The New York Surf Film Festival is slated for September 24-27. We caught up with the men / woman responsible.
By Matt Bauer
SURFING MAGAZINE: What inspired you to start this festival?
Michael Machemer: We wanted to bring surfing back to the silver screen. With the advent of technology these days, everyone with a video camera and a computer seems to making a surf film or documenting surf culture. And there seems to be a renewed appreciation for actual film-making and touring of a film like how Bud Browne and Bruce Brown did in the beginning. The ultimate goal is to offer a platform for up and coming filmmakers to share their creative endeavors, network and facilitate distribution of films.
What are some of the films that will be showcased at this year’s festival?
Adam Cannizzaro: We’ll be showing the US Premiere of The Drifter by Taylor Steele; the world premiere of Kai Neville’s Modern Collective; Kyle Pahlow’s A Pleasant Surprise; and a midnight screening of Sea of Darkness.
WHICH ONE ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST?
Tyler Breuer: I love them all. I think some that I want to highlight would be Powers of Three because I’m a sucker for Ireland; Searching for Michael Peterson, which has some sick MP footage; Surfing 50 States for the fun carefree attitude, Out of Place because I think anything that highlights the fringe of surfing is wonderful…Oh, and I can’t wait to see The Modern Collective. How could you not love high performance shred flicks?
Who will be included in the screening panel this year?
Michael Machemer: Alex Karinsky, John Schultz, Jeremy Dean and Richard Phillips are back this year with new additions such as legendary shaper Tom Parrish, acclaimed author Thad Ziolkowski, local New York shaper Mike Becker and controversial power ranker/blogger Lewis Samuels.
Will there be a special tribute to Andy Kessler after his unexpected passing this month?
Michael Machemer: Yes. Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski, the guys who did Deathbowl to Downtown, will be providing the Kessler footage which we hope will honor our man Kess.
After viewing this years submissions, where do you see the direction of surf cinematography heading?
Adam Cannizzaro: Surf filmmakers seem to be taking a lot more chances these days. They’re also using the Internet much more effectively. We received quite a few submissions this year that were more surf fiction with full-on characters and story development than usual as well.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SURFING HITS NYC?
MORGAN RAE BERK: American Psycho meets the Beach Boys? Really, the beauty of the surf culture in NYC is that everyone is different. You’ve got the overworked banker mingling with the NYU Film School student who’s mingling with the artist who’s mingling with the publisher and the local bartender. And of course there are the groms. Everyone has their own path in this big city, but everyone meets up in the water and forgets the crowded city pace.
HOW DO YOU FOLLOW UP LAST YEAR’S RUN OF SWELL DURING THE FESTIVAL?
ADAM CANNIZZARO: That was a tough one. Last year it went off during the festival! This year we heavily bribed the Unsound Pro organizers to into moving their contest to precede our festival by a few days. They always get great waves for their contest so now you know we’re not going to get skunked. Did I just jinx us?
Check out the NYSFF trailer channel HERE.