Every year the Shorties category at The London Surf Film Festival serves up a smorgasbord of top quality short films from esteemed home grown film makers and invites you to vote for your favourite.
This year the breadth of entries has been really something to behold. These are so much more than just surf clips. There’s short works of artistic fiction, mini-documentaries and genre defying stop motion, with surf surf serving as the central spring board to explore a plethora of wider issues.
They feature personal transformations, environmental challenges, and meditations on the human condition. Yes- there’s some top quality surf action in amongst them, but there’s no doubt their appeal thoroughly transcends that of the online web clips you’re used to.
Voting on the long list ends this Sunday, so we decided to comb through all of the entries and present five of our favourite to aid you in your important vote casting decisions. So, without further verbosity, in no particular order, here they are:
A film by Tom Cockram
We love short films about pioneering surf explorers heading off to discover new lands, filled with untapped potential, but what’s even more exciting is when local grass roots surf communities begin to spring up in their wake.
Here’s the story of an Icelandic native, Ingo Olsen, who after discovering surfing over 20 years ago has made it his life’s passion, setting up the only surf tour operator in Iceland.
“The film is a journey, searching for these secret spots and crowd-free waves, along the rugged and raw coastlines. Thanks to the unique positioning of the island, the 20 hours of daylight meant we discovered waves and new coastal spots long into the night, surfing till dawn.” said film maker Tom Cockrum.
“Ingo has been a passionate surfer for over 20 years, starting with skateboarding and snowboarding before finding his love of the ocean. The amazing surf potential of this isolated but exposed island is still not fully explored, with Ingo keeping his secret surf spots close to his chest.”
A film by Harry Anscombe
This genuinely original and compelling short tells the fictional tale of Rose, an old lady who lives a simple life by the sea. The production quality is top notch and the narrative fiercely evocative.
A film by DIY creative and Lilly BW
A heartwarming tale of two old friends, Andrew and Danny, who have spent a lifetime sharing waves. The visuals, including one particularly beautiful party wave to high five combo, are set against read passages from Andrew’s diaries of sessions and surf checks, creating a intriguingly multi-layered narrative.
A film by Simon Cotter/ Ruwac Productions
This film, starring Ntando Msibi, a former street child from South Africa, documents the young surfers first visit to the UK with the organisation Surfers Not Street Children, who have been supporting him since he was a child. Told through his own words the film serves as a unique portrait of a transformed young man, who looks totally at home in the ocean.
A film by Harry Bower
Featuring the best performance surfing on the list, this epic little short is comprised of highlights from a few years worth of UK based missions with one of the world’s best long boarders, Ben Skinner.
“We selected clips from Ben’s most memorable sessions and trips over the past few years to create a story that takes us all over the UK.” explained film maker Harry Bower. “This coast to coast journey shows off some of our finest beaches, reefs and barrels being tamed by Skindog. His love for the sport and what it means to him shows throughout.”
You can watch all of the entries from the long list and vote for your favourite here. There’s also still time to grab tickets to the main event, which runs from the 19th– 21st October and is hosted at the iconic Regent Street Cinema, W1 and accompanied by gallery shows, music, talks, workshops pop ups and more.