Stab Magazine | Amstel SurfilmFestibal Presents: Fukushima Goes Off!
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Amstel SurfilmFestibal Presents: Fukushima Goes Off!

“Shoulder-height by September,” said Felip Verger of the much-hyped Wave Garden, as he ducked under the doorway to the NoColour gallery.“We’ve exhausted the old prototype and the new one is nearly ready.” With Amstel beer in hand, Felip broke off as he looked around the gallery – an intimate, white-walled gun-barrel space on a street […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Shoulder-height by September,” said Felip Verger of the much-hyped Wave Garden, as he ducked under the doorway to the NoColour gallery.“We’ve exhausted the old prototype and the new one is nearly ready.” With Amstel beer in hand, Felip broke off as he looked around the gallery – an intimate, white-walled gun-barrel space on a street parallel to Zurriola, the main beach in San Sebastian. Though coy overall about the project (which he’s heavily-involved with), Felip later let slip a few details, which you’ll hear more about soon.

Felip’s one of many surf industry players in San Sebastian for the ninth annual Amstel SurfilmFestibal. For last night’s festibal instalment, NoColour’s walls were covered in photographs from Fukushima, which y’saw on the news in the weeks following Japan’s shocking 9.0-magnitude earthquake/tsunami one/two-punch. But there were no images of men in radioactive suits trying to control a melting-down plant. Instead, the photos showed men in wetsuits, bolting down the sand towards fun-as-heck beachies, and said beachies being shredded. The exhibition’s subject-matter was a (successful) attempt at finding good among the bad. Junji Uchida, editor of Japanese Surfin’ Life and Glide magazine, and Norimoto Ichikawa, freelance photog, were the unofficial honorary guests, constantly surrounded by people and never without beer in hand. Junji especially appreciated the awesomely-titled Fukushima Goes Off! exhibition, having travelled to Fukushima post-disaster to document the devastation. The cover of the most recent Japanese Surfin’ Life was checkered with photos, each a pro surfer portrait holding a well-wishing sign, all shot at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach. So, so great.

The crowd spilled onto the street and smoked dark, rolled cigarettes. The music was a brilliant mix of awesomely-tacky Spanish pop and some classic gems, many from surf film soundtracks. The wood floor creaked as beautiful hostesses in red jeans refreshed beers. Glasses chinked, camera flashes detonated and the boisterous laugh of Joao Valente, editor of Surf Portugal, was frequent. At midnight, the crowd dispersed to disappear into San Sebastian’s bustling lane-ways, home of door-to-door bars and much decadence. More to come from SurfilmFestibal, super soon. – Elliot Struck

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