The 2009 NY Surf Film Festival has a final screening program

August 19, 2009 | Surfing
NY Surf Film Festival | Power Of Three, by Ross Cairns

New York Surf Film Festival Presented by JetBlue Airways and The Dominican Republic has put the final touches on this year's festival Feature program which features sixteen films with filmmakers from across the globe. This premier showcase of feature-length surf films screens September 25th – 27th, 2009 at Tribeca Cinemas in Lower Manhattan.

The 2009 NY Surf Film Festival Feature Program provides a range of cinematic viewpoints, from biographies of notable surfers overcoming personal barriers to controversial dark adventures to uncover historical surf spots and the necessary illegal means to keep them running, to rising above the racial and gender invisible boundaries to the surprising unlikely locales and environments that have spawned surfing communities.

“I can’t believe how many incredible films are out there. This year's program is going to propel peoples’ perceptions to a completely new height and understanding of what a surf film can be,” said Tyler Breuer, co-founder of the New York Surf Film Festival.


Powers of Three, by Ross Cairns, Fergal Smith, Tom Lowe and Mickey Smith are going against the grain of the norm, they are seeking out the biggest, the heaviest, most unpredictable and hidden breaks around Ireland Why? Because they are Artists, they are driven by an unquenchable passion for their art and never choose the easy route. Powers of Three is a documentary that follows three remarkable guys as they pioneer and conquer Irish waves through the bleak winter months.

A Pleasant Surprise, by Kyle Pahlow, offers an honest look at the talents of a select group of surfers who live in a truly special part of the United States. Almost three years in the making, this film documents a world of contrast as daily changes in weather and waves prove to be all part of a larger picture; thumping beach breaks, cold water, and quick tropical storms are just a fraction of what you will find.

Brought to you in Super 16mm, A Pleasant Surprise allows for the full beauty of this region and its surfers to be realized. Starring New Jersey’s top professional & amateur surfers Ian Bloch, Luke Ditella, Andrew Gesler, Sam Hammer, Zach Humphries, Chris Kelly, Rob Kelly, Matt Keenan, Ben McBrien, Jamie Moran, Tommy Petriken, Randy Townsend & Brendan Willem

The Drifter, by Taylor Steele, In the summer of 2008, iconic surfer and former Pipe Master Rob Machado flew to Indonesia to experience a different kind of surf trip. A journey that would take him way beyond his comfort zone, to the point where he could finally be alone with his thoughts, his desires and the empty perfection of an unnamed Indian Ocean reef. What did he discover? You never stop dreaming. Even when they come true.

Waveriders, by Joel Conroy, is the previously untold story of the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and today’s pioneers of Irish big wave surfing. The story unfolds through the inspirational and ultimately tragic history of Irish/Hawaiian legendary waterman, George Freeth, the son of an Irishman, who was responsible for the rebirth of this sport of Hawaiian kings in the early twentieth century.

With its distinguished cast of world-renowned Irish, British and Irish/American surfers WAVERIDERS journeys full-circle from Hawaii to California and back to Irish shores following Freeth’s wave of influence. The journey reaches a spectacular climax when the surfers conquer the biggest swell ever to have been ridden in Ireland by catching monster waves of over fifty feet.

Mengejar Ombak, by Dave Arnold and Tyrone Lebon is a documentary feature that offers a close and personal insight into the life of a young and very talented Indonesian surfer, Dede Suryana (current Indonesia Surf Champion and 2 time Gold Winner at Asian Beach Games).

The film follows Dede as he embarks on his first serious season on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) – where he has been touted to become the first Asian to qualify for the World Championship Tour (WCT). This upcoming season will be the most important point in Dede’s career to date; will he obtain the results he desires? Or will Dede be tempted to walk away from the money and focus on his true passion of free-surfing?

Searching for Michael Peterson, by Jolyon Hoff, tells the moving story of one of Australia’s greatest surfers whose career was cut short by mental illness. For five glorious years “MP” led the Coolangatta Kids and won virtually every event he contested, including three Bells Beach Pros back to back.

His brilliant, aggressive surfing provided the centerpiece for Albert Falzon’s Morning of the Earth in 1972, and MP never looked back. His final tour victory, at the inaugural Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads in 1977, is regarded as the high point of the early professional era.

Sadly, a year later triumph turned to tragedy and Michael’s demons claimed him. In 1983 he was locked up after a 15-car police chase across Queensland and finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He never surfed again.

Thirty years on, MP is still vitally interested in the sport and culture of surfing and is a fixture at most Queensland events, enjoying the action with his mother, Joan. He is rightly regarded as an iconic figure in Australian surfing, and Hoff’s film, while it pulls no punches, is an intensely moving tribute to the man.

Last Hope, by Andrew Kidman, is a series of sixteen original short films compiled by Andrew Kidman (Glass Love/ Litmus) and Spunk Records. Andrew Kidman chose six of his favorite surfing filmmakers to create short films that were inspired by the sea.

