Univ. of Miami Student Film Selected for Beneath the Waves Film Festival

Marine Affairs student Julie Hollenbeck captures study of Red Tide, asthmatics on Florida’s West Coast

Red Tide Research in Paradise

MIAMI — The short film “Red Tide Research in Paradise” was selected by a panel of judges for exhibition at the 2011 Beneath the Waves Film Festival in Mobile, Alabama, from March 16-20. The 15-minute film documents a research study in Sarasota, Fla., the only study of its kind investigating the human health effects of aerosolized Florida red tide on coastal residents. This research is of great importance, since red tide is toxic to fish and marine mammals as well as humans, and has impacted the West Coast of Florida for decades. University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science graduate student Julie Hollenbeck, MA wrote, shot, produced and directed the film.

The film follows Sarasota resident Julie Odenweller, as she volunteers to participate in the annual study, as she has done for the last five years. For the film, Hollenbeck interviewed UM Epidemiologist Dr. Lora Fleming, Mote Marine Laboratory’s Program Manager and Environmental Senior Scientist Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick and Study Coordinator Kate Nierenberg, Florida Department of Health’s Aquatic Toxin Specialist Andrew Reich, and Senior Respiratory Scientist Dr. Yung-Sung Cheng from Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

“My goal in creating this piece was to shed light on the impact of red tide on our most vulnerable populations, especially coastal residents and beach-going tourists with respiratory diseases like asthma,” said Hollenbeck, who is also the program and outreach manager for UM’s Oceans and Human Health Center. “I am excited that the film has garnered attention from ‘Beneath the Waves’ because this will further help us to spread the important message that researchers are working hard to understand the human health effects of airborne red tide.”

Hollenbeck is a recent graduate of UM, with a Masters in Marine Affairs and Policy. She has worked at the Rosenstiel School since 2006, and also has her own video production business called Bad Juju Productions. Hollenbeck has plans to begin pursuing her Ph.D. in Fall 2011; her goal is to study the environment, human health and policy issues.

This is the second year of the ‘Beneath the Waves Film Festival,’ a one-of-a-kind marine film festival, which is held in conjunction with the annual Benthic Ecology meeting. This year the Festival received submissions from a total of 46 filmmakers in eight countries. The film festival seeks to broaden the communication of research by bringing together unique films from researchers, filmmakers, and conservationists. This year, twenty diverse films have been selected to be shown in Mobile, and will compete for awards in three categories: Best Conservation Film, Best Student Entry and Best of Festival. For more information on the film festival, please visit, or contact film festival director Austin Gallagher (

To watch “Red Tide Research in Paradise”, visit the NIEHS Florida Red Tide Research Project’s webpage: or Hollenbeck’s personal video webpage:

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

film festival •  film •  coastal •  julie hollenbeck •  research •