Coming this January to Syndey, Australia, is the O’Neill Surf Film Festival for two weeks of a “spectacular celebration of surf cinema.” The festival will take place at Bondi Beach with parties and art shows popping up around Sydney. The film selection panel spent four weeks discussing 36 film submissions and finally landed on this lineup of locals and international films:
OUT IN THE LINEUP (Australia)
Director: Ian Thomson Producer: Mark Castets
Two gay surfers unite to uncover the taboo of homosexuality in surfing. Together they embark on a global journey to speak with people from all corners of the surfing community about an aspect of surf culture that has until now remained hidden. As their journey unfolds, they uncover a culture of fear, secrecy and exclusion but are inspired to affect change by connecting people, provoking discussion and looking to the sport’s grassroots values of freedom of spirit and love for the ocean.
THE SALT TRAIL (UK/Indonesia)
Director/Producer: Mark Waters
Mark didn’t set out to be a filmmaker, but a traveller who just happened to carry a camera. To celebrate his love for new worlds and life experiences, he created personal film projects that helped develop a style of moviemaking that is characterised by a plainspoken perspective with great idiosyncratic talent for contemporary storytelling. Mark’s pictures recall worlds of unencumbered simplicity and unhindered living, a sterling portrayal of all that is true and pure with personal voyages to foreign lands. There is no exclusivity to Marks creative ability: his cardinal understanding of travel and filmmaking are bred from first-person practical knowledge, the development of his distinct style polished during his time abroad. Mark is, in his purest state, a traveler with a filmmaker’s eye.
THE CRADLE OF STORMS (USA)
Director/Producer: Bryce Lowe-White and Ben Weiland
Alex Gray, Josh Mulcoy, and Pete Devries went on a journey through the remote Aleutian Arc of Alaska, the birthplace of storm systems that send swell back to the rest of us in civilization. They braved heavy weather, flew on rickety prop planes, and ate seal meat en route to discovering one of the best cold-water slabs in the world. The film follows the cold-water crew as they traverse the island on quads, tracking pulses of swell to remote bays and never before surfed points. Set against the stunning volcanic backdrop of the Aleutian Islands, The Cradle of Storms is cold-water surf exploration at its finest.
TIERRA DE PATAGONES (Argentina)
Director/Producer: Julian Azulay & Joaquin Azulay
The gauchos del mar pursue their goal of surfing at one of the southernmost areas of the world: Staten Island. They travel with a truck and live in a tent across the Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia during six months, where they share their experiences with native people and get to know their jobs, which are different from those that exist in cities, they show the endemic flora and fauna, and fight against the harsh weather conditions to reach Ushuaia. There, they get onto a boat and sail through the Beagle Channel, across the Straight of Le Maire, which is one of the most dangerous seas in the world, to get to the uninhabited island.
Director/Producer: Marcus Morrell
Metanoia means to change ones mind, heart or way of life. Combining elements of healthy living, philosophy, meditation, surfing and B.A.S.E jumping, Metanoia is about learning to become in-tune with yourself and the earth. Bodysurfing by Mike Stewart, Mark Cunningham and Chris Kalima RED footage licensed by Greg Huglin Films. Shot on location in Western Australia, Indonesia, South Australia, New South Wales, Norway, Spain and Tahiti. Original Soundtrack featuring Norwegian’s Essence of a Session, moonpalace, Ablution & Guapo.
THE OLD, THE YOUNG AND THE SEA (Austria)
Director/Producer: Mario Hainzl and Andreas Jaritz
The Old, the Young & the Sea embarks on an adventurous documentary trip along the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain and Portugal. The movie frames a vivid snapshot of Europe’s post-modern coastal culture, which is significantly influenced by the hippie heritage of the 1960’s, modern surfing pop industry and the vital relationship of coastal inhabitants with Mother Nature. The movie introduces the audience into a world of cultural diversity, surprising encounters and the search for the spirit of traveling. For the movie’s protagonists surfing is a pervading lifestyle. All sorts of ocean lovers have their eyes on a very slim stretch of land and water. Documenting this stretch the documentary captures a schematic picture of vibrant European life through the very personal stories of the movie’s protagonists.
- The Fortune Wild – Ben Gulliver (Canada)
- Gathering – Nathan Oldfield (Australia)
- Rail to Rail – Joel Sharpe (El Salvador)
- The Involvement Dream – Nathan Oldfield (Australia)
- Seastills – Chris Duczynski (Australia)
- Bundjalung – Carlos Portella (Brazil)
- Chicken Soup – Tyler Bell (Australia)
- Soul of a Carnation, Heart of a Surfer – Helio Valentim (Portugal)
*Slider image by Chris Burkard for “The Cradle of Storms”