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Calling all surf filmmakers: 1st annual Santa Cruz Surf Film Fest open for submissions

Got a film project that tells a story about surf? The first annual Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival (SCSFF) is looking for submissions from independent surf filmmakers from all over the world, with selected films slated to show at the fest’s inaugural edition this September.


Open to both short and feature-length submissions, the festival aims to “spread the stoke that comes from a life lived in and by the waves,” by helping indie filmmakers share ideas, experiences and stories about surf. Aiming to make this a truly international event, organizers have already seen submissions roll in from as far away as Australia and South America, though they’re also looking forward to seeing films come in from local filmmakers, or which have a local focus.

Santa Cruz Film Fest: Senegal photo by Delphine Foo Matkin

Even though this will be the SCSFF’s first year, the festival is already set to bring together not only indie filmmakers and surfers, but also surf industry pros and other ocean lovers. The judges panel alone includes top names in the industry — among them 3-time Mavericks champ Darryl “Flea” Virostko, pro big wave surfer Tyler Fox, skate legend Judi Oyama, shaper Michel Junod, and surfer/shaper/musician Ashley Lloyd Thompson.

Launched by husband and wife team Michael Matkin and Delphine Foo-Matkin, the event is the first ever of its kind in Santa Cruz — though the city’s long-standing relationship with surf culture makes you wonder why this kind of thing hasn’t already happened there before.

SCFF Founders Delphine Foo Matkin & Michael Matkin surfing at dawn photo beach
SCFF Founders Delphine Foo Matkin & Michael Matkin

The story goes that, following a two-year international surf trip together, Delphine and Micheal settled on Santa Cruz as a new home base. After 24 months and 15 countries, the duo were ready to take their love of surf culture in a new direction, with a film fest that would open audiences up to the world of surfing while also giving more exposure to independent surf filmmakers.

While all films that touch on surf and everything related to the culture are welcome, organizers say that preference will be given to “films with a narrative focus — either examining a specific element of the culture or telling a story.” Awards given will include Best Feature, Best Short, Best Cinematography, and Best Soundtrack, as well as Viewers’ Choice.

santa cruz surf film festival chicama
Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival – Chicama

If you’re a filmmaker and want to submit a film or to find out about submission rules and guidelines, check out the SCSFF here. Or, if you’ll be in Santa Cruz this fall and just want to take in some really rad indie surf flicks, check out the festival itself, which runs September 24 to 26.

The deadline for all submissions is July 15, 2014.