2018 Film Submission Window is Open!
Open call for consideration in the 2018 tour ends May 31st.
Where Is Your Local Screening?
U.S. East & West Coast, Australia, Portugal, Bali, Mexico, Chile & More

Save The Waves Film Festival is an international film tour and fundraiser for Save The Waves’ environmental programs and campaigns. Movies alone can’t change the world – but the people who watch them can. Our documentary films and the Film Festival educate and inspire audiences to protect the coastline.

The submission window for STWFF 2018 is NOW OPEN! Submit your film for consideration today.


Dual World Premiere in Bali and Portugal:

7/28 – Uluwatu, Bali; Drifter Bali

7/28 – Ericeira, Portugal; Portuguese Surf Film Festival


8/19 – Amsterdam, Holland; SeaSickSurf Film Festival

8/26 – Valdovino, Spain; Costa das Ondas

10/20 – Dublin, Ireland; Patagonia Dublin


9/8 – Long Beach Island, NJ; Farias Surf & Sport

9/14 – Montauk, NY; MEMORY MOTEL

9/17 – Portland, Maine; O’Maine Studios w/ Maine Surfers Union

9/30 – Virginia Beach, VA; Wave Riding Vehicles


11/2 – Laguna Beach, CA; Poler Outdoor Stuff

11/9 – Santa Cruz, CA; Patagonia Outlet

11/11 – Pismo Beach, CA; Chris Burkard’s Studio

11/18 – San Francisco, CA; The Victoria Theatre

11/30 – San Diego, CA; Bird’s Surf Shed

12/8 -Venice Beach, CA; Farm League

1/18/18 – Seattle, WA; Patagonia

1/20/18 – Portland, OR; Cosube


11/25 – Santiago, Chile; FICSURF 2017

12/2 – Ensenada, Baja, Mexico; Marina Ensenada

*Ticket Sales TBA


Hawaii / Australia


Fish People – dir. by Keith Malloy

To some, the ocean is a fearsome and dangerous place. But to others, it’s a limitless world of fun, freedom and opportunity where life can be lived to the full. A new documentary presented by Patagonia and directed by Keith Malloy, FISHPEOPLE tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. From surfers and spearfishers to a former coal miner and a group of at-risk kids in San Francisco, it’s a film about the transformative effects of time spent in the ocean—and how we can leave our limitations behind to find deeper meaning in the saltwater wilderness that lies just beyond the shore.

Island Earth – dir. by Cyrus Sutton

A rich tale of a young indigenous scientist’s struggle for truth between science and tradition as he enters an industry that many feel is threatening his homeland. His complex journey through the inner workings of GMO chemical companies and traditional Hawaiian elders reveals ancient values that can save our future.

Mas Afuera – dir. by Pato Mekis

A group of athletes embark on a journey to Selkirk Island, located in the Juan Fernández archipelago, in order to explore its waves, culture, and endemic flora and fauna. Nonetheless, an unexpected event changes the course of the expedition.

Under an Arctic Sky – dir. by Chris Burkard

Six surfers set sail along the frozen shores of Iceland, knowing that the worst storm to hit the country in twenty-five years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights.

STWFF is proud to present the most aesthetic and environmentally-minded surf films of the year. Because it would be impossible to screen every selected film in one night, STWFF will be curating a fresh program for each event of the tour to keep our audiences entertained, inspired, and most importantly – stoked.


@415Plumber’s Obsession – dir. by Jeff den Broeder

Created by Jeff den Broeder and SeaLevel TV “@415Plumber’s Obsession” is a film about a humble, accidental activist who cares deeply about the coastline, neatly sorting his beach plastic finds into orderly buckets, baskets and drawers. Through this process, one of the more wondrous facets of humanity emerges — the ability to transform a desperate environmental problem into a narrative through action, art, and dedication to a cause.

