Surfbeat: Bells Beach Surf Film Festival…

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Surfbeat: Bells Beach Surf Film Festival…

Four great nights of the best surf films in the world.

Last week saw the running of the 7th annual Bells Beach Surf Film Festival. The festival is the longest running surf film festival in Australia screening a wide range of new and rare surf films at the Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay.

Opening Night was massive with a full house in the museum theatre with local musician Oscar Lalor performing live before the films started.

Opening Night film was a short film titled Ulualoha by Etienne Aurelius which told the dramatic story of young Hawaiian surfer Jimmy “Ulu Boi” Napeahi was attacked by a Tiger shark and almost killed. This beautifully shot film gave us a rare insight into the life of a young Hawaiian who has returned to the water with the dream of becoming a professional surfer.

Distance Between Dreams was the feature film on Opening Night. It tells the story of another Hawaiian surfer Ian Walsh, who loves nothing more then paddling into big scary waves. The film follows Ian and his brothers as they plan for and surf massive fifty foot waves at the aptly named ‘Jaws’ surf break on the North Shore of Hawaii. If you like big waves check this one out today!

Distance Between Dreams features the usual insane wipe-outs as surfers paddling into fifty foot waves get tossed into the sky and then smashed by walls of pounding water. You will find plenty of broken boards and broken bones in this film. A rare insight into the training and mental preparation that goes with big wave riding.

Other highlights of the festival included Peninsula Mitre, where the Azulay Brothers strap surfboards to their backs before trekking for 20 days into the easternmost tip of Tierra del Fuego to ride huge waves at the remote Cape San Diego Lighthouse. With no communication and nothing but the packs, surfboards and cameras on their backs this is a remarkable modern surf journey.

The festival closed with the Australian Premiere of two incredible films. Las Olas which explored the lives of three surfers in central America and the unpredictable Let’s Be Frank which was filmed in South Africa and won Best Film at the recent London Surf Film Festival.

Featuring an amazing soundtrack by Ben Harper, the film explores the double life of South African surfer Frank James Solomon. This film has everything surf, cars, fist fights and guns… it is unlike anything I have ever seen before and has won many of the most prestigious surf film awards in 2016.

The Bells Beach Surf Film Festival… once again delivering some of the most incredible surf film you will ever see. Go to www.bellsbeachsurffilmfestival for details on future festival activities.

By John Foss