Special to the Westerly
Like anything, the Surfrider Short Film Festival grew from a raw idea and the kindling of a few conversations: to bring outdoor films into the rainforest, to bring awareness to environmental issues at the edge of the sea. We thought: what does inspiration look like?
To us, it was bringing people together under the gaze of the starry sky, between the glow of hanging lights, huddled in blankets with warm libations, and with the purpose to provoke action on the earth’s most pressing issues. From this early concept, the Surfrider Short Film Fest was born in the autumn of 2016 in Tofino, BC, with the mission of showcasing local and international short films that highlight diverse efforts to celebrate and protect the ocean, beaches, waves.
We also spotlight surf films from near and far that tell unique stories around people’s connections to the sea. Often, films have a surf and an environmental or social message woven together, underscoring the importance of intersectionality in surfing and in the environmental movement.
Many aspects of our lives and societies have dramatically changed this year as we’ve been facing a global pandemic. This includes holding this festival virtually instead of in-person in Tofino.
However, what hasn’t changed is the fact that we’re still in a climate and plastics crisis and the social inequities perpetuated by these issues. What hasn’t changed is our window to address these interconnected crises so all people can enjoy the ocean beaches and waves now and long hereafter.
So, the opportunity we have amidst this crisis is the ability to connect to people’s love for the west coast of Vancouver Island through the art of motion pictures, and in this connection, inspire greater stewardship and regeneration of the diverse places we are woven into. This includes providing the knowledge and tools necessary to support people in taking action for the planet and addressing systems of oppression that lead to the degradation of ecosystems and exploitation of marginalized communities.
Surfrider Pacific Rim works to protect the ocean, beaches, and waves, for the people of today and the future generations to come.
We realize our efforts are magnified by the stories we tell, which can be shared exponentially through the cinematic medium.
Cinema can capture any story and share it forever onward, and, now more than ever before, we need cinema as a tool to influence the masses to preserve and regenerate the planet. Collectively, cinema is a mirror for us to examine ourselves and how we choose to treat each other and the earth we share.
As film theorist Bill Nichols foreshadows, the expansion of cinema for benevolent purposes “will enlarge an existing tradition and contribute to shaping a world we have yet to create”.
We’ve also paired up with Tofino Resort and Marina to give one lucky festival-goer a two-night and three day stay, which includes a yoga class for two people during the stay and $50 gift card to 1909 kitchen.
The first 100 folks to buy tickets will enter the giveaway, please see details on Surfrider Pacific Rim’s website and Instagram, @surfrider_pacificrim.
So, we look forward to seeing you all November 20th-22nd!
Ticket packages range from $10-$40, visit pacificrim.surfrider.org to purchase your tickets now!
You can also visit 32auctions.com/surfridershortfilmfest to view and bid on west coast items and experience, from wetsuits, bikes, wine, art and VI staycations!
All proceeds from the Surfrider Short Film Festival will be supporting our programs and campaigns that are addressing the root causes of the plastic pollution crisis.
Many thanks to the official sponsors of the 2020 Surfrider Pacific Rim Short Film Festival: District of Tofino, Tofino Resort and Marina, Tofino Kombucha, Tofino Brewing Company, and Claire Watson Art.
Lilly Woodbury is the chapter manager of Surfrider Pacific Rim.