Edit ModuleShow Tags

Opening Night: San Diego Surf Film Festival

Inside the inaugural fest


Published:

Surfers convened at Bird’s Surf Shed this past Friday for the sold-out opening night of the inaugural San Diego Surf Film festival. That’s right—inaugural.

It’s surprising San Diego hasn’t hosted a surf film festival before, for a few reasons. For one, our reefs and beachbreaks have produced icons like Mike Hynson and Skip Frye. And many surfers here are part of a tight-knot community. Take the Windansea Surf Club, which is nearing its 50th anniversary. So it’s no surprise surfers welcomed the chance to celebrate local and international surf cinema.

La Jolla native Pierce Kavanagh and crew put together the three-day festival, which showcased 13 full-length films and two short films.   

The festival kicked off with a proclamation from the city of San Diego and a short film dedicated to Ted Smith, a La Jolla surfer who died from drowning after suffering a heart attack while surfing at Windansea Beach late last year. With the Rolling Stone’s “Sway” as the soundtrack, the moving tribute showed a group of surfers releasing Smith’s ashes into the ocean. At the end of the short, surfers were reminded to “Smile like Ted.”

“Sight/Sound” was the first feature. An eclectic mix of shots from snow-swept beaches and unrecognizable waves from across the globe featured the road less traveled. The surfboards were out there, too. As well as shortboards and longboards, surfers ripped on asymmetrical, Bob Simmons-inspired planks.

“Lost and Found,” the night’s final feature, was a reminder that surf film festivals are a participatory experience. Throughout the film, the audience cheered at the sight of barrels and audibly groaned when a particularly nasty wave demolished a surfer.

“Lost and Found” was more than just footage of perfect waves. It’s about filmmaker who discovered 30,000 negatives at a flea market in Los Angeles. In a cool twist, the negatives are some of surfing’s most famous photographs. The filmmaker then reunited with surfers and photographers to talk about what the negatives meant to them. Above all, “Lost and Found” was proof that narrative-driven surf films can work.   

Of course, it’s worth mentioning the festival was held at Bird’s Surf Shed, a shrine to all things surfing. Surfboards from local shapers lining the rafters above, it was a fitting venue for the occasion.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

A Guide to Fourth of July in San Diego 2019

Celebrate Independence Day with cookouts, cocktails, dinner cruises, and more.

Special Care for the Smallest Patients

Sarah Kreutzer was only 32 weeks pregnant when her water broke, but thanks to her dedicated Scripps doctors, her twins were born healthy

Four favorites to try at Scoop San Diego ice cream fest

Summer is a dish best served cold
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

5 Ways Cannabis Can Help You Feel Good This Summer

From Sunburn relief to beach bliss, check out Urbn Leaf’s top picks

Your Fun in the Sun Summer Guide to Palm Springs

Check out these top fun picks for your fab summer getaway. Let’s go!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2019
    Nearly 7,500 of our hungriest readers voted in our annual poll—and the results are served
  2. Vote Now in San Diego’s Cutest Pet Contest
    Your furry family member could win a pet prize package and be featured in San Diego Magazine
  3. First Look: Il Dandy
    Michelin-starred Italian chefs open a stunner in Bankers Hill
  4. The Best Veggie Burgers in San Diego
    The citywide hunt for the best plant-based burger found a clear winner
  5. San Diego Homebuyer’s Guide 2019
    It's possible to find an affordable home in these six up-and-coming enclaves
  6. First Look: Ciccia Osteria
    Husband-and-wife chefs take a break from high-end cuisine with a ‘little house’
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module