About the Film

Director/Cinematographer Clara Mokri (left) and Director Katie Bernstein (right) on location in Sausalito, CA 

"Anchored Out" focuses on a vulnerable community who live on boats anchored off the Sausalito coast, just north of San Francisco. This community of anchor-outs has lived here for decades, but in the past year, the county has been cracking down on a long-unenforced 72-hour anchoring limit, and crushing boats in the process of implementing its “Transition Plan.” The plan is part of the county’s push to “clean up the Bay”, but it’s reflective of what’s happening all over the country: people being criminalized for just trying to survive. But here, these boats are not only being ticketed and impounded, they are also being destroyed as well, leaving the owners effectively homeless in a pandemic. 

Despite being one of the richest counties in the U.S., the money in Marin County doesn’t “trickle down” into many affordable housing options, or towards real support for the low- to no-income folks living there. 

The film also discusses the idea of how we as a society, even in the liberal enclave of the Bay Area, justify the way we treat those on the margins. The harbormaster explains that boats can’t anchor here due to safety reasons. So the question remains: where can these people go? 

The film brings us into the world of the anchor-outs, which is often unknown to outsiders beyond the stereotypes. The participants of the film are resourceful and skilled mariners, who look after one another. Throughout the film, they grow increasingly desperate, as they feel trapped, under surveillance, and at risk of losing their homes and way of life. We also hear from the harbormaster, and learn of the county’s justification for their policies and actions. 

The film is a conversation about who ‘deserves’ to exist where.