The BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit is a premier event bringing together the world's most respected ocean filmmakers, content distributors, photographers, visual artists, marine scientists, deep-sea explorers, conservation advocates, thought-leaders, and celebrity champions for an unforgettable international ocean event.

BLUE leads the way in recognizing the world's best ocean films and honors remarkable individuals who's achievements are impacting the ocean world.

Our Mission is to use the power of film, photography, entertainment, and science to educate, empower, and inspire ocean stewardship around the globe.

Winner-Best in Category
Trophy and Certificate.
Value of Goods/Services: 200 U.S. Dollars



Because of unexpected family illnesses, the November 2019 festival has been postponed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
While we don't have an exact date or location selected yet, we have begun to work on plans for 2020 and have lots of exciting things on the horizon.
Your entry will be automatically entered into the 2020 competition.

Thank you for sharing your stories through the power of film! And look forward to seeing you in 2020


Only films that meet the following conditions will be eligible to participate in the 2019 Competition.


BLUE Ocean Film Festival
International Film Competition Rules and Regulations

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival And Conservation Summit

November 17- 20, 2019

Film Festival | Industry Conference | Conservation Summit

On November 17-20, 2019, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival returns to the US East Coast to present its 7th international ocean film festival, conservation summit, and professional industry conference.
Recognized as one of the world’s premiere ocean events, BLUE brings together the public with a who's who from the world's of ocean visual media, science, exploration and environmental advocacy providing fuel for a global ocean stewardship movement.
It's never been more important to share your stories and your films and help provide insights and awareness into the importance of a healthy ocean.

Our film competition is committed to being inclusive and offers competition categories for all levels of expertise and provides opportunities to receive international recognition and engage with the general public along with leaders in ocean filmmaking, photography, science, exploration and conservation.

Submission of a film to our competition constitutes acceptance of our Rules and Regulations. All submissions entered into the competition are eligible for the Best of BLUE Award (Best of Festival) We apologize in advance, but we are unable to offer Entry Fee waivers. Once we have received your film submission, we will email you with a link and instructions where to up load your film.

2019 Guidelines

After registering your film, you will receive an email confirming your registration, including a link to upload your film to our Vimeo page.



• Preferred file format: h.264
• File Size: Limit to 2GB’s
• Bit Rate: 5mbps for (SD), 5-10mbps for (720 HD), 10-20mbps for (1080 HD)
• Frame rate: 24, 25, or 30 FPS
• Resolution: 640 x 480 px (SD), 1280×720 px (HD), or 1920×1080 px (HD)


For the purpose of public screening, filmmakers will be required to provide a digital master copy of the film.
We accept h.264 up to 20mbph, MPEG up to 50mbps,
ProRes (preferred), ProResLT, ProResHQ, (no ProRes 4:4:4:4)
DVD region 0 or 1 if the only option. (DVD for productions only available as Standard Def ).
Please notify us for this option.

HFS (preferred), NTFS, EXFAT, or FAT32 (FAT32 can only be used with les less than 4GB)

Media Photographs:
• One Digital photograph, File Format: high resolution RULES & REGULATIONS:

We DO allow you to submit the same film into more than one category and encourage it if appropriate for your film. PLEASE NOTE: An additional entry fee is required for each category entered.
If entering in more than one category, we offer a 10% discount on the entry fee total.
If you have already entered our film competition through FilmFreeway, please mention that on this submission form.

For a film to be eligible for consideration:
(1) Entrants must comply with these Rules & Regulations, including deadlines, submission material, film length, entry fees and other requirements
(2) We are accepting films completed after July 1, 2012, unless special permission is granted by festival staff.
To request a completion date exception, email
(3) We are an international event. Non-English language films are encouraged. However English subtitles of the
narration must be included on both the Preview and Exhibition submissions.

Very Latest Date To Enter Film Competition: August 1, 2016
Category Finalists Announced: Expected to be around September 15, 2016
2016 Festival Dates: November 10-13, 2016

Festival Headquarters will be in St. Petersburg, FL with screenings and events taking place throughout the entire
Tampa Bay area.

All entries must include the following:
1) All the requested information as specified on BLUE’s submission form.
2) Payment of the applicable entry fees.
3) Student filmmakers please provide verification of student status.
4) Entries must be provided in the proper digital format.
5) All materials must be properly labeled with Contact Info, Film Title and Run Time.
6) It is Entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure all materials arrive prior to the designated deadlines.
7) BLUE reserves the right to disqualify submissions which do not meet all of the festival’s requirements or are
received by our staff after the deadline.

If your film is recognized as a category finalists you must fulfill all the requirements by the dates provided to you in
order to secure a public screening during the festival.

By submitting your film to BLUE’s competition entrant accepts responsibility for obtaining appropriate clearances for the all of the images and music used in the film and is not involved in any type of current or pending litigation.
(a) Entrant certifies that the film being entered into competition has secured all the appropriate clearances to
exhibit the film publicly, including music public performance clearances.
(b) Entrant and all entities associated with the submitted film indemnify and hold harmless BLUE Ocean Film
Festival, LLC, its parent organization, its affiliates and any respective directors, officers, employees, volunteers or other representatives against any claim arising out of exhibiting your film any festival event. BLUE is not responsible for any copyright infringements resulting from public screenings or the printing of promotional materials which were supplied to the Festival.

