The Island President Speaks: Eckerd College, Blue Ocean Film Festival to host Mohamed Nasheed talk on climate change

October 23, 2014

Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives whose climate change activism drew worldwide attention, will discuss the politics of global warming at Miller Auditorium at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5 as part of the Blue Ocean Film Festival.

Nasheed’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place three days after the Blue Ocean Film Festival showing of the critically acclaimed documentary film The Island President during a free outdoor public screening at Straub Park. A free screening of the film for the campus community will be held the night before Nasheed’s talk, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4 at Miller Auditorium. 

The film follows Nasheed as he tries to persuade the nations of the world to confront climate change, which threatens to wipe out his island nation. The New York Times called the film “buoyant and spirited,” adding: “It is impossible, while watching it, to root against Mr. Nasheed or to believe that he will fail.”

“Eckerd College is proud to partner with the Blue Ocean Film Festival to host President Nasheed, who has demonstrated fearless leadership on the issue of climate change,’’ said Eckerd College President Donald Eastman. “We are committed to environmental sustainability, including seeking solutions to climate change.”

Nasheed, who served as the fourth president of Maldives from 2008 to 2012, resigned under disputed circumstances. He described his resignation as the result of a coup d’état, which his successor denied.

His resignation has not blunted Nasheed’s passion about the threat of climate change, particularly to the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, comprising 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

The Blue Ocean Film Festival runs from Nov. 3-9 in St. Petersburg. The Island President will be shown at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Straub Park, 198 Bayshore Drive NE.

Eckerd College is a sponsor of the Blue Ocean Film Festival in St. Petersburg, an annual event begun in Monterey, Calif., which will alternate every two years between St. Petersburg and Monaco. It draws ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives and the general public to honor the best in ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing the world’s oceans and to collaborate on improving the future of our oceans and humanity.