Surfgrass Productions, Finalists at the 2023 MY HERO Film Festival

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff

The MY HERO International Film Festival brings together professional and youth filmmakers who honor local and global heroes working for positive change in the world.  Thanks to generous sponsors, prizes are awarded to elementary, middle school, high school, college and professionals in a variety of categories including documentary, narrative, music video, animation, experimental, and more.

The MY HERO ‘Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award’, sponsored by MacGillivray-Freeman Films Educational Foundation’s One World One Ocean Campaign, is awarded for the short film that best addresses issues of ocean conservation.

151910Fishing into the Future: A San Diego StoryLindsay Bauman & Andrea Sanchez Davidson

One of the finalist films for the 2023 Award is the documentary ‘Fishing into the Future: A San Diego Story,’ directed by Lindsay Bauman and Andrea Sanchez Davidson of Surfgrass Productions.

In the short film, San Diego Fisherman, Peter Halmay, talks about the ‘Fish to Families Program’[i] - a program to help San Diego fishermen, the hospitality industry, and local families in need during the global pandemic 2020-2021, and the future of small-scale commercial fishing in San Diego.

Surfgrass Productions

Surfgrass Productions specializes in creating unique and engaging videos from the ground up with captivating footage and inspiring stories. Past films have highlighted marine conservation, sustainable seafood, community development, and citizen science projects.

151911Lindsay Bauman & Andrea Sanchez DavidsonSurfgrass Productions

Lindsay is a former DNA analyst who professes herself to be, “a life-long science nerd,” who has always been captivated by the unknown. In 2019, Lindsay attended graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to study Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. There, she quickly became inspired by the world of filmmaking and its ability to bring people together to effect social change. With Surfgrass Productions, Lindsay hopes to use her experience in biology, policy, science communication, and marine conservation to help others make an impact on our planet. 

Born in California to Mexican immigrant parents, Andrea has worked on climate and clean energy advocacy since 2009. In 2019, she was accepted into the Master’s Marine Biodiversity and Conservation program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Andrea is committed to advancing coastal conservation, climate resilience, and equitable coastal access. 

In an interview with Lindsay and Andrea, MY HERO asked:

Why make this film?
  • The first year or two of COVID was a really dark period for many people. Having something as positive as the Fish to Families program come out of that period was really inspiring. What can't we do when we come together to collaboratively solve a problem? We had the opportunity to work with Pete Halmay on previous projects and he has such a genuine way of relating to people and plays such an important role in elevating the small-scale commercial fishing community here in San Diego. There has been a growing movement to connect with where our food comes from, and this film we hope, can be an extension of that work. 
What inspired you to become interested in Ocean Conservation?
  • Having both grown up in California, the ocean always played a role in making us feel like part of something bigger than ourselves. When picking a new professional path, we both gravitated toward giving back to the place that brought joy to our lives.
Who is your hero? 
  • It's really tough to pick just one! There are many people who inspire us. Sir David Attenborough and Dr. Diva Amon have done amazing work to bring people to faraway places through their work. Meanwhile, we have advocates like Anupa Asokan and Pattie Gonia doing the everyday work of protecting the ocean and diversifying the outdoors. There's no shortage of people doing meaningful work for our ocean, our people, and the planet as a whole. We feel inspired everyday by it!
How did you hear about MY HERO? 
  • Sylvia Earle has been an inspiration to many ocean lovers and adventurers, us included. We heard about the MY HERO Project by following her work. To have our film be included as a finalist for an award tied to her work is really a dream come true!
What is next for Surfgrass Productions? 
  • We are continuing our work to elevate the stories of fishermen, scientists, and activists here in San Diego and Southern California more broadly. We have a couple of projects in the works, including something that blends science with the arts which we're particularly excited about. We feel so honored to have people who we admire trust us with their storytelling. 

About the Sponsors

One World One Ocean is a global non-profit campaign designed to connect people emotionally to the world's oceans. Their mission is to raise awareness of ocean degradation, to inspire audiences through cinematography, and to spark a global movement to protect our seas.

Sylvia Earle is a world-renowned oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, leader, and research scientist who has led more than 70 expeditions, logging more than 6,500 hours underwater. Formally chief scientist of NOAA and now a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, she was awarded the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas, called “hope spots.”

MY HERO is extremely grateful for the work of  Surfgrass Productions and we wish them the best of luck. 


[I] Fish to Families is a meal distribution program, launched in summer 2020, meant to support local fishermen, those in hospitality, and the food insecure during the COVID-19 crisis. Fish to Families buys fish from San Diego’s fishermen and prepares it into healthy, delicious, sustainable seafood meals that are distributed to people in need. Fish to Families is led by the San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group and Chef Phillip Esteban with his creative group Open Gym and is funded by The San Diego Foundation.

Page created on 5/25/2023 1:20:06 PM

Last edited 6/1/2023 11:30:36 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Surgrass Productions - A company that specializes in creating unique and engaging videos from the ground up with captivating footage and inspiring stories.
Fish to Families Project - Fish to Families is a meal distribution program, launched in summer 2020, meant to support local fishermen, those in hospitality, and the food insecure during the COVID-19 crisis. Fish to Families buys fish from San Diego’s fishermen and prepares it into healthy, delicious, sustainable seafood meals that are distributed to people in need.