Ben Wilkinson Might Be the World’s Craftiest Big Wave Surfer – dir. Zach Weisberg

Ben Wilkinson is a big man. He also surfs very, very big waves. You’d never know it to talk to him, though, because he just casually goes about his business of building beautiful things out of wood and generally being a nice man. This is proof of his courage in a giant-sized ocean.

Blackboy – dir. by Nathan Myers 

Deni Firdaus comes from a remote beach town in West Java, Indonesia, called Batu Keras. Although the town’s major industry is growing rice, people in the town collect vintage cars, ride custom 2-stroke motorbikes and love to longboard. Not your typical Indonesian village. In this 10-minute profile, Deni introduces his town, his life and shares his passion for the unorthodox local customs.

Cattu – dir. by Mauro Ladu

Ilaria Morresi is an artist, a mother and a surfer enjoying life in Fuerteventura. This is a moving portrait of her life.

Chasing the Wind – dir by Andrew Batista

A short documentary that tells the story of world champion windsurfer Jesper Vesterstrom and his emotional journey following his father’s diagnosis of ALS. Grappling with his father’s fate, his instincts led him to the open water where he learned to harness the elements and his emotions in order to keep a promise.

Day by Day – The Iris Story – dir. by Jeremy McNamara

‘Day By Day’ is a short film that gives a glimpse into the life of functional artist George Rocha. George is best known for his work making used skateboards into new functional objects. He truly has carved out an unusual life for himself by being resourceful and doing it his way.

Dispatch from Mexico – dir. by Eugenio Barcelloni

“Dispatch from Mexico” is a mix of images that tell my long journey through the Southern Pacific coast of Mexico, the State of Oaxaca and Chiapas. I often travelled by bus, captivated by the deep roots of these areas, from places of worship and crowded squares to the wild nature, combining my passion for big waves.

Floater – dir. by Foster Huntington

A group of surfers in California have been working for years on perfecting the ability to ride waves without surfboards. Here are some of their exploits. Floating by Trevor Gordon, Ryan Burch, Spencer Gordon and Travers Adler. Made possible by Poler Stuff.

Florescence – Dir. by Morgan Maassen

Subaquatic exploration in the Indian Ocean.

Grande – dir. by Nuno Dias

A short video featuring some of filmmaker Nuno Dias’ favorite moments during the winter of 2016/17 in Nazaré, Portugal. It was a special winter in Nazare.

Lumiere – dir. by Tay Steele

From Hawaii to Tahiti, Lumiére takes us behind the lens of North Shore photographer Amber Mozo, to find what the ocean gives to her in spite of what it took away. Lumiére is an emotional distillation of the story of Amber Mozo, daughter of iconic North Shore photographer Jon Mozo, who passed away from head injuries sustained photographing Pipeline when Amber was just 9 years old.

Max Wave – dir. by Cliff Kapono

There is a battle happening along the banks of the Clark- Fork river. The proposed creation of a man-made wave has divided the surfer and environmental activist community in sleepy little town of Missoula, Montana. Will compromise be found, or will the dilapidated state of the river continue? Join surfer, scientist, and filmmaker Cliff Kapono as he travels to the middle of North America to find out what is Max Wave.

PangeaSeed – Napier, NZ – Filmed & edited by Cory Martin

PangeaSeed Foundation, in partnership with the Napier City Council and Alternative Arts Initiative, presented Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans in Napier, Hawke’s Bay. Artists, volunteers and project partners from countries around the world including the U.S., Spain, Russia, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, volunteered to paint large-scale murals addressing pressing ocean environmental issues. Each design focused on raising awareness regarding critical ocean issues, whilst providing the town with unique, one-of-a- kind, breathtaking murals. In addition to providing beautiful visual backdrops, the finished designs gave local citizens a sense of pride and ownership in their public spaces.

