NEW PODCAST: On the Roark Road with Ryan Hitzel and Ryan Sirianni

We have storytellers, and then, we have Ryan Hitzel and Ryan Sirianni, who have built a brand around travel tales and utilitarian, fashionable attire for your Friday night, your long flight, and your longest hike to waves. Their chemistry in business is readily apparent in this chat about their history and some of the rigor and life-threatening dangers of challenging journeys. We’re lucky to have Roark as a partner with Florida Surf Film Festival and this podcast. Enjoy.

Find Surf Stories where ever you listen to podcasts.

2nd Quarter Programming Announced for 2024 Festival

Buy Passes Here!

New Smyrna Beach, FL – We are excited to announce the programming lineup for our second event of the 2024 Florida Surf Film Festival at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach. Father’s Day weekend has been a staple for us over the last decade, and we can’t wait to have everyone back for a special weekend.  One and two-night passes are now available, and don’t forget to check out our annual Green Room Membership, the only way to roll if you want the VIP experience with reserved seats, meals, T-shirt, YETI, and drinks included.

Scott Hulet, Creative Director of The Surfer’s Journal, will be around with his book, Flow Violento, due out June 12th.  He will have a limited number of copies on hand for purchase and signing.  Scott is a master storyteller, and we are thrilled to have him in attendance with his newest showcase of tales.  We’ll also be recording a podcast with him that weekend so subscribe to Surf Stories Podcast now.

Friday night will open with a pair of films from the South African duo of Will Bendix and Alan Van Gysen.  Turn and Go gives us a brief history of Dungeons, a coning behemoth, shaken with ice, straight out of the darkest, most white shark-infested brine right off Cape Town.  And who other than charger Grant “Twiggy” Baker could fill the lead role at his home break.  Continuing with the theme of heaving pleasure domes is Place of Thorns – The Story of Puerto Escondido, a beautifully intimate look back at the historical significance of this sand-bottom, dream-machine, spinning into the occasional nightmare.

Buy Passes Here!

The second film set of the night will showcase a new short film from Roark and Finlay Woods titled Far Out East: The Teachings of Taro, which pays homage to Taro Tamai, one of the elder statesmen of Hokkaido, Japan.  His life philosophy, of being at one with, and taking inspiration from, nature has solidified his place in the hierarchy of surf elders.  Our feature of the night on Friday is Channel Man – Col’s Story, a fascinating recounting of Colin Smith’s shooting-star of a career and how the channel bottom became an integral part of surfboard design.  With interviews from legends such as Rabbit, Wayne Lynch, Tom Carroll, and many others, it’s an entertaining document on the short, beautiful life Col lived.

Saturday night will kick off with Tosh Tudor’s first signature surf film, Tube Therapy, shot and directed by Cameron Vurbeff and features a diverse cast of tube pigs, including Florida’s own Justin Quintal.  Following is Free Time from Layne Stratton and Cam Richards, both planning to attend a Q&A after the film, featuring some progressive, breath-taking surfing.   Last, we close out the weekend with los gauchos del mar’s African Territory II, featuring Argentinian brothers Joaquin and Julian Azulay, completing more circumnavigation of the dark continent.  It’s an insanely ambitious and fruitful journey down the southwest coast of Africa, revealing unseen treasures both in and out of the water.  If you were at the festival in November 2022, you will no doubt remember part one.  Joaquin Azulay will be in attendance again to present his film and host a Q&A afterwards.

Buy Passes Here!

June 14th, 2024:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • Turn and Go – Will Bendix and Alan Van Gysen – 15 min.
  • Place of Thorns – Will Bendix and Alan Van Gysen – 37 min.
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • Far Out East – The Teachings of Taro – Finlay Woods – 10 min.
  • Channel Man – Col’s Story – Nicholas Cupelli – 75 min.
  • Raffle – Nixon, Yeti, Cronin Surfboards

June 15th, 2024:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • Tube Therapy – Cameron Vurbeff – 43 min.
  • Free Time – Layne Stratton – 39 min.
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • African Territory II – Gauchos Del Mar – 107 min.
  • Q & A – Joaquin Azulay, Director
  • Raffle – Nixon, YETI, Cronin Surfboards

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

Podcast Sponsor:  Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation

Principal Sponsors:  State of Florida Division of Arts and CultureVolusia CountyRoarkYETISun BumWagner Vasileros – aka The Lawyer DudeAnson StonerGlobe Brand Footwear, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Major Sponsors:  Persimmon HollowCronin SurfboardsFlorida Virtual SchoolBrian Layman Wealth Management, Cap’n Lu’s – A Health Food Store for PetsRed Dog Surf ShopKembali Board ShackCafé Verde, and Clancy’s Cantina

NSB Sponsors:  Flaunt Electric BicyclesScott Yurchison Real EstateDaytona Climbing CompanyDragon AllianceLunDev HomesNixonMangrove Bay DesignBiological Consulting ServicesDr. Phil Stephens at MyEyeDrFunxion ITPura Vida BraceletsBeachside TavernSolento Organic Tequila, Dr. Matt Smith at Natural Health Practices, Daytona Drywall and Plaster, White Claw, Kula Yoga, Magnolia Acres, Oceans of Hope Foundation, and Surfrider Foundation Flagler/Volusia.

