5th Annual San Diego Surf Film Festival: Celebrating the Art of Surf Cinema

It’s back and it’s bigger than ever — the 5th annual San Diego Surf Film Festival, held from May 18-28, will feature 40 international films (and 20 world premieres) from around the world all in the name of one thing: the love of surf. Enthusiasts and filmmakers alike are encouraged to come and celebrate the art of surf cinema in La Jolla, one of the only spots on the planet that hosts a film festival like this. Complemented by the salty sea breeze of La Jolla Shores, many of this year’s films will be shown at the beautiful MCASD La Jolla.

True to its four-year legacy, the San Diego Surf Film Festival will be hosting dozens of filmmakers and producers, Q&As, filmmaker panel and workshops, a surf art gallery, shaping demos, beach clean-ups, expression sessions, live music, live art, and of course, a few after-parties! This year’s theme is Celebrate San Diego, a fitting title for the range of local talent and activities for the week, and the featured artist is Damian Fulton. His live art mural will be on-site from Wednesday through Saturday of that week.

san diego surf film festival

One of the most original aspects of the film festival is its special guests, who differ with each passing year. This year’s (posthumous) honoree is Bud Browne, who is almost universally recognized in surf history as the creator of the genre – the “father” of surf film. While in the beginning Bud’s interest lay in making films to inspire surfers, his work accomplished a much more comprehensive goal. He ambitiously documented the ’50s-era birth of modern Big Wave Surfing in a way few others were able to and continued on to the short board evolution in the seventies. By the time he was done with his last full-featured 16mm film, Going Surfin, in 1973, Bud had sparked the birth of an entirely new genre in filmmaking.

The SDSFF Opening Night Bud Browne Tribute (featuring Anna Trent Moore and Special Guests) will be on Thursday, May 19th from 6-10pm at MCASD La Jolla, followed by a few film screenings. The majority of films will be shown Friday through the following Saturday, including several world premieres!

Screening tickets and passes are available now at sandiegosurffilmfestival.com. A full schedule and list of film times is up on the site, as well.

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