Wednesday, May 28, 2014

San Diego Surf Film Festival 2014 Recap

 “The SDSFF was like being in Argentina in a soccer match – people enjoyed every film, they shouted, felt things, suffered, clapped and hooted.” – Argentina filmmakers Joaquin & Julian Azulay

Story by Andrea Siedsma
Photos by: Glen Gorham

After a stellar four days of sold out shows and events, the 2014 San Diego Surf Film Festival has created a swell of international stoke. The four-day festival, May 7-10, attracted more than 2,200 people, who came from all over the globe to celebrate the art of surf cinema.
SDSFF 2014 kicked off with an epic “Under Tow VIP Party” at Karl Strauss Brewery Tasting Company, where Nautilus Pass holders, media and filmmakers mingled and enjoyed surf films and live music by the Saline Solutions, while watching the amazing wizardry of SDSFF artists Skye Walker and Matt Beard, and viewing killer photography by Gage Hingeley.

Hoots & Shakas to

Meanwhile, Bird’s Surf Shed – a world famous restored quonset hut filled with an impressive collection of historically significant surfboards and artifacts – was packed to capacity (standing room only) during the SDSFF’s screening of its 32 international films. The films, which highlighted an eclectic mix of surf styles and genres, represented  a wide variety of cultures and surf destinations around the world.
One of the films, “Out in the Line up: Uncovering the Taboo of Homosexuality in Surfing” by Ian Thompson (Audience Choice Award winner), even received the SDSFF’s first standing ovation.
It was the first time we showed the film in San Diego in front of half of the people who are involved in the film (crew and cast), so it was quite an intense experience. The screening was sold out, and the crowd was totally excited,” said Thomas Castets, the film’s producer. “These types of festivals are critical for independent filmmakers, as it gives us the opportunity to be exposed through local media in the industry. The SDSFF allowed us to meet all the other film makers and share our experience with film making and distribution. I am really stoked we got to show our film in this festival.”

In its third year, the San Diego Surf  Film Festival has quickly become one of the largest of its kind in the world. Besides remarkable surf cinema, SDSFF 2104 included include dozens of filmmakers and producers in attendance, Q&As, a filmmaker panel, an amazing surf art gallery, a gripping and engaging photography workshop by Todd Glaser, a beach clean-up by H2O Trash Patrol, incredible live music by Sister Juanita, and serendipitous live art.
The SDSFF also raised more than $2,000 for local junior high and high school surf teams through its Scholastic Surf Team Raffle.

“We put a smile on the face of San Diego and that alone is enough,” said Pierce Kavanagh, who, along with his wife Petra, created the SDSFF. “The love of our hometown is why we created and continue the SDSFF.  We welcome the finest surf film makers from around the world to come and present their amazing work to our surfing community.  This year, we screened 32 international films and sold out all four nights, which is a testament to these hard-working directors and producers.  San Diego and the global surf family have been very supportive of the SDSFF and I look for to running it for the next 20 years or so. Hoots and Shakas!”

Todd Glaser rules!


Best Feature -Tierra de Patagones- Julian and Joaquin Azulay: “It was our second film at the SDSFF – in 2011 we presented ‘Gauchos del mar - Surfing the American Pacific’ that Julian went to present there and the film got a Honorable Mention. This year we were lucky enough and both could travel as Patagonia is supporting our project.  We were not expecting any award and could not believe it when our film got the Best Feature Award – it was crazy!
The SDSFF was like being in Argentina in a soccer match – people enjoyed every film, they shouted, felt things, suffered, clapped and hooted. It was amazing to be both present at this festival and be able to share our film with the viewers.” ~ Julian & Joaquin

Best Cinematography - Beyond the Surface - Crystal Thornburg-Homcy and Dave Homcy: “The SDSFF is like no other for people who love surfing and the ocean. Sharing stories with family is the best, and that’s what it felt like we were doing.” ~ Dave Homcy

Audience Award - OUT in the Lineup: Uncovering the Taboo of Homosexuality in Surfing- Ian Thompson

Spirit of the Fest- Learning to Float - Brendan Calder: “I am so honored to win the Spirit Of The Fest award and I hope the film inspired others as much as Gio has inspired me. What I really enjoyed most about my experience at the festival was the tight-knit feel of the programmers and the attendees. I was really inspired by a few films in particular and was able to have conversations with the many of the filmmakers personally because most were in attendance, which is not always the case at many other festivals.”  ~ Brendan Calder

Best Short - Catch It - Sarah Menzies: “I feel lucky to have met everyone that I did, and I now feel like I have dozens of new friends that I'm excited to collaborate with. Winning Best Short was an absolute shock to me. I'm not a surfer, and honestly, I was intimidated to come down and screen my film to an audience of surfers. It meant so much to have ‘Catch It’ be accepted by that community, and it validated what I was trying to accomplish with the film, which was to tell a passion driven story about a woman's connection to the sport. For those brief few days, I felt a part of such a wonderful community. My goal for next year is to come back with another film as a legitimate surfer.” ~ Sarah Menzies

Emerging Filmmaker - Mike Bromley - North East and 1964: The festival this year was actually unreal. I couldn't believe how many people were in attendance and how professionally the festival was put together. I was very surprised and very honored to take home the ‘Emerging Filmmaker’ award. I was just psyched that everyone involved with the SDSFF enjoy my films! It definitely lights a fire under you to make something bigger and better. I think these festivals are so important to help encourage people to get out there and capture the moments that they are fortunate enough to experience every day, and share them with the rest of the world.” ~ Mike Bromley

Honorable Mention - The Granite Stoke - Dylan Ladds and Ryan Scura: “This was our third year participating in the San Diego Surf Film Festival, and it just keeps getting better! We are stoked and honored that our first feature, ‘The Granite Stoke,’ was selected. There is no better place for this festival than Bird's Shed. We love to meet other filmmakers, and there were so many in attendance this year! Being able to watch a film and talk with the director in person afterward is so valuable. The SDSFF gives filmmakers of all experience levels a chance to screen their work in a professional - yet casual - environment, and receive feedback from peers and the audience. It's definitely one of our favorite festivals, and we are lucky to be a part of it!” ~ Dylan & Ryan

Honorable Mention - Cradle of Storms - Ben Weiland and Bryce Lowe-White:
“I had an amazing time at the San Diego Surf Film Festival! I'm honored to have been invited and to have won an award for ‘The Cradle of Storms.’ Not only is this event a huge way for independent filmmakers to showcase their work, but it is an incredible opportunity to meet creative people that come from all over the world, and to connect with the local surf community.” ~ Ben Weiland

Honorable Mention -
Danny Daniels: A Surfer's Story - Marcus Macfarlane: “I had a great time at the festival! The best part about it for me was being around people who share that same excitement about the sea and surfing. Also being acknowledged for my first film was very cool. Festivals like this are critical because they give filmmakers like myself a voice and it's a chance for people to see our work on a bigger stage.” ~ Marcus Macfarlane

Special thanks to:
Todd Glaser

Bird Huffman
The Saline Solutions
Sister Juanita
Glen Gorham
Val Reynolds
Andrea Siedsma
Geoffrey Smart
Skye Walker

Matt Beard
The SDSFF Screening Panel...and all of the people who volunteered to keep the ship off the rocks.

See you in 2015.
The Kavanaghs

No comments:

Post a Comment