Entrant is to supply the following items prior to any deadlines:
(a) A broadcast quality screening master for public exhibition
(b) Finalist submit a 30 second clip for use in the Awards Ceremony
(c) A highlight trailer not to exceed 2 min for promotional purposes and the web

All Screening Masters must have time-codes, watermarks and channel bugs removed. Any films received with any of these visible will NOT be screened and allocated time will be given to another film.
All commercial breaks must be removed from Screening Masters. Films with commercial breaks will NOT be screened and allocated time will be given to another film.
If your film was submitted for a previous BLUE Ocean Film Festival, you cannot re-enter it unless there have been
significant changes and all other eligibility requirements are met.
A copy of each film entry will be archived in our Festival’s Video Library (for reference, archival, and educational purposes)
Film finalists are responsible for all shipping charges, insurance and customs fees required to provide the festival with appropriate materials and a screening master. In order to return or forward hard drives, DCP or other means used to supply the screening master you must arrange for return shipping, insurance and customs fees and provide a pre-addressed label with the return/forwarding destination. BLUE will provide packing materials and have staff handle the packaging of your return shipment. You may physically pick up your master in our office on the final day of the festival, Nov. 13th.
All films will be evaluated through a tiered judging process with each film viewed in its entirety. The selection of
finalists and category winners will be conducted by a jury of approximately 50 experienced professionals. The Jury will evaluate submissions on the basis of artistic excellence, creativity, scientific accuracy, technical achievement, entertainment value and ability to inspire appreciation and greater understanding of our ocean. The Executive Director and jury reserve the right to withhold an award or to create a Special Jury Award for films deserving special recognition.
All ACCEPTED films are those who make it through the first round of evaluation. Due to the number of films submitted we are not able to publicly screen all accepted films. However all ACCEPTED films will be available for on-demand viewing during the Festival in our Screening Library.
The CATEGORY FINALISTS are those accepted films that achieve the top evaluation scores. Some categories may have Honorable Mention recognitions.
All competition CATEGORY FINALISTS are guaranteed a public screened during the festival.
All accepted filmmakers will receive the following benefits upon request:
– 4 Complimentary Single Screening Tickets to screening of your choice (providing screening is not sold out)
Finalist Filmmakers receive the following benefits upon request:
– 2 Festival Film Screening Passes (access to all film screenings throughout the festival)
– 2 Admitted to the Finalist Filmmaker Pre-Awards Champagne Reception
– 2 tickets to the BLUE Carpet Awards Ceremony and Gala
– 4 additional single screening tickets to one of your film’s screenings
– Ability to apply the $250 value of the 2 Film Screening Passes to an Industry Conference Pass, Conservation Summit
Pass or additional BLUE Carpet Awards Tickets. (you must contact us to request the appropriate discount code)

BLUE’s Executive Director and the competition Jury may choose to recognize outstanding achievements in additional are as other than those outlined in the regular competition categories.

BLUE reserves the right to screen any film entry at the festival and to include the entry in future festival special events or retrospective presentations.

NO screening fees are paid for films entered into BLUE’s competition and screened at the festival.

Award engravings and certificates will be made out as specified on your entry application unless we are notified prior to October 1, 2016. Any special award titling requests after the award notification deadline will require a change fee. If no individual is specified to be the award recipient, then the award will name the production company/organization as the recipient. Duplicate awards will be available for order after the BLUE Carpet Awards Ceremony for an additional fee. Award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs fees, taris, insurance and other costs if any.

Entrants hereby grant and assign to the festival and its successors and licensees the right to copy the entry in its entirety to facilitate promotional efforts and the technical operations of the festival, in and through any and all media formats now known or hereafter devised.

Entrant acknowledges that submitted films MAY be included in BLUE On Tour, a traveling educational outreach which provides a film and conservation program to non-profit groups, schools and other organizations around the globe. All Entries will be considered for inclusion in our BLUE On Tour traveling festival unless filmmaker or authorized representative specifically requests their film be excluded from the BLUE On Tour events.

All film submissions will be retained permanently by BLUE Ocean Film Festival for educational, promotional, traveling festival, and archival library purposes.

Promotional segments of the competition films must not exceed two minutes in length.

By submitting an entry to BLUE, entrant acknowledges that they have read and agree to abide by all the submission rules, that all information contained in application is true and correct. Entrant acknowledges that they are authorized to submit the film to the festival for the film awards competition.
By submitting to the Film Competition, entrant fully accepts the above responsibilities, terms & conditions.

By submitting an entry to BLUE entrant agrees that they have read and agree to abide by BLUE’s festival & submission rules, that all information contained in application is true and correct, and that they are authorized to submit the film to the festival for the competition and public screenings. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless BLUE Ocean Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Adrienne Gittus

    Blue Ocean was a fantastic well-organised and inspirational film festival, with a super friendly team, speakers, and attendees, which made me feel very welcome, even though I was one of the "newbies" at the festival. It gave me hope in the future of conservation, despite the challenges we are currently facing in the world. And I was delighted and completely surprised to be honored with the Emerging Filmmaker award. This recognition has galvanized me in the journey to get my film to really make a difference.

    November 2016