Now in its sixth year, the O'Neill Aotearoa Surf Film Festival celebrates the best of surf culture and our connection with the environment through a curated selection of international surf features, documentaries and short films.
This year the ASFF kicks off in Gisborne on Saturday 24 February before dropping in to Wellington on March 15 and Auckland on April 13 and 21 with the grand finale and a free outdoor screening.
After 30 film submissions and four weeks of deliberation the screening panel has chosen the official selection — a three-headed lineup that organisers are calling the best yet.
Nervous Laughter comes from Hawaiian director and producer Dan Norkunas. The feature takes an inside look at a wave nicknamed "Jaws". When winter swells collide with a chunk of reef off the north shore of Maui, it puff out waves that rise up to 60 feet. Norkunas footage captures dozens of elite surfers from around the world and an eclectic local crew attempting to tackle the lethal swell — and all the nerves, injuries and triumph that comes with.
In Perilous Sea, UK director Mike Bromley follows a group of surfers as they explore the landscapes and waves of the North Atlantic fringe, from the Canadian Maritimes to Iceland and beyond. The film has been called a "transcontinental cold water surfing odyssey," that captures the raw spirit, glorious landscapes and pure perfection that arises when conditions align.
In new documentary, Fish People, director and producer Keith Malloy tells the stories of those who have dedicated their lives to the sea. From surfers and spearfishers to a former coal miner and a group of at-risk kids in San Francisco, it's a film about the transformative effects of time spent in the ocean, and finding deeper meaning in the saltwater wilderness.
A selection of films from the ASFF short film competition will precede each session. Attendees can expect a curated selection of shorts spanning Indonesia, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. A licensed bar will be available in the cinema for the main festival.
The O'Neill Aotearoa Surf Film Festival is set to take place at The Crystal Palace on April 13 and Smales Farm on April 21. For information about further coastal screenings and tickets, visit the ASFF website.