PangeaSeed – San Diego – Directed & Edited by Yoshi Yanagita

PangeaSeed Foundation, in collaboration with Cohort Collective, Surfrider Foundation and Kaaboo Del Mar, hosted the 2nd edition of their Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans mural festival in San Diego, California. An international group of renowned artists celebrated the majesty of Southern California’s marine environment through a series of community-centered events and the painting of ocean-themed murals to beautify neighborhoods, galvanize the local community and raise awareness for the importance of San Diego’s precious marine natural resources.

Pata Handplanes – dir. by Sergio Villalba

Handplanes make you feel like an underwater torpedo. It brings you back to the early days of surfing or even to your first surf sessions when you were just a kid using your own body as the only sliding surface. Meet Robby, a Belgian settled in the island of Fuerteventura recently,who’s been making handcrafted handplanes from recycled pallet wood.

Pear Shaped – dir. by Lauren Hill

Surfing tends to take itself pretty seriously, and women’s surfing carries the extra burden of not only having to be serious, but also be sexy. Watch as Sanuk surfy sea scribe, Lauren Hill, pokes fun at all that with a little absurdity from the everyday realities of being a woman in the water. “Pear Shaped” is a tip of the cap to the people who shrug off the unique challenges of surfing and choose to go anyway.

Poco a Poco – dir. by Treehouse Visual

A look at the World Surfing Reserve of Bahia de Todos Santos in Baja Norte, Mexico, and how the local community is working together against environmental threats.

Reefs at Risk – dir. by Malina Fagan & Lynn Pelletier

Set on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, “Reefs at Risk” explores the harmful effects some sunscreen chemicals have on coral reefs and marine life. Although there are many factors contributing to the destruction of coral reefs worldwide, “Reefs at Risk” introduces audiences to one they can easily eliminate through personal choice. In order to protect this fragile ecosystem, Hawaii strives to ban a commonly used UV chemical, called oxybenzone, and hopes that other states and nations will follow.

Salmon Deadly Sins – dir. by Steven Meer

Five thousand salmon colored index cards, the seven deadly sins, bizarre anagrams and a host of serendipitous occurrences have mingled in the artist’s imagination and emerged on paper as Salmon Deadly Sins. With music by Leftover Salmon, this seven minute flip book style film is like a moving drawing.

Skip Work & Surf – dir. by Tony Cruz & Scott Erickson

Volkswagen vans and surf culture have a long intertwining history, and Rich Kimball is right in the middle of it. He finally decided to bring his two passions together and create Big Wednesday, a VW gathering/surf contest/beach day at San Onofre State Beach. It’s a beautiful thing when people decided to hop in their VW and “Skip work and surf.”

Such A Long Time – dir. by Josh Rufford

An animated adventure about a couple of unlikely friends seeking fun waves and good times…

The Man & The Sea – dir. by Andrew Kaineder

Free one’s board from fins, and free one’s self – the philosophy of one of Australia’s great authentic surfers. Presenting a stripped back portrait of Derek Hynd, shot over 2 weeks at Jeffrey’s Bay.

The Superman – dir. by Jack Pirie

“The Superman” is a labor of love project for directors Jack Pirie & Alex Hylands-White, in collaboration with Bamford Watch Department. The short film follows Francisco Del Rosario, a freediver living on the remote island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands. Francisco once dived competitively, striving to see how deep he could go underwater. But he soon realized that isn’t why he started diving. Now he does it for the clarity of mind, the inexplicable sensations, and to visit another world beneath the waves.

Vacation Island – dir. by Morgan Maassen

A quick getaway to Hawaii’s North Shore with Stephanie Gilmore.

Cyberdoll – dir. by Kohl Christensen

From the mind of Kohl Christensen, “Cyberdoll” is a poetic meditation on society’s incessant addiction to social media juxtaposed against the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. A beautiful reminder to unplug and reconnect with the present unfolding moment.

STWFF is proud to present the most aesthetic and environmentally-minded surf films of the year. Because it would be impossible to screen every selected film in one night, STWFF will be curating a fresh program for each event of the tour to keep our audiences entertained, inspired, and most importantly – stoked.

