10th Annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival Opens New Year’s Day

December 29, 2019, 8:41 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 3:23 PM
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Cinematographer Howard Hall films mother and calf for the film “Humpback Whales A Detective Story.” Photo copyright Michele Hall.

Big Island film buffs can ring in the new year by viewing selections to the annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Waimea Film), coming to various locations across Hawai‘i Jan. 1 through Jan. 8, 2020.

Screenings and programming are scheduled for Jan. 1 to Jan. 4 in Waimea, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and the Mauna Kea Resort before moving to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Jan. 5 to Jan. 8.

Waimea Film brings a lineup of films, filmmaker Q&As, speakers, exhibits, presentations and Breakfast Talks to the island each January, providing an immersive film festival experience complete with adventure, giant waves, wildlife, ocean panoramas, important topics and all-around inspiration. Over 70 films feature ocean experience, ocean environment, island culture, inspiring stories and tales of epic adventure.

The festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through films and activities. Breakfast Talks and presentations provide a special opportunity for guests to hear from filmmakers and speakers as they share up-to-date information about the ocean and environment, stories behind-the-scenes in filming or breathtaking slide shows.

“The talks, presentations and Q&As are perhaps my favorite part of the event,” said Festival Founder and Director Tania Howard. “It feels very special to be in the audience as they unfold and to hear the inside-story. Many of the presentations are not to be missed.”


Presentations include a behind-the-scenes look at the four-year filming project Seven Worlds, One Planet; a series Deep Dives, where film crews dove to the deepest parts of all five oceans; the California high speed rail project; a slide show by whale photographer Flip Nicklin; and a presentation about Hawaiian green sea turtles and their changing world.


Festival passes can be purchased at, along with inaugural festival tees and sweatshirts in a variety of colors. Passes enable festival goers to choose among the festival’s offerings while customizing the depth they delve into topics.

At the Arc du Triomphe from the film “Around the World in 80 Days.” Photo by Johnny Swanepeol

Programs are available Dec. 30, 2019, at the Festival Hospitality Desk at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea along with a limited supply of Klean Kanteen coffee mugs, tumblers, water bottles and cups in honor of the festival’s 10th year.

Films will be screened simultaneously Jan. 1 through Jan. 4 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre) and at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. On Jan. 4, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Passes can also be purchased at the Kahilu Theatre, Fairmont Orchid and Four Seasons hospitality desks or by phoning 808-854-6095.


Present your Festival Pass with photo Jan. 2 through Jan.10, 2020, and receive a 10% discount at all Mauna Kea Resort restaurants. This includes the Mediterranean-inspired Merida Restaurant at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and tapas and entrees at the Copper Bar at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which offers dining until 11 p.m. for late night movie-goers. The discount is also honored at the resort’s Manta, ‘Ikena Landing, Hau Tree, Naupaka and the lu‘au.

The Kamuela Inn offers special rates to festival pass holders starting Jan. 1. Sse promo code OCEAN when booking accommodations. For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook,, visit or email [email protected].

For event updates, visit or follow the Waimea Ocean Film Festival on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For questions, contact the festival at 808-854-6095 or via the email address listed in the above paragraph.

Photo One: Cinematographer Howard Hall films mother and calf for the film “Humpback Whales A Detective Story.” Photo copyright Michele Hall.

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