British Surf Film Festival

22 Sep

I have just returned from a night out to the inaugural British Surf Film Festival in Newquay. The new WTW Lighthouse Cinema hosted the event and my friend Karl Mackie was one of the organisers.

There has been a buzz surrounding the event over the past few months. Newquay has a large population of surfers of all ages who have made the sacrifice of low wages for a better standard of living, and the ability to surf as often as possible. It is really exciting to have an event that has been directly targeted this community.

The new Lighthouse Cinema opened this spring, and has already dipped its toe into the water with a few surf films. It screened Rio Breaks, a documentary about two best friends from the favelas and their life in the slums and surfing at Arpoador Beach, in Rio de Janeiro. It also held a Surfers for Cetaceans event where we saw Dave Rastovich’s movie Minds in The Water followed by talks by the surfers, directors and producers of the film.

The Lighthouse was a great venue for the film festival with its large atrium and multi screens. A band played, canapés were served and drinks were available from the bar. A red carpet was laid for Bethany Hamilton, the inspiration for the film Soul Surfer, which was premiered at the event. There was a good turnout from Newquay’s finest, dressed in their glad rags.

Although Bethany Hamilton’s story is inspirational, Soul Surfer (a Disney production) was not for me. I did however see two other films tonight.

Thirty Thousand – a beautifully shot surf travel movie by Richard and Andrew James. The premise of the documentary is two brothers who undertake a trip from Casablanca to Cape Town surfing the west coast of Africa as they go. This was eloquently narrated and unpretentious. The mellow, retro style surfing of the James twins was a joy to behold.

Last Paradise – an unintentionally funny documentary about the pioneers of extreme sports in New Zealand in the 60’s and 70’s. The stars of this movie, included AJ Hackett the founder of bungee jumping (who looked as if he’d done one too many), truly had a screw loose. I left with a longing to emigrate and live within spitting distance of Manu Bay, Raglan.

The British Surf Film Festival continues tomorrow, when a film competition will also be held with a screening of the entrant’s submissions. A great event, I hope this becomes an annual occasion!

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2 Responses to “British Surf Film Festival”

  1. petebowes September 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    a question; what’s the water temperature right now over there? I just want to feel good

    • Kaya Lucy September 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

      The warmest it gets, a toasty 15 degrees centigrade. Only another month before we have dig out the 5mm wetty and booties.

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