Media Partnerships include:  SurflineThe Surfer’s JournalSurf Splendor Podcast NetworkBeach GritThe SurfNetwork, American Surf Magazine, and Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.

NEW PODCASTS: EP. 62 and 63 with John Philbin and Cyn Posner

Surf Stories Podcast is brought to you by Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation.  Listen to Surf Stories wherever you listen to podcasts.

John Philbin’s blossoming acting career was self-admittedly sabotaged by a disease called surfing. He’d lock down a role in a movie like Point Break as Nathaniel and then disappear to G-Land, missing key auditions for other roles and scoring insane Indo perfection. The Turtle we know from North Shore would do nothing different. His craft is fully intact; Undateable John (2019) is a display of his evolving, robust talent and comedic timing. What a way to open 2024 with our man, John Philbin, on the podcast. He’ll be at the festival February 2-3, 2024.

Writer and producer, Cynthia Posner, took off for Mexico during the pandemic to get out of the fast pace Los Angeles life.  Undateable John starring Estella Warren and John Philbin (EP. 62 on this podcast), is a romantic comedy that flew under the radar in 2019.  We loved Cyn’s dialogue and wit, so we scheduled a screening coming up on February 2, 2024, with John Philbin in attendance.  She walks us through the process of creating the screenplay and writing her novel, which may lead to another movie.  We can only Mexico Time makes it to the screen.  Enjoy.

February 2024 Programming Announced

Buy Tickets Here

New Smyrna Beach, FL – Our first event of 2024 is coming up February 2nd and 3rd at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach.  We are beyond excited as we launch into our second decade of community stoke, cultural diversity, and documentary filmmaking. Passes are now available, and don’t forget to check out our annual Green Room Membership, which is the only way to roll if you want VIP treatment with reserved seats, meals, and drinks included.

Friday night will be a very special two-parter and a little different as we fire up the time machine for a screening of North Shore with John Philbin who played Turtle in attendance!  Arguably the most quoted character from any surf movie, Turtle factually rendered, “When the wave breaks here, don’t be there, or you’re gonna get drilled,” and, “Nobody listens to turtle,” and “Don’t be a barney, barney.”  John’s surfing background scored him a role in Point Break as Nathaniel, and his acting chops landed him in many other projects like Tombstone and more.  Gregory Harrison, aka Chandler, is also planning to attend, and we’ll know more about his schedule as we get closer.  We’re also thrilled to share his latest work in Cyn Posner’s romantic comedy, Undateable John, where a surf instructor meets his dream girl at an AA meeting.  John and Gregory will join us for a Q and A sit down after the film.

Saturday night will kick off with local legend Michael Dunphy’s (in attendance) latest short film Redline, which highlights the phenomenal hurricane season of 2023 and includes some recent travels to Indonesia and beyond.  Director Dave Fox shared his first feature film Motel Hell, which takes Harry Bryant through a desert dreamscape, stumbling upon a mysterious oasis, a motel hidden in the dunes.  A glass of enigmatic milk becomes Harry’s ticket to a whirlwind of global adventure, riding mind bending barrels in Ireland, Morocco, Indo, and remote Australia.  Lock yourself into Motel Hell.

The final feature of the weekend will be the sailing/surfing adventure Calypte from festival veterans Torren Martyn and Ishka Folkwell.  With only a handful of days in combined sailing experience between them, Torren, and his partner Aiyana, set off from the east coast of Thailand in early 2022.  They would learn as they go, guided by a few friends with sailing experience, and navigate the South China Sea, up through the Strait of Malacca and around the tip of Sumatra into the Indian Ocean on a year-long expedition in search of waves.  Amidst the sleepless nights, the endless rolling and tossing of the boat, the breakdowns they find some of the most beautiful uncrowded waves this planet has to offer.  This film is visually stunning and with an original soundtrack—not to be missed.

This past 10 years it has been an honor and a privilege to provide a community event that brings us together and showcases the finest surf films available.  We’re looking forward to kicking off another 10 years of stoke…. Yeeeewwww!

