Stab Magazine | The 2016 San Sebastian Surfilmfestibal Begins!

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The 2016 San Sebastian Surfilmfestibal Begins!

A director’s insight into the cultural examination surfing so desperately needs.

style // Jun 20, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It is the dead honest self-examination that surfing so desperately needs. The San Sebastian Surfilmfestibal, now in its 14th year, has distinguished itself as the most important surf culture celebration on the planet – you just may not know it. Born out of the independent vision of founder, Basque surfer, early 1990s Mentawaian surf adventurer, and renowned culture buff Sancho Rodriguez, the festibal today is the Cannes of surfing. This year is no exception, boasting a typically eclectic programme of art exhibitions, film screenings, environmental conservation talks, bands, and underground ocean legends. We spoke with the festival’s director, Sancho Rodriguez about the event, beginning June 22.

Stab: The Basque Master! What does the world’s finest surf film festival have to offer us this year?
Sancho: As usual, ARTIVISM (art x activism), fantastic venues for multidisciplinary surf-culture celebration, the new surf olympic games, and an overall fresh, fun take on surfing.


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What a place San Seb is.

Last year’s Surf, Civilisation, Barbarism, exhibition was a highlight in global surf culture. What themes will you be exploring this year? A central and key theme is the denouncing of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, because the construction of the sailing olympic villa will destroy three perfect waves. There will be the launch of a Surf Activist Kit by Surfers Against Sewage, a broad look at our culture with our Oceanic Adventure, a fantastic event which is going to take place at a shipyard where they’re building a replica of a boat from 1563 which sank in Canada in 1565. There will be talks, shaping, films, music and food, with all the contents, drinks and food made by surfers in an artisanal way. A true celebration of craftsmanship and independent surf warriors!

Last year we had the privilege of meeting such legendary characters as Kimi Werner and Kohl Christensen. Who will be turning out to speak this year? This year we will be graced by the presence of Léa Brassy, Lee Ann Curren (daughter of Tom) and her band Betty the Shark, Hugo Tagholm representing Surfers Against Sewage, all our local heroes, from Asier Muniain, Kepa Acero, Tony Butt and other surprise guests.

Surfzilla 4MiguelBrieva EN 1

And the must-see films screening in the grandiose Teatro Principal? The Albaola Shipyard will see the european premiere of The Accord, a fantastic film from RC Cone, which saw its world premiere at Telluride Mountain Film Festival. (Desillusion editorSebastien Zanella’s world premiere of Brother – a Bruce Irons raw interview, the fantastic audiovisual performance by Chris McLean, who will project and tweak images while CJ Mirra makes the soundtrack live. Euskal Balearen Eiza, the short in Basque that depicts our local boys charging pretty crazy waves this winter, and a fantastic selection of shorts that go from Stonehead by Kohl Christensen and his boys to Thomas Campbell, Jamie Brisick, another mind bending short by Jack McCoy and Jane Ensor, a young surfer and filmmaker who worked on Boogie Man, Space is the Place, an interview with Tom Morey where he talks about the creation of the boogie board, which takes us to Holding On, the sponge tale from Oz – raw and strong – same as Dirty Ol Wedge, a history of the eponymous wave. Fantastic works!

And the pintxos? And the hashish and cider?! Trying to keep ‘em as fresh as ever! But right now there seems to be a change of law and bust of the new weed clubs. You know how the street works. And the cider is fantastic this year, very good vintage!

Poster Surzilla Surfilmfestibal14MiguelBrieva


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