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Surf Film Fest returns to Halifax

Organizers expect event to be another great success


Keith Maddison, organizer of the Canadian Surf Film Fest. Photo courtesy CSFF.
Keith Maddison, organizer. Photo courtesy CSFF.

The second annual Surf Film Festival will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at Empire Theatres – Parklane. The event will feature over 20 films from filmmakers, both experienced and inexperienced, related to surf culture and community.

Organizer Keith Maddison anticipates that the festival will be a great success. He says he is grateful for the turnout they received last year, and that the status the festival has gained gives him the confidence that this year’s festival will garner similar interest. .

“The first one is a curveball, and we didn’t know how it was going to be received,” he says. “We’ve got a good reputation now.”

Maddison says that although the festival is one-of-a-kind in Halifax, that there are surfing-inspired film festivals across the globe.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” he says. “We just had a really good time.”

Amongst supporters of the festival are people from each coast of Canada, California, New York and Europe.

One thing the festival aims to achieve, Maddison says, is to bring the best surf films to the surf community.

However, the festival is not just for those who are already involved with surfing. Maddison says that there is a wide variety of topics addressed in the films.

“You definitely do not need to be a surfer to enjoy [the festival],” says Maddison.

Some of the different subjects covered include mental health, ecology, poverty and anthropology.

There are three awards presented at the festival. One for best feature, one for best short and the short film challenge. The short film challenge is a Canada-wide contest including both amateur and professional films of roughly 10 minutes in length. The prize for this contest is a trip to Indonesia, one of the world’s top surfing destinations.

The jury that selects the winners are a mix of local and international judges. Among the jurors are Grant Ellis, photo editor at SURFER Magazine; Justin Huston, local surfer and president of the Surf Association of Nova Scotia, and Andrew Murphy, programming manager at the Atlantic Film Festival.

There are eight Canadian movie premieres at this year’s festival.

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