By Caitlin Martin, MESM '19
Recent MESM graduates, Shaun Wolfe and Shelby Oliver, created a film for their Communication Capstone Project titled The Salty Generations. The film was selected for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the International Ocean Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawai'i.
The International Ocean Film Festival aims to save the oceans one film at a time, and the Waimea Ocean Film Festival screens a variety of ocean-focused films, hoping to expand understanding of the ocean environment and increase understanding that actions on land impact the ocean and the people that depend on it.
The Salty Generations speaks to the challenges of ocean farming and the community that bands together to overcome challenges. As the demand for sustainable food rises, many think ocean farming (aquaculture) may be the answer.
15 years ago, Bernard Friedman became one of the first ocean farmers in Southern California. It was a risky move, but for Bernard there’s never been another choice. Farming shellfish is more than a job. It’s his way of reconnecting with his roots and a way to sustainably feed a growing population. In his years on the water, Bernard has experienced many challenges, from the regulatory process to an unpredictable ocean to personal injury.
These challenges are brand new for the women of Salt Point Seaweed. Tessa Emmer, Avery Resor, and Catherine O’Hare are in the earliest stages of testing their seaweed farm, facing all the issues Bernard has been dealing with, in addition to the most fundamental challenge of all— how to grow their product in the ocean. As time goes on, the older generation of ocean farmers is helping the new generation find a way to overcome obstacles and provide sustainable food for their communities.
“Any time the film gets accepted to a festival it is a huge win in my book. Distribution is the hardest part of the filmmaking process for a young filmmaker with a small budget. The whole reason we made the film is to reach and leave an impression on a very specific audience, and we can reach that audience through these festivals. The bottom line is that you can make the greatest film in the history of film, but if no one sees it, it won't have any impact.” - Shaun Wolfe.
To catch a local screening of The Salty Generations, see the following showtimes and locations:
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival:
February 6th, 2019 at 2:00pm. Santa Barbara Metro 4 Theatre, Auditorium 1
February 7th, 2019 at 5:20pm. Santa Barbara Metro 4 Theatre, Auditorium 2
International Ocean Film Festival:
March 9th, 2019 at 10:00am. San Francisco, theater TBD.