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Arts & Culture

8th Annual San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition

The press release describes the event as a collection of sixteen films each night with "presentations limited to five minutes each of fast-paced entertainment. Entries have come from as far as Denmark, Japan, and Australia. Among the subjects are the rare blanket octopus, Komodo dragons, and bottom-feeding gray whales. Presenters include Howard and Michele Hall, Chuck Nicklin, and Leandro Blanco. Some are comedies; some carry an environmental message, some are educational, some just entertaining."

The films have been selected by a panel of judges. From the handful of films I was able to screen in advance, most served up both a celebration of the incredible beauty and visual splendor of life in the ocean and a warning of how fragile that undersea world is. Leandro Blanco's Clownstruck focuses on the clownfish, the fish of Little Nemo fame from the popular Disney animated film, in its real habitat. Blanco points out the irony of how the film's popularity has prompted the harvesting of clownfish to feed the desire of people to buy "little Nemos" for home display. Then Howard and Michele Hall present breathtaking images of sharks, fish, reefs and more, and they dazzle us with the palette of colors available under the water. But they end with the horrors of seeing creatures caught in nets. We appreciate the amazing world we see even more as we're made to realize that it will be up to us to decide if that world remains for future generations to enjoy.

Tickets are available for $15 per evening at various San Diego dive shops, and through many San Diego Dive clubs and organizations. Seating is open, and doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. Parking is free on the Qualcomm campus. Information at 858-695-0264 or at www.sdufex.com .

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