Fifth Surf Film Fest Aims To Capture 'The Stoke Factor'

By: James Cole

A scene from “Positive Vibrations,” one of the films that will be shown in this weekend's Surf Film Festival in Orleans.

The Orleans Surf Film Festival will be holding its fifth annual event this coming weekend – Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20 and 21 – at the Hog Island Brewery, sponsored by the Orleans Chamber Foundation. The program features between 12 to 14 films chosen by six members of the community from criteria including story, cinematography and, as described by Festival chairman Sassy Richards, “the general Stoke factor.” The festival celebrates surf culture all around the world and “all that is positive about riding, sliding, and gliding your way through life,” she said.

“This year we were fortunate to have too many films submitted for consideration; something that is not always the case,” Richards explained. Among the films chosen: “Positive Vibrations,” “Perilous Sea,” “Given,” and “Paradigm Lost.” In celebration of the festival’s fifth year, a unique T-shirt and limited-edition poster will be for sale at the event. “Many local artists have donated to our raffles, with prizes like long boards and skateboards,” Richards explains. “We have amazing surprise packs filled with items worth hundreds of dollars.

“The most incredible part of the weekend is the dedication of the local surf, skate and snow community that brings there treasured boards and memorabilia to create a pop-up museum for all to admire,” Richardson says. “It gives the local community a glimpse into the past and celebrate The Stoke.”

As described on the festival website, “The Stoke” is the chance “to share the positive vibes of our boardsport-filled lives with everyone that attends, young and old. Our time on the water and snow and asphalt has shaped our lives and even saved some lives, and we feel obligated to point you all in a positive direction, be that towards the ocean, the mountains, or the skate park.” This is the also the theme of the Orleans Surf Film Festival.

Here is a list of some of the films featured in the festival:

“Positive Vibrations.” (24 minutes.) After Patrick, Dane and Tanner Gudauskas' first surf trip to Jamaica in 2014, they were compelled to come up with a way to help the budding surf culture. Jamaica has a talented crop of young surfers led by Billy “Mystic” Wilmot, but lacks the infrastructure or access to modern surf equipment to achieve their true potential. The film follows The Gudauskas Brothers creation of the "Surfboard Drive,” using social media and asking people to donate old surfboards.

“Paradigm Lost.” (63 minutes.) What defines a surfer? Is it the art of wave riding or the equipment you ride? For Kai Lenny, the ocean is a playground and the only rule is to have fun. Filmed over three years in six countries, Kai shares incredible sessions with world champions in big wave, progressive surfing, kite surfing, and windsurfing, and shows the endless possibilities that come with an open mind.

“On Days Like This We Must Surf.” (8 minutes) Surfing on a lake is impossible, right? Wrong! Lovable wild man Larry Cavero lives for surfing the ice-cold waters of the Great Lakes in this short documentary about the burgeoning surf scene around Toronto, Canada.

“Northbound.” (8 minutes.) Ice, driftwood, foamy waves and…skateboards? Four skaters head north to the cold Norwegian coast, applying their urban skills to a wild canvas of beach flotsam, frozen sand and pastel skies. The result is a beautiful mash-up.

“Grande.” (4 minutes.) A short video featuring some of the greatest moments during this year's Big Wave season in Nazaré, Portugal. This was a special winter in Nazaré, with so many swells and consistent big wave action. Many barriers were broken, most prominently on the paddling front.

“Perilous Sea.” After three years of journeying around the cold edges of Iceland, Nova Scotia, and Ireland, filmmakers Mike Bromley and Ryan Meichtry have completed their feature film shot entirely in the North Atlantic. Featuring a cold water cast that includes Noah Cohen, Wilem Banks, Heidar Eliasson, and others, the film draws inspiration from classic maritime novels of the past, where the seascape is as real a character as the sailors who test its forgiveness.

For tickets and information go to the festival website www.orleanssurffilmfest.com/.