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Keynote Presentation (5 pm)

The World Is Our Oyster: How the Right Stories and Storytellers Can Create Change

Presented by Liz Georges
In 2018, a small group of seven shellfish growers set out to bring their voices to bear on the issue of climate change. Two years, 130+ members in 20 states and one 17-minute documentary later, the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition has already seen the needle move in unexpected ways on climate action. These unlikely climate change advocates show how the right story, and the right storytellers, can make a difference for our planet.

Wave Film Fest

We hope these films presented by their creators inspire you to love our waters.


Whale Song

Howard and Michele Hall
These humpback whale images were captured exclusively in 8K with the RED Helium camera during a trip to French Polynesia. Rodolphe Holler of Tahiti Private Expeditions provided excellent guide and boat services. Music is by Lodger Wright from his album Master of None.


Michele Hoffman Trotter
Microcosm is a documentary journey into a hidden universe that will change everything you think you know about the ocean. Viewers experience a never before seen alien world, and accompany scientists racing to unravel its secrets with hopes of solving environmental challenges plaguing our planet. From the remote Arctic to the tropic wonders of Hawaii and beyond, impossibly small and enigmatic creatures are controlling the air we breathe, food we eat, and are key to the existence of life on Earth. It is smaller than a drop of water and larger than life, it is the microcosm.

  • Meditation on Microcosm
    Carlee Belt

Protected Waters: Exploring Yellowstone

Jennifer Idol and Alex Rose
The world’s first national park inspired the creation of 60 more parks in the United States and hundreds of parks in more than 100 countries. From geysers and hot springs to glacial lakes, water has defined the park and filled it with some of the strangest lifeforms. Alex Rose and Jennifer Idol dive beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake to see unusual and lesser known geothermal features and the strange life they support.

  • Coral in Concert
    Caitlin Bailey

    Scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and on the phone from around the world explore the Musicians Seamounts, a chain of deep-sea mountains north of Hawaii in international waters. Using ROV Deep Discoverer, they find a symphonic array of diversity, from coral thought to be hundreds of years old to a multitude of inhabitants that call this area home. This discovery shows that even waters outside of our borders need to be protected because the ocean knows no boundaries.
  • Nobody Loves you but Me
    Leandro Blanco

The Calling

Evan Sherman
For some, the sea beckons. At times soft and meek, and at other times, deafening and relentless. The allure of escape, of discovery, of exploration, cannot be ignored. The ocean speaks to those who listen. But what if it was us who initiated the calling?


"Arctic Symphony" - from Elysium Artists for the Arctic

Alex Rose
The Arctic is changing and warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Our planet's air conditioning system is disappearing, and with it, the stability of our climate. We must do everything in our collective power to preserve our critical polar regions, and awareness about the plight of our polar North is of utmost importance. We hope to use the universal language of music to connect with people around the globe, inspiring them to better understand, appreciate, and protect our fragile Arctic ecosystems. This piece of music was written by composer Eric Bettens, and performed by Eric on the electric clarinet, and Alex on the violin. 

  • Ocean
    Arica Hilton

The Magical Maldives

Jim and Pat Stayer
A multitude of magic awaits you under the pristine turquoise waters of the Maldives. Here enormous schools of fish surround you and mantas form trains, which maneuver ever so close to the camera lens. The Maldives is an archipelago nation of 1,190 emerald islands, most of them uninhabited, and surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful pinnacles, seamounts, and walls where pristine soft and hard corals are abundant. Its remoteness and diversity of life makes it one of the premier dive destinations in the world. Join the Stayers as they visit Hanifaru Bay. Though this bay was only the size of a football field Jim and Pat encountered over 30 mantas and huge whale shark.


Shipwrecks off Lakeshore Drive

Joan Forsberg and Cris Kohl
featuring music by Alliota, Haynes, and Jeremiah

Chicago’s most scenic and most famous road runs alongside Lake Michigan, and there are fascinating shipwrecks off that road. I'm going to take you to BOTH – that road and those shipwrecks.



Sondga Cai
Strange life rises from depths as far down as the twilight zone to feed under the shadow of night. Together, this wide variety of elusive animals float along in serach of food.


Travel Quest

Dave and Kathy Monk
Our new television series (premiering in 2021) focuses on areas of the world with cultural and ecological significance that are often overlooked or deemed too difficult to access. Our host, wildlife biologist and explorer, Bill Ball, refer to these ventures as “travel with a conscience.” Here we feature short segments from three episodes: The Brazilian Pantanal, Papua New Guinea, and the Antarctic Peninsula.


Adventure is Calling

Lee and Phil Burghard
Diving to is more than just a recreational sport, it has a much deeper meaning. To many of us its about adventure, exploring the unknown, and that sense of freedom we feel every time we sink beneath the surface. This short film provides a small glimpse into beauty of our underwater world, and what we as divers love so very much about it.


Finding Nemo's Garden

Paul Cater Deaton
In Finding Nemo’s Garden – Sea & Science in the Land of the Renaissance, award-winning underwater filmmaker Paul Cater Deaton travels to the Italian Riviera to visit a revolutionary undersea vegetable and herb farming experiment. Equal parts science and adventure, there’s more to Nemo’s Garden than meets the eye. A dedicated team of SCUBA divers, farmers, scientists, engineers and artists pool their estimable resources to grow crops in a system of underwater hydroponic “biospheres.” Leonardo Da Vinci and Jules Verne meet Indiana Jones as PCD explores the Savona Province, and dives the Ligurian Sea.


The View Through My Mask

Rick Morris
This short film hosted by Dr. Sylvia Earle is a re-edit from the longer documentary, "Sylvia's Sea". Shot in locations around the globe in support of Dr. Earles devotion to the World's oceans. 


Kerajaan – The Kindom of Raja Ampat

Julie Ouimet and Michel Labrecque
Rich, diverse, amazing; such is the the kingdom. Located in the hearth of the coral triangle, Raja’s waters are truly mesmerizing. Its densely coral covered reefs are home to creatures big and small that will capture your soul. Open the doors, enter Kerajaan.


Yap, Micronesia

Tim Rock
Yap is one of the states of the Federated States of Micronesia located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It sits on the edge of the second deepest valley in the world, the Yap Trench. It is considered the most traditional island in Micronesia. Its unique stone money is still used in some aspects of village life and visitors can walk the ancient stone paths and visit the stone money banks and also see each village’s traditional meeting house. Yap has a group of manta rays that visit beautiful hard coral cleaning stations located in inner reef channnels. Yap also has a healthy population of reef sharks. Its outer wall and slopes are diverse and divers can see schooling fish, sea turtles plenty of macro invertebrate life. The meausured pace of life is Yap makes it a relaxing and interesting place to visit above and below the sea. Every year the pioneer dive operation in Yap, Manta Ray Bay Resort, holds a two-week photo school event called Manta Fest. The images in this video were taken during that event.


A Lateral Line

Joe Romeiro and Bill Fisher
“A Lateral Line” is a journey into the world of the pelagic shark, animals you won’t see in captivity, only in the wild. Witness the beauty of Blue and Mako sharks, and see why they’re in dire need of our protection. Once some of the most numerous species of sharks in the sea, their numbers have been steadily declining as overfishing continues to escalate.


Send us a message with your film name, length of film, link to film preview, and film description to submit a film to present at Wave Film Fest.


We'd like to thank DocYourWorld, Columbia College Chicago, the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago, the Department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago, and Microcosm for helping us create a professional and inspirational event that's accessible to the public.

Without their support, we wouldn't be able to bring you this exclusive dive into our underwater world.