San Diego is rich in surf history and boasts a passionate surf community, which is why Pierce Michael Kavanagh couldn’t stop scratching his head last September while attending the New York Surf Film Festival. Where was San Diego’s cinematic celebration of surfing?
Less than a year later, the San Diego Surf Film Festival was underway. This weekend, the SDSFF surpassed everyone’s expectations for the inaugural event with a combination of feature films, shorts, beach cleanups, and shaping demos to create something that resonates with San Diego’s beach culture and deep roots in surfing.
Held at everyone’s favorite Instagram opportunity, otherwise known as Bird’s Surf Shed, the San Diego Surf Film Festival blended new with old, opening to a VIP list of filmmakers and artists with George Greenough’s Innermost Limits of Pure Fun. Local submissions were also aplenty, with none quite so intimate as Derek Dunfee’s Windansea, a revealing moving mosaic of the most recognizable faces in La Jolla. Other films included Mikey DeTemple’s Sight Sound, Doug Walker’s Lost & Found, David Bradbury’s Going Vertical, and many more.
Sitting beneath a solar system of surf history in Bird’s shed, there could be no better place to celebrate surfing in San Diego. “The San Diego Surf Film Festival blew all of our expectations out of the water,” says founder Pierce Kavanagh. “The audience response was simply overwhelming. I can’t wait for next year.”