Buy Tickets Here

Here’s the anticipated schedule for both nights:

February 2nd, 2024:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • North Shore96 min. John Philbin, as “Turtle” in attendance and possibly Gregory Harrison, as Chandler
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • Undateable John – director, Demian Lichtenstein, and producer and writer, Cynthia Posner – 82 min.
  • Q & A with John Philbin
  • Raffle – Nixon, Yeti, Cronin Surfboards

February 3rd, 2024:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • Redline – Michael Dunphy – 13 min
  • Motel Hell – Dave Fox – 46 min.
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • Calypte – Ishka Folkwell and Torren Martyn – 98 min.
  • Raffle – Nixon, YETI, Cronin Surfboards

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

Podcast Sponsor:  Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation

Principal Sponsors:  State of Florida Division of Arts and CultureVolusia CountyRoarkYETISun BumWagner Vasileros – aka The Lawyer DudeAnson StonerGlobe Brand Footwear, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Major Sponsors:  Persimmon HollowCronin SurfboardsFlorida Virtual SchoolBrian Layman Wealth Management, Cap’n Lu’s – A Health Food Store for PetsRed Dog Surf ShopKembali Board ShackCafé Verde, and Clancy’s Cantina

NSB Sponsors:  Flaunt Electric BicyclesScott Yurchison Real EstateDaytona Climbing CompanyDragon AllianceLunDev HomesNixonMangrove Bay DesignBiological Consulting ServicesDr. Phil Stephens at MyEyeDrFunxion ITPura Vida BraceletsBeachside TavernSolento Organic Tequila, Dr. Matt Smith at Natural Health Practices, Daytona Drywall and Plaster, White Claw, Kula Yoga, Magnolia Acres, and Surfrider Foundation Flagler/Volusia.

Media Partnerships include:  SurflineThe Surfer’s JournalSurf Splendor Podcast NetworkBeach GritThe SurfNetwork, American Surf Magazine, and Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.

2023 Awards Announced

New Smyrna Beach, FL – The fourth and final event of the 2023 Florida Surf Film Festival, presented by Monster Energy wrapped last weekend, and we are excited to announce the winners of this year’s awards. Celebrating ten-years of surf movies, we could not be prouder of our community, genuine fellowship, and good times spilling over from the past decade.  Bringing together fans from both sides of the inlet and all directions in Florida, and beyond.  Filmmakers from Australia, South Africa, Portugal, France, California, and Hawaii attended the 2023 festival, along with 24 new Surf Stories podcasts guests from all over the world. We’re closing in on 60,000 unique listens for 2023.

We kicked off the year with Jay and Jessica Johnson in attendance with their film, The Impossible Wave, highlighting the 27-year journey of Fernando Aguerre to qualify surfing as an Olympic Sport.  Englishman Mikey Corker also joined us to present his feature documentary Savage Waters, a stunning and intimate portrait of modern adventurers as they follow clues left in a 19th century treasure-hunter’s journal to find and ride a mythical wave in some of the most dangerous waters of the Atlantic.  Mikey and producer Ghislaine Couvillat’s (Whipped Sea productions) work was truly amazing, and they took home the hardware winning Best Documentary – Feature and Best Soundtrack – Feature.

In June, we hosted the Taylor Steele Filmmaking Residency for the week leading up to our annual Father’s Day weekend of movies, including a Kelly Slater drop-in.  Darieus Legg brought his infectious stoke and smile to the festival and took home the coveted Viewers’ Choice – Short for Stoker Machine.  Maddie Meddings and Lucy Small’s film, Yama, profiled a pioneering group of Ghanaian female surfers and skateboarders, earning Best Documentary – Short.  Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Maassen reeled in yet another Best Cinematography – Short for his profile film Malia, starring Malia Manuel, and James Kates and Shaun Manners directed and edited the Joe G., Steven Douglas, and Beren Hall (Globe) produced Cult of Freedom – The Shaun Part, capturing Best Surf Film – Short and Best Soundtrack – Short.

Lisa Andersen, 4X World Champion from Ormond Beach and FSFF board member, and CJ Hobgood, 2001 World Champion, helped us wrap up the year with two sold-out nights in the outdoor amphitheater at Atlantic Center for the Arts with filmmakers Matty Hannon and Guy Williment in attendance representing their respective works, The Road to Patagonia and Corners of the Earth – Kamchatka.  Matty’s travel doc/love story/surf adventure film was rewarded with the coveted Viewers’ Choice – Feature, while Spencer Frost and Guy Williment’s stunning, Russian cold-water exploration film earned Best Surf Film – Feature and Best Cinematography – Feature.  French filmmaker Aurelien Bacquet was also in attendance with his beautiful short film A14 on the Paris surf scene.

