Florida Surf Film Festival Announces 2017 Official Selections

Photo: Nervous Laughter Archive

New Smyrna Beach, FL – Florida Surf Film Festival (FSFF), presented by Monster Energy, is proud to announce the official selections for the feature film and short film categories for the November 10th and 11th main festival, its fifth annual event at Atlantic Center for the Arts. This is the 4th and final installment of the year-long festival, preceded by the February, June, and August quarterly screening series.  FSFF will also screen some featured works of the festival on November 16th in Cocoa Beach at the Surfside Playhouse and November 17th at The Abbey in Orlando.

Attendees for the New Smyrna Beach festival include:
  • Sam George – Documentary Film Workshop
  • Keith Malloy – Fishpeople
  • Takuji Masuda – Bunker77
  • Scott Hulet – The Surfer’s Journal, Editor, Juror of FSFF
  • Dan Norkunas, Nervous Laughter
  • Albee Layer, Professional Surfer in Nervous Laughter
  • Ira Opper, The Secrets of Desert Point
  • Matt Warshaw, Encyclopedia of Surfing, Juror of FSFF

Passes are available here, and one-night passes will be on-sale at the door for $20 and a two-night pass runs $30.  Passes for kids 11 and under are also available for $5/night and $10/two-nights.  Patron level support is also available in limited numbers for $125/pp., which includes a festival poster, 2017 limited edition t-shirt, FSFF Tervis Tumbler, dinner both nights from Clancy’s Cantina on-site, two-night festival pass, and four drink tickets (add a spouse for an additional $75).  Tickets for the Cocoa Beach and Orlando events are also available for sale for $20/adult and $5/kids 11 and under.  Please email Kevin@floridasurffilmfestival.com with any questions.

Filmmaker and journalist, Sam George, will be hosting a full-day documentary film workshop on November 11th; details are available at www.floridasurffilmfestival.com.  Matt Warshaw will also be in attendance from Encyclopedia of Surfing with all of life’s answers.  Chad Campbell, Filmmaker (5th Symphony Document) and juror, will also be available to classic Tavaua boatman stories and will be available for questions.

FSFF differentiates itself from others due to its year-long presentation of works, all of which are included for competition for the 2017 festival year.  The curated feature documentaries (longer than 30 minutes) have been balanced-to-taste and avoid too much of any one genre.  For instance, the big-wave genre has been prolifically documented in the last couple years, and as such, two features are included in the festival, one of which, Distance Between Dreams, screened in February 2017 to a packed amphitheater.  The other big wave venture is from veteran documentarian, Dan Norkunas, who will be in attendance, and features Albee Layer and friends during one of the best winters in recorded history.  The film is rightly titled Nervous Laughter.  Historical documentaries have also made a good showing this year with Bunker77 (Takuji Masuda, who will be in attendance) and The Secrets of Desert Point (Ira Opper, also in attendance) making the list for November.   Leaving the cubicle behind for a look at surf travel, Alena Ehrenbold debuts her beautiful film Blue Road that will leave fans broke but happy on some distant coast.  Rounding out the feature category, Fishpeople, a new film by Keith Malloy, who will be in attendance, will highlight the lives of six people who could not separate the ocean from the narrative of their life if they wanted to.  The Church of the Open Sky will be a fantastic conclusion to the festival offering classic and new shapes on a canvas painted by none other than FSFF veteran Nathan Oldfield.

Filling the lineup of short films (under 30 minutes) in November, new works by Mike Bromley, Sam Sykes, Gustavo Imigrante, Andy Miller, and Eric Ebner will see the light of the big screen.

We recognize the difference between Best Documentary and Best Surf Movie.  Those who approach the art form by documenting, even if mockingly, a character, locale, etc. with personal interviews, historical footage, and anecdotal clips will be in competition for Best Documentary, and those movies focusing on the high performance, action-driven sequences will compete for Best Surf Movie. This award will be extended to short films as well. In addition, Best Cinematography and Best Soundtrack will be awarded for both feature and short films, along with a Viewers’ Choice award.

Friday, November 10, 2017


  • Commencement/introduction by John Brooks, Festival Director
  • Blue Road – Alena Ehrenbold, 44 min.
  • Perilous Sea – Mike Bromley and Ryan Meichtry, 27 min.


