Surf-film festival will be all about the waves
by Don Balch
Published - 05/09/12 - 02:47 PM | 1307 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A celebration of the surf culture takes place with a three-day surf-film festival at Bird’s Surf Shed from May 11-13.                                         Photo by Don Balch I Beach & Bay Press
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Since the embryonic years of the 1950s when the first films made for surfers flickered across the silver screen, surfing enthusiasts have enjoyed the celebratory atmosphere that is prevalent when a new surf movie would visit their town.

When a great ride was viewed, howling hoots and good-natured shaka “hang loose” hand gestures were thrust up by the ebullient crowd. It was a celebration of the major stoke that the sport of surfing gives.

On May 11-13, “Hoots and Shakas” will be the appropriate theme as the inaugural San Diego Surf Film Festival gets under way at Bird’s Surf Shed, located at 1091 W. Morena Blvd. Three evenings of feature-length movies and short films dedicated to the joys of wave-riding will screen at this unique surf business venue that is literally ceiling-to-floor with classic surfboards on display.

The event is the creation of filmmaker Pierce Kavanagh, who, along with wife Petra and friend Ed Lewis, came up with the idea after attending a surf film festival in New York City and organized the event.

“I always wanted to put on a community event with film, art and music,” said Pierce. “With the rich surfing history and culture here in San Diego, it made sense.”

He enlisted the help of film directors that he knew to enquire about movies that would make good entries, and the word quickly got out about the San Diego Surf Film Festival.

“There are 13 features and 22 shorts,” Pierce said. “We will have an international flavor and local films as well.”

Locations include Australia, Africa, Mexico and South America, along with surprising surfing locations in Scotland, Italy and Israel. Locally made films include “WindanSea” by Derek Dunfee, “By the Way” by Hayley Gordon, “Margaux” by Shaper Studios and “The Escape” by Skye Walker.

Along with the screenings, live music will also be on the schedule Friday night with a pre- and post-party performance by The Red Fox Tails and The Mattson 2, respectively. Additionally, a new film dedication to recently passed, well-respected local surfer Ted Smith and a proclamation from the city of San Diego is part of the evening schedule.

There is also a beach cleanup and bodysurfing/womp demonstration at La Jolla Shores/Scripps on May 12 from 8 to 10 a.m., plus surfboard-shaping demos at Bird’s Surf Shed from noon to 2:30 p.m. and again on May 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Panels with shapers, artists and filmmakers will also be running at that time. Displays from talented surfing artists and photographers will also be at the event and available for purchase. A VIP party at Bird’s Surf Shed kicks it all off on Thursday night, May 10.

“Local surfing legends and dignitaries like Skip Frye, Larry Gordon, Mike Hynson and Carl Ekstrom are some of the guests and it’s great that people like them support the event and want to be a part of it,” said Pierce. “Everyone is really excited about this entire show schedule.”

Expect plenty of hoots and shakas as well.

For a full schedule of films, times, admission prices and other essential information, visit
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