We can’t begin to express how grateful we are to all the filmmakers, fans, juries, sponsors, and board members who support the festival and have done so now for a decade.  Rewarding doesn’t begin to describe it, and we are so excited to set course for another 10 years.  YEW!

Here are all the winners for the 2023 festival year:

Best Documentary – Short:  Yama, Lucy Small and Maddie Meddings

Best Surf Movie – Short:  Cult of Freedom – The Shaun Part, Joe G

Best Cinematography – Short:  Malia by Morgan Maassen

Best Soundtrack – Short:  Cult of Freedom – The Shaun Part, Joe G

Viewers’ Choice – Short:  Stoker Machine, Darieus Legg

Best Documentary – Feature:  Savage Waters, Whipped Sea – Mikey Corker

Best Surf Movie – Feature:  Corners of the Earth – Kamchatka, Guy Williment and Spencer Frost

Best Cinematography – Feature:  Corners of the Earth Kamchatka by Guy Williment and Spencer Frost

Best Soundtrack – Feature:  Savage Waters, Whipped Sea – Mikey Corker

Viewers’ Choice – Feature:  The Road to Patagonia by Matty Hannon

It’s been an incredible year, and there’s no way to thank all the producers, directors, cinematographers, and editors that put their hard work into these projects. Their stories are the ones we want to hear. Adam Steckley constructed our 2023 awards from felled Floridian trees, allowing our winners to take home a piece of Florida in their awards.

We recognize the difference between Best Documentary and Best Surf Movie. Those who approach the artform by documenting character, locale, etc. with personal interviews, historical footage, and anecdotal clips were in competition for Best Documentary, and those movies focusing on the high performance, action-driven sequences competed for Best Surf Movie. This award will be extended to short films as well.

Florida Surf Film Festival’s jury, comprised of twelve individuals with journalistic, cultural, and/or experiential factors will determine recognition.  Juries include:  Feature Films – Matt Warshaw, Scott Hulet, Matt George, Chas Smith, David Scales, Keith Malloy, Lauren Hill, and Ira Opper.  Short Films – Marcus Sanders, Takuji Masuda, Matthew Shaw, Ashton Goggans, Bruce Reynolds, Brad Moody, and Joe Turpel.

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

Podcast Sponsor:  Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation

Principal Sponsors:  State of Florida Division of Arts and CultureVolusia CountyRoarkYETISun BumWagner Vasileros – aka The Lawyer DudeAnson StonerGlobe Brand Footwear, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Major Sponsors:  Persimmon HollowCronin SurfboardsFlorida Virtual SchoolBrian Layman Wealth ManagementCap’n Lu’s – A Health Food Store for PetsRed Dog Surf ShopKembali Board ShackCafé Verde, and Clancy’s Cantina 

NSB Sponsors:  Flaunt Electric BicyclesScott Yurchison Real EstateDaytona Climbing CompanyDragon AllianceLunDev Homes, NixonMangrove Bay DesignBiological Consulting ServicesDr. Phil Stephens at MyEyeDrFunxion ITPura Vida BraceletsBeachside TavernSolento Organic TequilaDr. Matt Smith at Natural Health PracticesDaytona Drywall and PlasterWhite ClawKula Yoga, Magnolia Acres, and Surfrider Foundation Flagler/Volusia.

Media Partnerships include:  SurflineThe Surfer’s JournalSurf Splendor Podcast NetworkBeach GritThe SurfNetworkAmerican Surf Magazine, and Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.

NEW PODCAST: Ep. 57 – The Chronicles of G-Land with Dian Hadiani

Dian Hadiani grew up on Java and experienced surf media and fascination as a child. Her background as an investigative reporter and writer sets up the perfect book about a perfect wave. We caught up with her while she’s was on a six month world-wide trip to promote her latest work, The Chronicles of G-Land. Find her work here. And enjoy this chat with Dian.

Listen to Surf Stories where ever you listen to podcasts.

Programming Announced for November 2023

Buy Tickets Here

New Smyrna Beach, FL – Our fourth and last event of 2023 is fast approaching on Nov. 10th and 11th at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach.  We are beyond excited at the culmination of 10 years of community stoke and surf culture. Passes are now available, and don’t forget to check out our annual Green Room Membership, which is the only way to roll if you want VIP treatment with reserved seats, meals, and drinks included.

