RIPPLES & BOMBS
The Surfer’s Path caught up with Festival Director Chris Nelson to get the low down on this year’s London Surf / Film Festival.
When we sat down to plan out what we’d want from a festival the location was key. I live in Cornwall, but grew up surfing on the northeast coast and there are so many thriving surf communities in the UK, so many epicenters that we decided to bring it to the UK’s cultural capital. It’s neutral territory, yet at the same time home to thousands of surfers. They’re core surfers who work in the city, then jump in their cars and hit the northeast, Devon, Cornwall, Brighton or Scotland on a chart – then drive back to be at their offices for Monday morning. They have a commitment that can put many of us ocean side dwellers to shame.
Last year the showings were sold out – did your audience mainly come from London surfers, non-surfers who were interested, or surfers from the far corners of the British Isles and beyond?
Many were drawn from the SE, but I was impressed by how many people traveled from the four corners. There was a strong Welsh crew, the northeast was well represented and there were even surfers from Aberdeen. The level of knowledge and the appreciation of surfing’s rich culture really came across in the excellent Q&A sessions.
What criteria do you use to decide the films shown?
We look at many factors including story, cinematography, style and stoke in curating a programme that reflected the broad spectrum that is surfing and the exciting changes taking place in surf filmmaking, the diverse style and content. In 2011 we premiered documentaries, like ‘Splinters’ – which captured the development of surfing in Papua New Guinea and had moments of almost Shakespearean drama, through to the cutting edge surfing and state of the art cinematography of ‘Lost Atlas’, ‘Sight | Sound’ and ‘Come Hell or High Water.’
Got any premieres lined up this time?
There are some really exciting films in post-production at the moment and we already have some amazing films submitted, but we hold the final selection until after submissions close. Sometimes projects come from under the radar that really blow us away – like ‘Finnsurf’ last year….Cont.To continue reading check out The Surfer’s Path