2017 Annapolis Film Festival Lineup

The Annapolis Film Festival has a great reputation of offering films that appeal to sailors, and 2017’s schedule is no different. 

This year, the Festival brings in Following Seas, a documentary on the 1960 adventure of Bob and Nancy Griffith, who set out on their 53-foot sailboat to chase a dream to the ends of the earth. The Griffiths raised three children at sea, steering the boat to places never before explored, spending decades navigating the globe. Following Seas is not only the story of a family on the water, but also of a family who lived a self-determined life. 

The Griffiths managed to capture their adventure using a clock-wind Bolex camera while circumnavigating the globe three times. Hundreds of hours of footage were collected by journalist Tyler J. Kelley (New York Times, Wall Street Journal) and filmmaker Araby Williams (National Geographic, The History Channel) who quelled the story of the Griffiths from friends and family who knew them during the two decades of their travels. 

The real-life Swiss Family Robinson story provides one riveting adventure after another. You don’t want to miss it. 

But that’s not the only film about sailing. Boat People, a short film out of Germany, tells the story of a Somalian refugee who stows away on a wealthy couple’s catamaran. And Bon Voyage, a short film out of Switzerland, is billed as an “action-packed thriller” about Swiss sailors on holiday in the Med who come across a sinking refugee boat. Bon Voyage was shortlisted for Oscar recognition. 

Environmentalists (and sailors) will also love Islands of the Whales, a story set in the North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands, where the relationship between seabirds, pilot whales, and humans is examined. 

After spending 30 years studying the islands’ children, a local toxicologist notes that eating the whale meat may contribute to the islands’ high rate of Parkinson’s Disease. At issue is the local diet of both seabird and pilot whale, two species at risk for contamination by plastic flotsam and mercury. 

Islands of the Whales portrays the islanders as they come to terms with the health revelations, facing increasing pressure from the outside world to stop the whale hunts. 

And finally, be sure to catch the feature premiere of Eastport: the Movie! 

"When a bridge repair divides downtown Annapolis and Eastport for two weeks, the self-proclaimed Maritime Republic of Eastport fights to drum up attention for local businesses cut off by the closure." The film shiows at Annapolis Elementary School Sunday, April 2, at 10 a.m.

The Annapolis Film Festival runs March 30 through April 2. Showtimes and tickets are available here.