Friday night will kick off with a series of short films including a new piece from our very own Eric and Evan Geiselmen from their recent exploits around Bali and the Caribbean.  Perry Gershkow’s latest feature Convergence will finish the first segment and is not to be missed as it delves deep into the days and nights of three enigmatic surfer/skaters shot beautifully in black and white.  Nate Tyler, Greyson Fletcher, and Conner Coffin discuss career and life balance with some of their best performances on display.

Our second film segment starts with Steve Barilotti’s short film on 70’s surf artist Rick Griffin and finishes with The Road to Patagonia by Matty Hannon.  Matty’s epic solo adventure has him surfing his way from the top of Alaska to the tip of Patagonia by motorbike but takes multiple twists and turns, deepening his appreciation of nature and meeting the love of his life.  This 50,000 kilometer journey is beautifully captured over 16 years, and Matty will be joining us from Australia to present his film and rock a Q&A after.

Saturday night, we debut the much-anticipated Trilogy: New Wave, directed by Andy McKenzie, who will be present and joining a Q&A following his film, which features Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto, and Ethan Ewing as they scour the globe in search of good waves and good times.

Our 10th year of surf films and community will wrap-up with festival veteran Nathan Oldfield’s short film In The Family of Things featuring Dave Rastovich and feature film Corners of the Earth – Kamchatka by Spencer Frost. The film follows surfers Letty Mortensen and Fraser Dovell as they peer behind the iron curtain to discover volcanic cold-water slabs, Mi-8 helicopters, frozen campsites, and frozen bank accounts.  This travelogue was almost over before it began with the Russian invasion of Ukraine creating roadblocks left, right, and center, and the trip quickly became far more than they could have imagined.  Spencer will be joining us to present his film and for a Q&A following the film.

This past 10 years it has been an honor and a privilege to provide a community event that brings us together and showcases the finest surf films available.  Kevin and I look forward to seeing everyone, high fiving the last 10 years, and looking forward to the next 10…. Yeeeewwww!

Buy Tickets Here

Here’s the anticipated schedule for both nights:

November 10th, 2023:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • 10TH YEAR COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • Ephemeral – Nisrine Oulalite, 2 min.
  • A Lesson in Three Images with Grant Ellis – Jack Boston, 8 min.
  • To Be Frank – Anna Wilder Burns, 12 min.
  • Eric and Evan Geiselman short film – 15 min.
  • Convergence Perry Gershkow, 44 min.
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • Rick Griffin Interlude 01, Pacific Vibrations – Steve Barilotti, 4 mins
  • The Road to PatagoniaMatty Hannon, 91 min.
  • Q & A with Matty Hannon
  • Raffle – Nixon, Yeti, Cronin Surfboards

November 11th, 2023:

5:00 PM – Doors Open

6:30 PM –

  • 10TH YEAR COMMENCEMENT with John Brooks, Festival Director
  • A14 – Guillaume Rouan and Aurelien Bacquet, 4 min.
  • Beyond Frames – Samuel Mueller, 13 min.
  • Trilogy: New Wave – Andy Mckenzie, 84 min.
  • Q & A with Andy Mckenzie
  • Raffle – Roark, Globe, Creatures of Leisure

8:30 PM –

  • In The Family of Things – Nathan Oldfield, 8 min,
  • Corners of the Earth – KamchatkaSpencer Frost, 90 min.
  • Q & A with Spencer Frost
  • Raffle – Nixon, YETI, Cronin Surfboards

Buy Tickets Here

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

Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.

NEW PODCAST: Ep. 56 – The Long Run with Greg Long

The 8-Time XXL Big Wave Award Winner and 2010 Eddie Aikau Invitational Winner, Greg Long, joins us for some deep cuts and a fantastic story of surfers helping surfers in harrowing situations. After a terrifying near-death wipe out, losing friends, and witnessing several other close calls, he and a core group of water-people gave birth to the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group (BWRAG). Greg and his team explain that a “big” wave can be as small as 2 feet to some, and water safety should be an integral part of every surfers skill set. Plus, learn how to make long drives without stopping, and more! Enjoy.

Listen to Surf Stories where ever you listen to podcasts.

NEW PODCAST: Ep. 55 – Cave Paintings with Matt George

For forty years, Matt George profiled surfers like Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton and has published these in his new book In Deep: The Collected Surf Writings, with a forward by the 11X world champ.  Your life will be richer for the read.  Listen in here and meet the author as he shares some incredible moments outside the lines of the book.  We like to think our chat harvested some absolute gems from one of surfing’s great miners.  Visit DAP Books – Diangelo Publications to purchase his latest.  Find a link in our linktree.  Enjoy.

Find Surf Stories by Florida Surf Film Festival where ever you listen to podcasts.  We have links to Apple Podcasts and Spotify here.