January 10, 2018 – We’re thrilled to announce that Chas Smith has decided to join the short documentary film jury for the 2018 festival year. I came upon his unique voice through the Surf Splendor podcasts, and I’m happy to report that his written work is some of my favorite up-front, intelligent, and honest reporting in our stupid culture. Thank the great big universe for Chas and his keyboard strokes.
Bright, hyper-ironic surf journalist, author, and bon vivant from Coos Bay, Oregon; frequent contributor to Stab magazine, ex-contributing editor at the now shuttered Surfing magazine, and co-founder of BeachGrit, a surfing website. Smith’s first book, Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, a surf-based cultural examination Oahu’s North Shore, came out in 2013. In an upbeat review, Kirkus called Smith the “clown prince of trash prose, and described the book as a “boozy and often funny investigation into a little-understood corner of America.” Paradise was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Nonfiction. His second, Cocaine + Surfing: A Love Story! is out now. He’s also working on a feature documentary film in consideration for selection in this year festival based on the life of four-time world champion Lisa Anderson.