The 2nd Annual Adrift Film Festival

5 November 2020 By Laura Dunn

In an impressive feat, the Adrift Film Festival managed to be even more successful on their two-hour virtual event on October 11 than in their inaugural year.

The Adrift Film Festival once again achieved their goal to encourage creativity while supporting natural disaster relief through donations. Several crew were rewarded for their creativity, talent, and hard work in a number of categories: Explorer (Shani Davies “Turkey Through My Eyes”), Inspirational (Harry Morris “24”), Realism (Tim Cousins “Days off”), and People’s Choice (George Hemmings “Paradise Island, Bali’s Fight Against Plastic”).

Last year, more than 130 videos were submitted from all over the world, and more than 300 people came to the live event in Fort Lauderdale. There’s currently more than 3,600 views on this year's event stream on their YouTube channel, and there were more than 85 submissions, 24 finalists, and 8 industry judges involved. Prizes included a combination of $4,000 in cash and physical prizes given out across three categories, People’s Choice, and the raffle.

Although fewer in number than last year’s video entries, they still raised $3,094.15 toward cyclone relief in Vanuatu through YachtAid Global. While last year’s $2,112.44 donation to support Hurricane Dorian relief was also incredible, this year’s increase in donations prove that people are still interested in helping make the world a better place.

Co-founder Shelton Dupreez says they chose YachtAid Global because, “We appreciate the nature of the work they [do] to help coastal communities by coordinating and using yachts as a resource to provide relief to those in need.”

Dupreez was quick to praise the 85 submissions: “The level of creativity was also very high this year, so the competition was fierce, and we actually had a draw in the Realism Category between three videos, which then had to go to a second round of voting,” he says.

And in light of this year’s virtual event, they considered the result to be amazing since they were able to reach a much larger audience. “It took a bit more work upfront to plan, film, and create it, but it was very well-received, and we are extremely happy with the results,” Dupreez says. “There were a lot of crew watching together in their crew mess or in groups, so our reach may have actually been much larger than last year, which is great news!”

“Hopefully, Adrift Film Festival 2021 will be a live event again next year — and in addition we will likely film the event and turn it into an online event too, similar to this year,” the co-founder says.

“It took quite a bit of work to plan, film and edit everything together in a relatively short period of time but we managed to get it all done. It was fun to bring everyone’s hard work together into one tight little video that people will be able to rewatch any time they want,” he says.

Dupreez last worked as chief mate aboard M/Y Latitude and has since been making films and taking photos for vessels around the world. He’s also worked for yachts and expedition vessels, and in science and ocean conservation around the world. He founded the event alongside Randi Barry, chief stewardess and founder of Nautic Nomad.

You can still donate to their cause:

Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel and follow their Instagram page @AdriftFilmFestival where they feature creators, keep you updated on future events, and more.