The filmmakers include Albert Falzon (Morning Of The Earth), Jon Frank (Litmus), Monty Webber, Michelle Lockwood (Kids) and American underground surf filmmakers Patrick Trefz (Thread) and Richard Kenvin (Hydrodynamica). Kidman also provides four special cuts of his own.

Beyond the Dream: The Joey Buran Story, by Matt Katsolis & Nic Mclean, is the inspiring and biographical documentary of legendary professional surfer, Joey Buran. It traces his humble origins from Carlsbad, California to his rise as one of the sports’ greatest athletes.

The film follows Buran’s journey to winning the highly coveted Pipeline Master’s Championship in 1984, which left him unfulfilled, leading to depression and a suicide attempt. From fame to obscurity, through tribulations and trials, an unbelievable comeback a decade later, and becoming a pastor, it is a life-changing story that led to Buran’s ultimate discovery for true purpose in his life.”

Just Add Water: The Clay Marzo Story, by Jamie Tierney, Have you ever loved something to the point that it becomes what you live for?  Meet Clay Marzo whose passion for surfing is so pure it defies description. Take a visually stunning and emotionally powerful journey through his life.

See Clay literally come alive in the ocean as he destroys the waves of Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, France, Spain and Australia with his wildly creative surfing.   You’ll also experience inspiring testimonials about his incredible talent from the most legendary surfers in the world.

The story also showcases an awareness-raising glimpse into his life and mind as he comes to understand both the gifts and challenges of living with Asperger’s. This is a surf film unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Modern Collective, By Kai Neville, is a porthole into the future following six fiberglass hoons on a hunt for ramps around the galaxy. Starring: Dane Reynolds, Dion Agius Mitch Coleborn Yadin Nicol, Dusty Payne and Jordy Smith.

The Women and the Waves, by Heather Hudson & Peck Euwer, is a documentary surf film that explores the lives of female surfers who, through the decades, have chosen to paddle headfirst into the male-dominated sport of surfing and found a place of their own.

Surfer girls, women who surf, women who don’t, female athletes, and the men who love them gain insight into what it’s like to “Surf like a Girl!” This inspiring film, featuring generations of women surfers, reveals what has transcended surfing’s status as a sport to become a passion so strong, it is the dominant force in their lives.

White Wash, by Ted Woods, is a film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of the history of black surfers. Narrated by Grammy Award® winner Ben Harper with Tariq “Blackthought” Trotter of the Roots, the story is told through the eyes of black surfers and historians from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California.

This controversial and probing film looks deep into America’s painful and pervasive legacy of slavery and exclusion. From surfing’s “discovery” by Captain James Cook in Hawaii in 1778 through the explosion of surf culture during the days of segregated Jim Crow America in the1960’s, Whitewash explores the myths that black surfers have overcome in their search for waves.

Surfing 50 States, by Stefan Hunt and Jonno Durrant, documents 2 crazy Aussies, Jonno and Stefan, who attempt to travel to all 50 states of the USA and surf in all of them. This leads them to slide down a 15ft pile of potatoes in Idaho, getting towed by a cowboy and his horse in Texas, sliding a waterfall in Massachusetts and flying through a Wizard Of Oz play in Kansas.

They drive all 48 mainland states in an unreliable Ice-Cream Truck and fly to Alaska and Hawaii for some of the best waves of the trip.

Out of Place, by Scott Ditzenberger, is an insider’s perspective of the small, underground community of surfers in Cleveland, Ohio. Theirs is a life of shared dedication for the water and to waves that rarely come. In the backdrop is a Great Lakes city trying to recover from a legacy of lost industry, lost jobs and a river polluted enough to catch on fire.

Still, this culture persists in this unlikely corner of the surfing universe amid harsh weather and gray skies. For them, the golden era of surfing is right now. And it’s happening on the frozen beaches of Lake Erie, five hundred miles from the nearest ocean.

Hanging Five, by Christopher Cutri, is a film that follows five artists who all happen to be surfers. The film documents their work and looks at different aspects of their lives and how those experiences have impacted their work. The film also looks at why the surf culture embraces and supports the arts. The artists include: Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Julie Goldstein, Alex Knost, Wolfgang Bloch

Sea of Darkness, by Michael Oblowitz, is a modern-day pirate tale concerning the ship The Indies Trader and the men who sailed it …A tale of exploration, adventure, and the discovery of jungle surf spots off the remote Indonesian coastline in the 1970s…

The smuggling missions that funded these journeys of discovery and the terrifying price some of these men paid for their passion…This film charts the story of a dynamic mix of unique and roguish men and their lasting legacy on contemporary culture.

Innermost Limits of Pure Fun: Directed by George Greenough
The Best of Tear Devils: Directed by Jesse Schluntz
The Endless Summer: Directed by Bruce Brown