Join us as part of the Auckland Climate Festival for a weekend of short films that delve into our relationship with the ocean. 

Experience the fascinating lives of those who rely on the ocean and witness the impact of its transformations on wildlife through these five remarkable short films.

The films will be playing on a continuous loop throughout the weekend and not at any set times.

Drop-ins are welcome. The event is FREE with museum entry.

Film lineup

On 3 May 2023, open water swimmer Jono Ridler began his unprecedented mission to swim non-stop from Aotea Great Barrier Island to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. This epic feat of human endurance was driven by Jono’s desire to shine a spotlight on the urgent need for action to restore the health of Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-toi, the Hauraki Gulf.

Follow Jono as this captivating short film takes you through the highs and lows of his record-breaking 33+ hour swim, and tells how partnering with marine conservation charity Live Ocean meant he was able to ignite national conversations around the health of the Hauraki Gulf.

Unbeknownst to the majority of kiwis, our waters are home to one of the most spectacular, yet elusive of ocean giants - the oceanic manta ray!

Jam packed with phenomenal footage and featuring interviews with the core research team, Manta Watch beautifully introduces Aotearoa's oceanic manta rays, the problems they face and the people committed to studying and protecting them. Heavily centred around community collaboration and knowledge exchange, this exclusive screening series is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about these highly intelligent, globally endangered, gentle giants.

In 2011, nine artists voyaged to the remote and pristine Kermadec Islands: home to whales, fish, seabirds, underwater volcanoes and an extraordinarily deep-sea trench. Kermadec Log documents activities onboard HMNZS Otago and follows the artists, as they study and explore their surrounds. 

The film prompts viewers to consider the future of this pristine ecosystem, as a recent bill by the New Zealand Government to turn the Kermadec region into a sanctuary was rejected. Several works created by these artists can be seen in the exhibition Always Song in the Water.

Filmed on location in and around New Plymouth, New Zealand and Plymouth, England. The sea holds us together. A powerful, moving record of the thoughts and voices of women from coastal, immigrant and creative communities. The resulting film considers how a connection is made and unmade by inclusion and exclusion, the potency of cultural and natural objects like the conch shell and the damaging effects of suppressing language and culture. It asks the question: What does it mean to be a ‘good ancestor’?

Laura Donkers' film poem, Stormy Weather, captures the domestic impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on February 14, 2023, prompting reflection on human-nature dynamics amidst climate change. The film initially uses windows to symbolize detachment from weather's effects, yet the illuminated darkness compels observation of nature's wildness. Interior shadows reflect everyday lives against the potent backdrop, subtly critiquing our avoidance of climate reality. Later, open windows create a threshold for controlled nature appreciation, fostering reflective moments through contrasting sounds and images. This tranquillity contrasts haunting text excerpts, leaving a lasting impact on viewers as the film concludes.

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