An inspiring new environmental film festival is set to make waves in Corpus Christi later this month.

The BLUE On Tour Film Festival will be screened in Corpus Christi on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the American Bank Center. Dr. Sylvia Earle, noted marine conservation expert, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Founding Advisory Board Chair and National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, will be a guest speaker at the event.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for a social hour featuring an ocean-themed photo booth, music and interactive art. The program starts at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome to attend. Concessions, including food and drinks, will be available for purchase at the event. Free parking will be available at the American Bank Center in parking lot 2.

BLUE On Tour is a traveling festival and conservation initiative dedicated to screening featured films that highlight the importance of the ocean. The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is sponsoring the event, which is being coordinated by a committee of its students.

“I am very proud of our HRI graduate students for not only coming up with this idea but also executing it. My goal was for our students to develop a project where they would work as an interdisciplinary team and, as usual, they have far exceeded expectations,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute.

The goal of BLUE On Tour is to engage the local community and pass on knowledge about ocean and coastal issues in a fun, inspiring way. HRI and its student committee are excited to bring this unique event to Corpus Christi, and hope to enhance the cultural opportunities by screening these accomplished environmental films.

The festival also will contribute to the arts by allowing local filmmakers to screen their works alongside acclaimed filmmakers. The first-ever companion BLUE Gulf Film Competition and screening, held at TAMU-CC in November, showcased a dozen Gulf of Mexico-related short films submitted from across the region. The audience and student committee chose the top entries to be honored, awarded and highlighted during BLUE On Tour–Corpus Christi.

The traveling film festival is part of the larger BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, which was held in early November in Monaco. The BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit is a world-renowned film and industry platform dedicated to the conservation of our oceans and uses the power of film to reach a broad audience. The festival will be alternating years in Monaco and at BLUE’s home base in St. Petersburg, Florida.

BLUE On Tour–Corpus Christi is being organized by a committee of three HRI doctoral candidates and one recent HRI Ph.D. graduate with diverse Gulf of Mexico research interests: Dr. Brittany Blomberg, who focuses on oyster reef restoration; Lauren Hutchison, who studies ecosystem services provided by marshes and mangroves; Elena Kobrinski, who examines the policies pertaining to offshore oil rig decommissioning; and Travis Washburn, who studies the Gulf seafloor and the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Guests are invited to register for the event at Registration is not required, but space is limited. Attendees who register by Saturday, Jan. 16 will receive a gift bag at the door. Your personal information, including email, will be kept private.

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