New Smyrna Beach, FL – Florida Surf Film Festival (FSFF), presented by Monster Energy, is proud to announce awards for the feature and short documentary film categories for the 2019 festival, which convened on November 8th and 9th at Atlantic Center for the Arts, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
The rain kept us indoors on Friday night, and the Harris Theater at ACA was naturally vibrant from the start. Snowy landscapes in Nordurland and Within Reach began the evening and made an encore appearance in Fire on the Mountain, a wonderful production of ski, snow, and surf set to The Grateful Dead’s live performances from years past, generating some pleasing visuals and some great reactions from the crowd. In Skyline, the local crowd recognized the acerbic, powerful turns of Michael Dunphy, and Kelly Slater’s solid two waves at Ponce Inlet earned a raucous howl. Ending the evening, the jury was proud to present Jack Coleman’s efforts with BEST SURF MOVIE – FEATURE of 2019. Zone Frequency presented the artist’s work from the last three years with narration from Gavin Beschen. Poetry on film, lacquered with innovative board designs put to work by Rastovich, Disney, Lovelace, Young, and more. Stellar work by a true bodhisattva of surf film, culture, and positivity. It was our true pleasure to host Jack Coleman for the weekend and share his work.
Saturdays’ drizzle of the afternoon became a cool, crisp evening in the amphitheater, beginning with the work of Hunter Martinez, a stand-out young filmmaker whose work impressed no small share of the crowd and jury. The young cast was full of talent set to an incredible soundtrack. Lost in Thought hit the spot for the early crowd. Followed by a fun run down a river in the middle of nowhere Africa with Go Easy on the Zambezi by Ashton Goggans and a solid effort at narrative film by Ben Gulliver called Boogie Man, a surf-horror parody.
Next, Beth O’Rourke shared her look at skateboarder Elissa Steamer and her journey from Florida to California, through a minefield of youth and adulthood challenges, to a place of inspiring serenity in the water, and out.
Creed McTaggert is an incredible surfer. Joe G. has the footage. And we saw it. Joe is the winner of the 2019 BEST SURF MOVIE – SHORT, as determined by the jury of 11 individuals, for the latest installment of Cult of Freedom – The Creed Part. Our last short documentary, called Beyond Tradition, was also a big winner, taking home BEST DOCUMENTARY – SHORT, by Shin Aoki. The filmmaker and star, Takuya Tutsumi, accepted the jury’s decision with surprise and smiles, carrying their trophy through the night to Beachside Tavern and home to Japan (their flight left at five in the morning on Sunday).
Finally, the evening was capped by the final film of the year, and Spoons delivered. Wyatt Daily and Justin Misch accepted the award for BEST DOCUMENTARY – FEATURE for 2019. The work entailed a breakdown of George Greenough’s influence on Renny Yater’s shaping in Santa Barbara over the course of many years on influential surfers and shapers, like Tom Curren and Al Merrick. Please seek it out on iTunes in February 2020.
For 2019, we, the fans, must share appreciation for works that attracted the most attention for their cinematic genius. The most notable of the year are given the Viewers’ Choice Award for both short and feature length films. Rail Road by Gustavo Imigrante and starring Nick Von Rupp is the winner of the 2019 VIEWERS’ CHOICE – SHORT award. And your very own Justin Purser has earned the 2019 VIEWERS’ CHOICE – FEATURE award for his dedicated effort to document the careers of CJ and Damien Hobgood in And Two If By Sea. It’s a tour-de-force on the impact of professional surfing on sibling/twin rivalry and the glowing reign of stoke the Hobgoods have bestowed on us Floridians and beyond.
Congratulations to all the winners, and congratulations to all of the selections for 2019. We sincerely appreciate all your hard work and can’t wait to see where you turn your lenses next.
In attendance at the festival were Matt Warshaw (Encyclopedia of Surfing), David Scales (Surf Splendor Podcast Network), Chas Smith (Beach Grit), Marcus Sanders (Surfline), Dayla Soul, filmmaker, Scott Hulet and Nathan Myers (The Surfer’s Journal), and Matthew Shaw (Surfer Magazine and Void Magazine), all jurors for 2019. David Scales recorded an episode of The Grit! podcast on-site that is currently available at the Surf Splendor website or wherever you find your podcasts.
Here are all the winners for 2019:
Best Documentary – Short: Beyond Tradition by Shin Aoki
Best Surf Movie – Short: Cult of Freedom – The Creed Part by Joe G.
Best Cinematography – Short: The Forgotten Archipelago by Ben Weiland
Best Soundtrack – Short: Aquamantra by Cole Yamane
Viewers’ Choice – Short: Rail Road by Gustavo Imigrante
Best Documentary – Feature: Spoons, by Wyatt Daily and Justin Misch
Best Surf Movie – Feature: Zone Frequency, by Jack Coleman
Best Cinematography – Feature: Beyond the Noise, by Andrew Kaineder
Best Soundtrack – Feature: Self Discover for Social Survival, by Chris Gentile
Viewer’s Choice – Feature: And Two If By Sea, by Justin Purser
It’s been an incredible year, and there’s no way to thank all of 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 2019 awards from mahogany, specifically a fallen tree from a 2004 hurricane.
For a full archive of the film presented during the festival year, please visit our website at https://floridasurffilmfestival.com.
We recognize the difference between Best Documentary and Best Surf Movie. Those who approach the art form by documenting 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.
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, Chas Smith, David Scales, Taylor Steele, Keith Malloy, Nathan Myers, Matt Pruett, Lauren Hill, and Ira Opper. Short Films –Marcus Sanders, Takuji Masuda, Dayla Soul, Matthew Shaw, Scotty Sherin, Scott Hulet, Ashton Goggans, Mimi Munro, and Joe Turpel.
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: Roark, YETI, Surfline, Globe Brand Footwear, Anson Stoner (Advertising and Creative), and Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Major Sponsors: Firewire Surfboards, Florida Virtual School, Brian Layman Wealth Management, Red Dog Surf Shop, Kembali Board Shack, Café Verde, and Clancy’s Cantina
Sponsors: SurfEars, Scott Yurchison Real Estate, Dragon Alliance, LunDev Homes, New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, Dex Imaging, Nixon, Mangrove Bay Design, Biological Consulting Services, Pura Vida Bracelets, La Ponderosa Beach and Jungle Resort, Total Vision, Funxion IT, Holistic Movements, NSB Spine and Injury Center, Beachside Tavern, Surfrider Foundation (Cocoa Beach and Flagler/Volusia Chapters), and Hampton Inn.
Media Partnerships include: Surfline, The Surfer’s Journal, Surf Splendor Podcast Network, The SurfNetwork, and Encyclopedia of Surfing.
Encyclopedia of Surfing provides our historical and archival needs.
Florida Surf Film Festival mission:
Florida Surf Film Festival’s 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.