Amstel Surfilm Festibal - The Winners

Alex Dick-Read

Images throughout this are from the fantastic Skeleton Sea exhibition which accompanied the Amstel Surfilm Festibal in San Sebastian. Skeleton Sea sculptures are all made from garbage found along the seashore by artists Jao Parinha, Luis de Dios and Xandi Kreuzeder. Check them out at www.skeletonsea.com

It’s been tough and the numerous bribes from various contestants were tempting, but in the end, honesty prevailed and we are more than honoured to announce the following list of winners of Surf Film Contest:

FEATURE FILMS Best Feature film presented by Amstel (6000€ + Trophy + Pack Amstel Surfilm Festibal): Sea of Darkness.

Special Jury mention for Río Breaks. This was a tough one for the jury. All the jurors believed that Sea of Darkness was clearly one of the most important surf films in many years and it stood head and shoulders above the rest. However, there were other films which the jury thought were extremely deserving. The jury agreed that a special mention must be made for Rio Breaks by Vince Madeiros and Justin Mitchell whose film about young kids in the Rio favellas was not only incredibly hard to make (it took 5 years to film and was done so in the midst of a constant, ongoing drug war raging all around them, every day) but it also succeeded in capturing the surf kids in their completely relaxed, childlike state, making it heart-warming and wonderful to watch. Huge kudos to Madeiros and Mitchell and we recommend everyone should look out for this. However, in the end, Michael Oblowitz’s Sea of Darkness told such a powerful seafaring yarn that also uncovered hidden corners of surf history that were up to now mere rumours and heresay. One angry film maker laid into the judges saying Sea of Darkness was “glorifying drugs” and the the “jury voted for it because they are whacked out on coke” – which caused some shock and amusement (the jurours were, we can assure you neither glorifying nor using drugs). But the decision was unanimous because, frankly, a film of this level of interest and adventure hasn’t been seen in the surf world for many years.

SHORT FILMS Best Short Film presented by Amstel (1500€ + Trophy + Pack Amstel Surfilm Festibal):Birthright.

Special Mention: Modernist Basque Surfing

Public’s Choice Short Film presented by Volkswagen (300€ + Trophy + Pack Amstel Surfilm Festibal + Mini van Volkswagen): El mar mi alma.

Best Environmental Short Film presented by Patagonia (Trophy + pack Amstel Surfilm Festibal + Pack Patagonia + One year subscription to Surfer’s Path): Puri Deitzen Diote.

Best Short Film in Euskera presented by Kutxa (Trophy + pack Amstel Surfilm Festibal + Abarcas (Bans) + One year subscription to 3sesenta): Mendikua (Revenge).

Best Local Short Film presented by Diario Vasco (Trophy + 200€ + One year subscription to 3sesenta): El Murero Común.

Best Pornosurf Short Film presented by Stab Magazine (Trophy + Pack Stab + One year subscription to Stab): Crudo y acevichado.

But in truth the winner has been the Amstel Surfilm Festibal itself and its organizers, as it is a real blessing to have the support of so many good directors that want to showcase their work during our Festibal, of such a good bunch of cool guys as members of the Jury, of so many surfers wanting to watch the films (three sold out sessions) and the help of our sponsors and contributors.

Thanks a lot to you all and see you in Bilbao on September 18.

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