Miami Science Museum to host first Miami Underwater Festival

By Duree Ross….
Miami Science Museum will host the inaugural Miami Underwater Festival, May 27 and 28, in partnership with the Festival Mondiale de l’Image Sous-Marines (World Festival of Underwater Images) from France, and sponsored by Everest Capital.

The festival will highlight a selection of prize-winning films from the 37th Festival Mondiale de l’Image Sous-Marines, showcasing the very best artistic, photographic and cinematographic productions related to the underwater world. Marko and Shelly Dimitrijevic, founders of the Miami Underwater Festival, have worked diligently to bring the best of the original festival to South Florida audiences.

Christophe Pierron, one of the organizers of the original Festival Mondiale, will be present to open the event on Friday, May 27, 6:30 p.m., with a VIP Opening Cocktail event and a screening of short films (screenings will begin at 8:30 p.m.), including: Swiss director, Jose’ Lachat’s Ma Forteresse (My Fortress), Drole D’Histoire (Strange Story), and Insatiable; Les Fenetres de la Vie (Windows on Life) by Belgian director Danny Van Belle, and the first installment of the Franco-German Adventure Ocean Quest series, Great White Sharks of Guadalupe by Christian Petron.

On Saturday, May 28, the Miami Underwater Festival continues at 10:30 a.m. with a special French-language program co-hosted by the Alliance Francaise of Miami, featuring Rene Heuzey’s Le Mystere des Requins Baleines (The White Shark Mystery) and Naissance d’une Ile (Birth of an Island) by Bertrand Boyer. The afternoon begins with a lecture led by Florida International University’s Dr. Mike Heithaus and underwater specialist Ila Porcher and a roster of more family-friendly films.

The festival closes Saturday evening with signature screenings, including: Free Fall by BlueNery from France; The Pier from Italy by Daniele Iop; O Mar Das Cies by Spanish filmmakers Jose Irisarri and Manuel Uhia; and Equator, Rivers of the Sun by Satoshi Okabe from Japan.

At the festival, be one of the first to experience Miami Science Museum’s newest hands-on exhibit: Stingray Sea Lab, where visitors will get to touch live stingrays at a new 3,000-gallon touch tank, then discover what is found in Miami’s amazing and diverse sea grass beds.

During the festival, Miami Science Museum also will host programs that will better acquaint families with the wonders of the sea, including:

Coral Morphologic will present a series of vibrant and artistic natural history films that document the minute invertebrate life of Florida’s reefs.

National Park Ranger and photographer Thomas Strom’s “Biscayne’s Underwater Secrets,” a photo exhibit of the hidden natural beauty living in Biscayne National Park, will be on display.

The South Florida Marine Aquarium Association will be hosting “touch tanks” showcasing local sea life, and underwater experts Mike Heithaus and Ila Porcher will offer informative talks about the wonders of the sea.

From hands-on science activities and family-friendly presentations on marine life and research, to live aquarium displays to explore, the festival will be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Miami Underwater Festival activities and screenings are included with Miami Science Museum admission (Adults, $14.95; seniors, $10.95; students with ID and children, $10.95; children under 3, free). “Festival Only” tickets available per screening session are adults, $8; children, $5; children under 3, free. Festival Only tickets include admission to screenings, activities in the lobby and Stingray Sea Lab exhibit. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

For more information and a complete list of films featured, visit online at www.miamisci.org.

Miami Science Museum is located at 3280 S. Miami Ave. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Parking is free.

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