Friday, May 27, 2022

World Whale Film Festival 2022

For Immediate Release

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Annual World Whale Film Festival

Lights Up Summer Screens


MA‘ALAEA, Hawai‘i (May 20, 2022) – Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF), a global marine conservation nonprofit, is excited to announce the programming for its 6th Annual World Whale Film Festival (WWFF).  With funding provided by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Community Enrichment Fund, this hybrid event kicks off on World Ocean Day, June 8, at Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery in Upcountry Maui. The evening includes dinner, drinks and a thoughtfully curated set of films that focus on stories about ocean and wildlife conservation, environmental stewardship, Indigenous ecological knowledge and other selections that raise awareness of major threats impacting nature and humankind.


General in-person event tickets cost $135 while VIP tickets cost $225. Both options feature food, beverages and full access to online screenings with additional perks included in the VIP package, such as a coveted Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) swag bag, raffle opportunities and more. Access to WWFF’s online component, costing $20, begins June 8 and runs through June 30.


Conceptualized six years ago by late PWF Founder Greg Kaufman and his wife, PWF Documentary Filmmaker Selket Kaufman, WWFF serves as a platform for emerging and seasoned filmmakers that aligns with the organization’s mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy and inspire environmental stewardship. By invoking the power of storytelling, PWF promotes awareness of environmental stories from around the world, inspiring action for a better, bluer future.


“Our goal from the beginning was to inform and inspire the people of Maui,” explains Selket Kaufman, noting that the pandemic sparked the introduction of an online component providing an even greater opportunity for global awareness. “The festival blossomed as our definition of community expanded to include a global audience that support our mission.” 


Prominent among the stellar films presented at this year’s festival is the premiere of the nonprofit organization’s most recent documentary, Ocean Guardians. Created by PWF Documentary Filmmaker Kaufman, this film is the first in a series designed to tell the full story of PWF while examining major threats to marine life. It chronicles the journey of humpback whales as they migrate between Alaska and Hawai‘i and PWF’s efforts to save them from extinction.


Ocean Guardians is a story about migration, perseverance, connectiveness and cooperation,” she explains. “We’re looking forward to sharing it at this year’s festival along with other impactful films that embody PWF’s belief in the power of storytelling to evoke change.”  


Additional films spotlighted during the festival include Entangled, by David Abel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter that addresses ongoing efforts to protect the North American right whale from extinction and the struggle to balance the interests of conservation groups and lobster-industry lobbyists; This Mortal Plastik, an experimental documentary by award-winning media artist and filmmaker Jess Irish which is playfully crafted with hand-drawn illustrations and poetic interludes, crosses the world’s oceans in an attempt to understand the contemporary landscape of single-use synthetics; and the documentary short Healing Land, Healing People, shot entirely on Maui and Moloka‘i by Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday at the height of the pandemic, which examines the values of kuleana (responsibility), malama (care for) and ‘aina (land) embraced by local residents as they engaged in nature-based restoration projects.  


 For more information on the World Whale Film Festival or to purchase tickets to either the in-person or online event, please visit 


About Pacific Whale Foundation

With a mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy and to inspire environmental stewardship, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) conducts Research, Education and Conservation programs. Founded in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the world’s whales from extinction, PWF now solely owns social enterprise PacWhale Eco-Adventures, which offers fee-based programs and services to help support the nonprofit. Combined with memberships, donations, charitable grants and a remarkable group of dedicated volunteers, PWF now reaches more than 400,000 individuals each year through its Maui and Australia offices and research projects in Ecuador and Chile.

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