spain
Fictional story of a young 25-year-old pilot, who is killed in the Battle of Britain and falls into the sea
from where, after dying, he tells us his thoughts from the depths. Recorded entirely underwater of
the Costa Brava. 100% underwater film.

 
8. Aquapella
Karen Edwards, USA
Caught on video, my underwater friends singing an aqua-pella.

 
9. Strangest Things
Dustin Adamson, USA
An underwater short playing off of Netflix series Stranger Things. This short film shows
some of the most interesting small critters found underwater with artificial sound effects.

 
Meet the Filmmakers, April 6, after the show ~6:00 PM
Raffle drawings are held just after the program in the theater. Then,
join us after the Saturday performance for informal conversation with
film directors, HUFF organizers and attendees at a nearby watering
hole nearby. TBA.

 

Sunday, April y, 3:00 PM

Made in Texas – Films by Texas Filmmakers

1. Big Thrills Little Thrills
Bert & Candace Campanelli, USA
Campanelli Family Dive trip to Central Visayas Region of the Philippines Nov. 2023.

 
2. An Ode to Dive Travel
Paul Cater Deaton, USA
For 35 years, Underwater Filmmaker Paul Cater Deaton has been getting his passport
stamped in far-flung ports of call around the world and bringing back the stories. PCD
offers “An Ode to Dive Travel” as a loving homage to his passion.

 
3. The Treasure of Cocos Island
Jennifer Opiela-Miksch, USA
Cocos Island has ignited imaginations for centuries, inspiring writers, filmmakers and
treasure hunters. The treasure it holds is now in danger and must be protected, before it
is gone.

 
4. Ouch! Don’t Touch!
Betsy Beasley, USA
Beware what you touch!

 
5. Anilao Follies
Dennis Deavenport, USA
Strange things are happening underwater at Anilao.

 
6. Gravity
Craig Beasley, USA
Scuba diving is not easy. It takes money and time and sometimes it can be less than thrilling. This
film asks the question “Why do we do it?”

 

Dance and Free Diving – Underwater Dance and Free Diving

1. From Pain to Beauty
Elena Del Mar, Spain
It is still an experimental dance and we strongly suggest not to imitate it.
Elena Del Mar’s underwater dance is realized between 10 and 15 metres underwater for a period of
1.30/2.00 minutes per session, with the help and supervision of two assistant freedivers, using only
the lung and breathing abilities of the underwater dancer, without auxiliary oxygen. The aquatic
scenes have no choreography or techniques of terrestrial dance; they are the result of the dancer’s
spontaneous movements in connection with the Atlantic Ocean. Also for this reason, the dancer
decided not to use a diving mask or nose clip, thus turning into a real sea creature. In some scenes
some weights were used to stabilize the dance, in others the dancer does not carry any weight.
Movements have not been sped up or slowed down, the rhythm is totally natural and original. This 
particular dance is the purest form of meditation Elena has ever experienced.
Not all things can be explained.This movie is based on a true story.
“This is the story of a woman whose heart was ripped out.
But the Ocean gifted her with a new one.
With this new heart, she felt free for the first time.
And then, she began to dance…”

 
2. Ambinient Light
Sasha Krasilnikova, Russian Federation
Artistic underwater music clip.
3. Sunken Treasures of Love
Andreas Schumacher, Germany
A love story produced on Malta.

 
4. Sirenes
Alessandro D’Auria, Italy
Mermaid dance.

 
5. Dance with Diatomée
Marianne Aventurier, Alex Voyer, France
Free dive from the Diatomée.

 
6. Entre 2 Eaux (Between 2 Waters)
Caroline Ragusa, France
Chiara is standing there, alone with herself, until she meets Nero, her double and her opposite at
the same time. This story is a deep immersion at the root of our origins, an ode to life.

 

Animation – Underwater Animation 

1. True Love
Sylvia Tops, Belgium
A mermaid swims to a speed dating. Amazingly, no mermaid man is interested in her. When she
loses all hope, something completely unexpected happens.