  • Bianca Botta

    An avid surfer, skier, and mountain biker, Bianca has been passionate about the outdoors for as long as she can remember. In 2013, Bianca joined Red Bull Media House, where she has since been creating and executing multi-faceted marketing campaigns for some of the biggest outdoor and adventure films in the world.

  • Chris Burkard

    Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author, often traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth.

  • Nikki Brooks Artist Ambassador

    Santa Cruz photographer and surfer Nikki Brooks loves to document surfers on journeys near and far in search of waves less ridden. Nikki is excited to collaborate with like minded surfers and to continue to create imagery that will inspire others to protect the waves, coasts, and shorelines of places both near to home and those far away.

  • Danielle Clayton

    Resigning from a job and team she loved at Billabong NZ to buy a one-way ticket to the tropics, slugging back Singapore Slings enroute to the unknown, Salt Gypsy founder, Danielle Clayton, spent three seasons as a surf guide in the Maldives. 

  • John Daniels

    John Daniels is a true outdoors man! John has traveled and competed in several surf competitions over the past 12 years. He has a large role in his surfing community and has ran a surf camp every summer for the past 15 years.

  • Leah Dawson

    Professional surfer Leah Dawson has created her surf career as an influential voice in raising awareness of the women’s surf culture, identity, and community. With a desire to live an eco-friendly life, and be in service to others, she’s a unique storytelling voice for the Changing Tides Foundation.

  • Christian Charles
    Christian Charles Board Member

    British native and former professional ocean yacht racer, began his creative career as a writer, art director, creative director and director working on commercials for Pepsi, Lucas Films, Hershey, Ford as well as launching webMD during the internet boom.


  • Troy Eckert

    Troy Eckert is Co-Founder of Kozm and former Executive VP of Global Marketing for Volcom for 20 years, where he was the first employee, first pro surfer and helped build the brand from the ground up.

  • Todd Hanson

    Todd Hanson is a media producer and ocean lover who lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Todd has worked as Board Sports Producer at GoPro for the last 5 years, managing, editing, and producing hundreds of media assets. 

  • Tim Lynch

    What do you get when a friendly Texas linebacker falls in love with surfing, moves to the continental edge of Southern California, co-founds Woodshed Films with his friends, and produces pioneering surf and adventure films like 180° South and A Brokedown Melody? This guy

  • Jack McCoy

    Jack “Jake” McCoy Jr.  is the internationally recognized surfing photographer, writer, director, producer, and cinematographer, creating 25 highly successful films on surfing in a life’s work of award winning movies.

  • Sachi Cunningham Advisory Board

    Sachi Cunningham is a documentary filmmaker, visual journalist and Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University.

Each recognized filmmaker was awarded a gift card for photography gear and accessories from our friends at Peak Design to help them continue to produce inspiring images and protect their equipment while traveling and working in the harshest of environmental conditions.

Best Short Film:


directed by Tay Steele

Best Feature Film:

“Fish People”

directed by Keith Malloy

Environmental Impact Award:

“Reefs At Risk”

directed by Malina Fagan & Lynn Pelletier

Judges’ Choice Award:

“Mas Afuera”

directed by Pato Mekis

Audience Appreciation Award:

“@415Plumber’s Obsession”

directed by Jeff den Broeder and SeaLevel TV

The submission window for STWFF 2018 is NOW OPEN! Submit your film for consideration today.

Submission window closes May 31st, 2018.

Click here to download and sign our filmmaker release and send to films@savethewaves.org along with your film submission at FilmFreeway.

No single-use plastic.

Bring your own or purchase the collectible Klean Kanteen pint! We’ve kept over 5,000 single-use plastic cups out of the ocean with reusable cups on the STWFF tour.

Save The Waves Film Festival

Internship Available!

We’re currently looking for a STWFF 2018 ‘licensee intern’ to help us grow the impact of our film festival program. Click here for the intern description and how to apply.

Save The Waves Film Festival

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