Here’s the Thunder Bay International Film Festival feature film lineup

More than 50 films will be shown in the Thunder Bay International Film Festival, which starts Wednesday and runs through Jan. 31. The festival is virtual this year because of the pandemic.

To view all the films and sessions, purchase a Thunder Pass for $100. Otherwise, some films and multi-film programs are free, but many are $10 to $12 each and can be viewed any time between Wednesday and Jan. 31.

Feature films

¯ “Artifishal” — 75 minutes, $10, plus free Q&A

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture promised that mechanized methods of production and harvest would work in hatcheries, providing salmon for sport and commercial fishermen and bolstering the wild populations of Northwestern Pacific salmon. Nope. But who profits from this failure and who pays for it?”

¯ “Coldwater Legacy” — 4 minutes, free

“In the face of climate change, Minnesota’s coldwater streams rely on shade trees to keep water cool enough for species like brook trout to survive. Historic logging practices have changed the composition of the forests, and long-lived trees capable of shading the streams are now a rarity. If we are to save the brook trout from extinction and protect the health of our streams, we must restore the forested buffers of these streams.”

¯ “Dammed to Extinction” — 51 minutes, $10

“The resident orcas that live in the Pacific Northwest feed almost exclusively on salmon, especially chinook, that come down the rivers where they were born to spend their lives in the ocean. Despite the competition from sea lions and humans, the orcas have lived long, well-fed lives. But the fish-killing dams across the Snake River are taking their toll and the orca is in steep decline.”

¯ “The Gift of Wild” — 6 minutes, free

“The wilderness lakes of northern Minnesota are the center of the world for Mike Freed. At 80 years old with more than 2,000 acres of wilderness to his name, he looks to secure the future of this precious asset.”

¯ “Into the Storm” — 84 minutes, $10

“Shot over five years by director Adam Brown, ‘Into the Storm’ charts the journey of surfing sensation Jhonny Guerrero from the slums of Peru to the world stage. As well as being a story of overcoming insurmountable odds, it is also a film about identity, family and community.”

¯ “Managing the Invasive Rusty Crayfish” — 5 minutes, free

“In the Great Lakes, our native fisheries are under attack by an invasive species, the rusty crayfish. They are gathering in large numbers and eating eggs of fish that have lived in these lakes for thousands of years. Can a group of scientists and conservationists learn how to manage this invader in order to sustain the native species in the Great Lakes?”

¯ “The Mill” — 52 minutes, $10

“Near a First Nations community in Nova Scotia, a paper mill had to stop in January the discharging of waste into noxious ponds that polluted both air and water for decades. The company proposed piping its effluent into the ocean, but met strong opposition from both the native community and fisherfolk. If the mill closes, others will also, putting over 10,000 jobs at risk.”

¯ “Coastal Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: The Treacherous Coast — Michigan’s Thumb Area” — 13 minutes, free

“Historic shipwrecks in shallow coastal waters can be visited by non-divers in kayaks. We document their remains and stories on film.”

¯ “Paddling the Chain of Lakes” — 20 minutes, free

¯ “Picture of His Life” — 75 minutes, $10

“Wildlife photographers can shed a thousand tears getting to the right place, at the right time. Photographer Amos Nachom is a legend in the wildlife film world, with extraordinary images of predators– orcas, sharks, crocodiles — but one of our largest and most fearsome marine mammals has eluded him. In this film, we follow his sometimes painful journey to finally capture, in a unique way, his elusive subject.”

¯ “Protected Waters: Exploring Yellowstone” — 10 minutes, free

“The world’s first national park inspired the creation of 61 more parks in the United States and hundreds of parks in more than 100 countries. From geysers and hot springs to glacial lakes, water has defined the park and filled it with some of the strangest life forms. Alex Rose and Jennifer Idol dive beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake to see unusual and lesser known geothermal features and the strange life they support.”

¯ “Saving Buffalo Reef” — 11 minutes, free

“Buffalo Reef is a natural cobble feature in Lake Superior, located just off the eastern edge of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The reef has historically maintained invaluable spawning habitat for fish species such as lake trout and lake whitefish.”

¯ “Sea of Shadows” — 105 minutes

“The vaquita, the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, is the smallest cetacean in the world. It is also the most threatened with fewer than 15 left. The porpoises are caught in the nets that are set out to harvest the swim bladder of the rare totoaba fish. This film documents the efforts of scientists, activists, the Mexican Navy and undercover investigators as they fight back against the illegal activities of Mexican cartels and their Chinese backers.”

¯ “THE TIDE POOL: Where the Ocean Begins” — 58 minutes, $12

“On the beautiful island of Jeju, off the coast of South Korea, tide pools team with exotic marine life and beautiful organisms, each with their own role in delicate yet important ecosystems.”

¯ “Under Thin Ice” — 98 minutes, $10

“Extreme divers Jill Heinerth and Mario Cyr, explore above and below northern Canada’s ice sheet. It is a hunting ground for beluga whales and narwhals, for walruses and seals that depend on the ice to nurture their young, and for polar bears who live on the ice most of their lives. They all feed on a plethora of sea life, but as the ice melts more each year, their entire ecosystem has come under threat.”

Themed programs

¯ “Adventure and Ocean Sports,” 4 films, $12

¯ “Coastal Culture,” 6 films, $12

¯ “Diving with a Purpose,” free

¯ “Earth Is Blue: Your National Marine Sanctuaries,” free

¯ “Environment and Conservation,” $12

¯ “Freshwater Feasts: Cooking with Aquaculture,” free

¯ “Gray’s Reef: How an Underwater Oasis Became an American Treasure,” free

¯ “Innovations in Ocean Sustainability,” 5 films, $12

¯ “Marine Sciences and Wildlife,” 7 films, $12

¯ “The Noble Odyssey Foundation,” 2 films, free

¯ “Sharks,” 4 films, $12

¯ “Stories from the Blue: Your National Marine Sanctuaries,” 7 films, free

¯ “Stories from Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” 14 films, free

¯ “Surfing,” 5 films, $12

¯ “Whales,” 4 films, $12

For more information and to purchase a Thunder Pass or individual access to films, visit thunderbayfriends.org.

The free Q&A sessions can also be accessed via links on the above website. Click on “Virtual Film Catalog” to select the films you wish to watch.


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