 
2. Robbie & Mollie
Kids ‘n Tricks, Germany
Robbie the seal and Mollie the seagull are living the good life by the sea. But dangers have been
lurking on the beach and in the water for some time now. It’s not natural enemies that they now
have to fear, it’s mainly plastic rubbish from humans that collects in the sea and threatens their
habitat.

 
3. Cold Blooded
Anna Argiros, United Kingdom
Cold Blooded is the story of a man whose holiday relaxation is interrupted when a fish in need asks
him for help.

 
4. Luciferin
Bruno Urzi, United Kingdom
A scientist wakes up disoriented following a mysterious accident. As he delves deeper into the lab
he encounters a shocking entity and he is faced with the horrors of his own creation.

 
5. Little Shorts – Caring for our Planet
Carolina Mariana Feity, Argentina
Little Shorts – Caring For Our Planet is a animated short film written, drawn and told by children.

 

6. Water
Raúl Alejandro, Robin Morales Reyes, Mexico
Water, the perfect fabric that crosses everything and everyone, which is present in every landscape,
in every being, in every thing and in everything we love and see. The water dances through this
world and flows at its perfect rhythm, until the hand of man interrupts that journey… can we be part
of that journey in a natural way? Are we on time?

 
7. Dance in the Water
Ebrahim Ashourdan, Iran
The fish is trying to reach the aquarium.

 

Feature Length – Any film up to 5 minutes

 
1. Strawberry Fields
Juan Francisco Rodriguez, Chile
A journey into the underwater world of Quadra Island in British Columbia, Canada, where strawberry
anemones cover the entire seafloor. This short documentary-style film captures the beauty and
biodiversity of this unique marine ecosystem. Amidst the red and pink anemones, curious creatures
go about their daily lives. As night falls, the ocean’s mysteries deepen and cephalopods appear,
cuttlefish and octopus emerging from their hiding spots, casting an otherworldly glow with their
iridescent displays.

 
2. Red Sea Wrecks
Carlos Villoch, Spain
Explore the mysterious world of shipwrecks in the Red Sea as we journey
through this captivating documentary. Delve into the depths to discover the
haunting beauty and historical tales that lie beneath the ocean’s surface.

 
3. Under the Sun
Lufti Tanriover, Turkey
The beauty the sun creates underwater.

 
4. Colorful
Erkan Balk, Turkey
My work in the Mediterranean between 2022 and 2023 in Turkish waters.

 
5. Beneath the Blue Heron Bridge
Justin Perkinson, USA
Part One of a Nature Vérité documentary short film series about the underwater world
“Beneath the Blue Heron Bridge” in Riviera Beach, Florida.


6. Thresher Shark Malapascua, Filippine
Maurizio Agliani, Italy
Face to face with thresher sharks.

 
7. A Quest for Oceanic Giants
Blane Henderson, USA
Diving with giant Whale Sharks, the biggest fish in all the seas, is astoundingly exciting!
These pelagic, gentle giants aren’t easy to find. There aren’t many places world-wide to
see them on the surface, much less to dive with them underwater. The Galapagos
Islands, Darwin Island and Wolfe Island specifically, is a good place to find them. The
opportunity, every June through November, to dive with pregnant female whale sharks,
is almost a given, usually a fleeting glimpse of one or two over the course of several
days. But, this October, 2023, twelve divers had the pleasure, and good fortune to dive
with multiple pregnant females over the course of four days!!! There were eight
sightings. It was thrilling! This should be on every divers bucket list. Here is the story…

 
8. Secret Bay – Camouflage
Vincente Leal, Spain
Secret Bay – Camouflage shows different forms of visual concealment of the tiniest
marine beings and allows us to appreciate the beauty and prodigiousness of one of the
most effective survival strategies in the underwater environment.

 
9. Still Diving: The Cinematography of Robert Yin
Robert Yin, USA
Robert Yin began diving in 1962. And he’s still diving. This is his story.

 

Awards Reception, Sunday April 7, ~5:45 PM

Join us immediately after the Sunday performance for awards,
conversation with film directors, raffle and sale of underwater
photographs to benefit Houston Underwater Film Festival. Held in the
Gallery across the breezeway from the theater in the Match. Cash bar
and cocktail buffet. The reception is open to all and the buffet requires
a ticket (huff.hups.org).