By Léo Azambuja

Hanalei BayCombining the power of the ocean with the voices and vision of people from around the world can have a powerful and lasting impact.

On July 26, right at sunset, the Ocean Film Festival kicks off at Waipa.

“Bring blankets and beach chairs,” said event organizer Melinda Sandler. “It’s under the stars and on the big screen.”

The festival first run in 1990, but since 2011 it hasn’t been held, for one reason or another. This year marks the return of the festival, with 8 to 12 films yet to be chosen, from local and foreign filmmakers.

“We’re still getting films in,” said Sandler, adding she will announce the winners after July 4.

Most of the films are shorts, from 5 to 25 minutes, and there is generally one feature film.

“(The festival) only features films about marine resources, ocean recreation and cultural connections to the sea,” she said. “And the films are to leave people inspired, they’re not depressing films.”

The event is free for those who join Surfrider Foundation that night. Otherwise, it will cost $5.

Sandler said there will be popcorn and water, and people are welcome to bring their own food.

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