Mission Blue

Dr. Sylvia Earle on this big screen with the Newport Bridge in the background. Photo by J. Clancy Photography
Sylvia Earle, Terri Conners, Meaghan O’Neill, Robert Nixon, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Photo by J. Clancy PhotographySailors for the Sea, staffDr. Sylvia Earle, Robert NixonBeach Cleanup tracking informationThe film starting in King Park as the sunset over Newport Harbor. Photo by J. Clancy Photography
Beach cleanup & newportFILM event creates an inspiring evening

Last Thursday, we joined newportFILM Outdoors presented by Kirby Perkins Construction for their final film of the summer season, a screening of Mission Blue. The film shares the life story of Dr. Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist, who paved the way for female oceanographers. She was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet and nicknamed Her Deepness by National Geographic. Directed by Fisher Stevens (“The Cove”) and Robert Nixon (“Gorillas in the Mist”), the film follows Dr. Earle on her global quest to protect the ocean from the powerful forces of pollution, overfishing and climate change. The crowd was treated to the sounds of Narragansett Bay while sitting under the stars and a little bit of New England fog!

However, the real treat came when Dr. Sylvia Earle surprised the crowed with a last minute appearance when the film ended. The audience was brought to a standing ovation when Earle arrived and enraptured in her presence, the audience listened to Earle speak a few powerful words, followed by a lively Q&A with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and the film's director Robert Nixon.

In theme with the movie, we hosted a beach cleanup in partnership with Clean Ocean Access prior to the start of the film. King Park runs along the beach and well-traveled road in Newport. In the hour before the film, a crew of 30 people picked up 1128 cigarette butts, 174 straws and 49 balloons along with many other pieces of debris for a total of 54 pounds.

If you missed the film, the great news is it is available to watch on Netflix. We highly recommend curling up on the couch or taking your computer outside for your own outdoor screening! You can also join a beach cleanup near you with the International Coastal Cleanup that takes place this month. Click here to find a cleanup near you!

About newportFILM

Mission Blue was part of newportFILM's Green Screen program, a year-round environmental documentary series presented by Aquidneck Land Trust. newportFILM's year-round programming for all ages focuses on topics relating to social justice, environmental health, culture and education. The non-profit has become a vital part of the cultural fabric and vibrancy of Rhode Island's arts community.