  • Fresh Rubber – Andy Miller, 7 min.
  • The Secrets of Desert Point, Ira Opper, 45 min.


  • Nervous Laughter, Dan Norkunas, 69 min., starring Albee Layer
  • Cosmic – Sam Sykes, 12 min.
  • Reef Road – Gustavo Imigrante, 21 min.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


  • The Church of the Open Sky – Nathan Oldfield, 55 min.
  • The Bull – Eric Ebner, 13 min.


  • Untitled – Joe G.
  • Fishpeople – Keith Malloy, 49 min., starring Dave Rastovich & Matahi Drollet.


  • Bunker77 – Takuji Masuda, 90 min., featuring Bunker Spreckels

Florida Surf Film Festival’s jury, comprised of twelve individuals with journalistic, cultural, and/or experiential factors will determine recognition for the following awards:

Best Documentary – Feature; Best Surf Movie – Feature; Best Cinematography – Feature; Best Soundtrack – Feature; Best Documentary – Short; Best Surf Movie – Short; Best Cinematography – Short; Best Soundtrack – Short

The following two awards are selected by viewers’ enthusiasm for the films during the festival and feedback during the nights of programming to staff:

Viewers’ Choice Award – Feature; Viewers’ Choice Award – Short

Juries include: Feature Films – Scott Hulet, Christian Beamish, Joe Turpel, Matt Pruett, Chad Campbell (planning to attend), and Ben Mondy.  Short Films – Matt Warshaw, attending, Sam George, attending, Lewis Samuels, Matt Kechele, Nick McGregor, and Bryan Forand.

We are proud to have Monster Energy serve as our presenting sponsor for this year’s festival, providing travel and lodging for the filmmakers who attend the festival.

Principal Sponsors:  Surfline, Globe Brand Apparel and Footwear, Anson Stoner (Advertising and Creative), & Encyclopedia of Surfing

Major Sponsors: Florida Virtual School, Serenity Springs Recovery Center, Brian Layman Financial, Dakine, Costa Del Mar, Red Dog Surf Shop, Kembali Board Shack, and Clancy’s Cantina

Sponsors: Cigar City Brewing, Da Kine Poke Bowls (Orlando), Taco City (Cocoa Beach), Nixon Watches, Waterways Travel, SDR Massage, Mangrove Bay Design, Biological Consulting Services, La Ponderosa Beach and Jungle Resort, Total Vision, Holistic Movements, Surfrider Foundation (Cocoa Beach and Flagler/Volusia Chapters), and Hampton Inn.

Among other notable partners, Florida Virtual School is a new supporter as well as renewing support from Serenity Springs Recovery Center.  Anson Stoner has also provided our graphic design, once again, for t-shirts, posters, web graphics, et al.  Brian Layman Financial is our partner for your investment needs.  Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.

Previously screened entries during 2017:

February 11, 2017:

  • Bezerke – Andrew Kaineder, 14 min.
  • Beauty and Chaos – James Skerritt, 7 min.
  • Riskey Business – Guy Mac, 25 min.
  • Fields of View – Cyrus Sutton, 10 min.
  • Distance Between Dreams – Ian Walsh and Rob Bruce, 62 min.

June 16th, 30th and July 7th:

  • A Road Through Galicia – Luke Pilbeam, 8 min.
  • Guide to Getting Girls – Victor Pakpour, 15 min.
  • Pedro’s Bay – Eddie Obrand, 27 min.
  • Masa – Dominic De Salis, 4 min.
  • Proximity – Taylor Steele, 56 min.

August 17th, 18th, and 19th:

  • Journey to the End of the Night – Patrick Trefz, 4 min.
  • Surfers’ Blood – Patrick Trefz, 56 min.
  • Vacation Island – Morgan Maassen, 5 min.
  • Broken Dreams – Sebastian Zanella – Gabriel Novis, 7 min.
  • Under an Arctic Sky – Chris Burkard and Ben Weiland, 40 min.

Florida Surf Film Festival mission: 

Florida Surf Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to invigorate surf culture and artistic appreciation by exhibiting contemporary documentary films with surfing as a focus from artists far and wide and operate featured-artist workshops in journalism, photography, and filmmaking.