Ocean Film Festival anniversary tour dives into the UK this autumn

A heartwarming celebration of water-loving women and the community that brings them together, mesmerising marine life and people working to restore their local waters, one seagrass bed at a time: our favourite tales from the Ocean Film Festival’s impressive line up for 2023.

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing a new collection of captivating ocean-themed films to venues around the UK this autumn. Now in its 10th year, the Ocean Film Festival is a cinematic celebration of the planet’s oceans, starring mind-boggling marine creatures, thrilling watersports and highlighing the profound impact of a lifestyle connected to the ocean.

“We started the Ocean Film Festival World Tour with big dreams, not only to inspire the world to explore and enjoy our oceans, but also to protect and respect them,” says festival founder Jemima Robinson.

“With a passion for film and all things ocean, I wanted the Ocean Film Festival World Tour to become an avenue for bringing people together to celebrate Mother Nature. We have done this through sharing unique stories from independent filmmakers from around the globe, and now set our sights towards the next 10 years.”

Originating in Australia, the Ocean Film Festival has run in 14 countries over its first 10 years, showcasing films from 89 independent filmmakers while donating over £21,000 to ocean charities. The 2023 films delve into swimming communities, free-divers, mesmerising marine life and conservationists. Read on for the films the Outdoor Swimmer team are most excited to see this year.


When Sian Richardson went for a cold-water dip in Pembrokeshire in 2014, she never dreamt she’d inspire an international movement. Sian went on to form the beloved swimming group Bluetits, which now has around 100,000 participants worldwide. A journey of self-discovery and joie de vivre, Bluetits is a heartwarming celebration of water-loving women and the community that brings them together.

The Custodians

Meet the Scots who are restoring their local waters, one seagrass bed at a time. Commercial overfishing and bottom trawling have turned Scotland’s once-thriving west coast waters into sparse, lifeless deserts. The Custodians follows the work of four locals who are reclaiming their natural coastlines, restoring wildlife, creating sustainable industries and showing us how we can work with, not against, our ocean.


Hypnotise captures the relationship between the wreck of an Australian Navy ship and the marine life that embodies it. The ex-HMAS Brisbane is now a 130-metre artificial reef that is home to over 200 species of fish. Beautifully shot beneath the waves of Australia’s Sunshine Coast, this short film is an underwater celebration of the old and the new.

Broken Breath

Broken Breath follows Italian free-diving champion Mike Maric, who was at the top of his sport when a tragic accident left his world shattered. Mike went from being able to hold his breath for over five minutes, to being unable to hold it for 10 seconds. From swimming with dolphins to self-discovery, this film shares a journey of how the ocean can be an opportunity to find rebirth.

Find out more, watch the trailer and book tickets at or follow their social media at @oceanfilmfestUK. The 2023 UK tour is supported by the Marine Conservation Society, and presented by PADI, the world’s largest diver organisation.

Photos: Hypnotise by Ste Everington

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.