People

Founders and Directors

Florida Surf Film Festival was founded by Kevin Miller and John Brooks.

Kevin Miller (left), founder, Executive Director, and chair of the board of directors, is a CPA, who works with non-profit institutions like Atlantic Center for the Arts, Inc., Encyclopedia of Surfing, and Himalayan Youth Foundation, and is an adjunct instructor in the Master of Accountancy program at Stetson University.  Surfing has been a hobby since discovering surf movies in 8th grade.

John Brooks (right), founder, Festival Director, and vice chair of the board of directors, is a firefighter/EMT in Ponce Inlet, FL, former professional surfer, has held industry sales representative positions for large brands, and moonlights as an EMT at Kandui Villas in the Mentawai Islands. He loves surf movies.

Tom Macaluso serves on the board of directors of Florida Surf Film Festival, as our Creative Director, and serves as Senior Vice President and Creative Director of Anson-Stoner, Inc. Mr. Macaluso started his career at Anson-Stoner, Mr. Macaluso advanced to key creative positions at formidable national agencies, working on accounts such as Walt Disney World, Cirque du Soleil, Advance Auto Parts, Winn-Dixie Supermarkets, Universal Studios, Orlando Regional Healthcare System, Florida Power & Light and The Orlando Sentinel. Winner of several prestigious national awards, Mr. Macaluso rejoined the agency in 2006.

Matt Warshaw serves on the board of directors of Florida Surf Film Festival and is former editor of SURFER, author of The History of Surfing, Founder of The Encyclopedia of Surfing, lives in Seattle with his wife and son.

David Lee Scales serves on the board of directors of Florida Surf Film Festival.  He grew up near the beach in Orange County, California and started surfing at age 12. A storyteller by trade, Scales has explored writing, film, and podcasting. In 2013 he established the Surf Splendor podcast network, which now produces 4 surf-related podcasts. Surf Splendor features long form interviews with surf luminaries, many of whom have either showcased at the Florida Surf Film Festival or have served on the jury. Included among them, Jamie Brisick, Matt Warshaw, Morgan Maassen, and Chas Smith. Through Surf Splendor, Scales’s goal is to help chronicle surf history while simultaneously dissecting board design and providing commentary on surfing through ongoing open forum discussions between surf industry leaders and Surf Splendor’s listenership. Learn more and listen in at SurfSplendorPodcast.com 

Charles “Chas” Smith serves on our board of trustees, and he does it willingly, although with an air of wonder why we would ask him to do so in the first place.  He would admit that his business acumen lacks some of the typcial cv line items, but the truth is, organizations must have a director of vision/absurdity in our opinion.  He shares the same enthusiasm for our mission as he does Beach Grit‘s.  I have no idea what their mission is, but he’s doing it well.  They’re now the most frequented clicked-on bait of the surfing online world, and that should mean nothing, other than you know there’re a lot of stories about sharks.  It keeps surfers out of the water and on his site.  OH, and he is also an award winning filmmaker, and when Hunter S. Thompson died, he handed over the keyboard to Charlie, but said, “You must only report on surfing, or you’ll be kidnapped by Hezbollah again, and this time, you won’t make it out.”  He’s the author actual books.  Two of them.  And he’s working on a third.  Having reported for various publications like Vanity Fair, Vice, and Playboy, there’s an air of fashion-elitism about his wardrobe that will leave you wondering why he’s so snobby about clothes.  I had once described him as being the product of Howard Stern, Mel Brooks, and Peter Fonda fucking a giraffe, which was subsequently flelched by Sandra Bernhardt, who used this solution to impregnate herself, and gave him up for adoption in an Oregonian christian hamlet.  But it never took.  Needless to say, we are indeed honored and hopeful that his positive energy infects our festival and programming, but that the other stuff, you know, helps too.  May he always be the first name I see in my inbox.  -Kevin Miller