Save The Waves Film Festival celebrates 10 years of the world’s best enviro surf films

This summer Save The Waves is excited to kickoff its 10th anniversary tour of the Save The Waves Film Festival, presented by UGG, with international premier screenings in Manchester, UK, the World Surfing Reserve of Ericeira, Portugal, and Rapa Nui.

Founded in 2008 with a single screening in San Francisco, the Save The Waves Film Festival (STWFF) was established as a storytelling platform to inspire audiences to protect our coastlines and the surf ecosystems. STWFF has grown steadily from a bi-coastal US tour in California and New York, to become the only internationally-touring environmental surf film festival in the world.

This year we received submissions from 18 countries from Australia to Iran and Morocco to Madagascar, and have our most eclectic and impactful film program to date. The Film Festival creates an educating and entertaining program with an international panel of professional filmmakers, photographers, activists and athletes. Veteran selection committee members such as Chris Burkard and Leah Dawson were joined by new additions such as activist diver “Shark Girl” Madison Stewart, Icelandic adventure photographer Elli Thor Magnusson, and big-wave champion Greg Long.

“We are stoked and humbled to be working with such talented folks to craft our 10-year anniversary program,” said Trey Highton, STWFF Film Festival Director

This year’s feature films include Never Town, directed by Andrew Buckley, featuring Dave Rastavich, Wayne Lynch and Belinda Baggs exploring the rugged southern coasts of Australia. Also included in the 2018 program, is Nate Dappen’s The Passage, about the epic family tale of a homemade canoe trek from Washington to Alaska, and explores the themes of growing up, growing old, and the wild places that define us. Selected short films span the content spectrum, including important Oceanic indigenous voices from Hawaii in Pohaku and the Solomon Islands in The Message is in the Song; beautiful underwater cinematography from one of the masters of the genre Morgan Maassen; and important environmental work in Blue Ventures, The Turtle Ninja, and The Dolphin Board of Awesome.

To celebrate a decade of sharing the world’s best environmental surf films, STWFF will be hosting unique two-day events, featuring beach clean-ups, surfboard demos, workshops, art shows, and community roundtables on local environmental issues.

The first of these activations will be August 4th-5th in Rapa Nui, hosted by filmmaker Rodrigo Farias Moreno, big-wave surf legend and STW ambassador Ramon Navarro, and local surf activist Tavake Pacomio. The second will be held in Oceanside, CA at the Oceanside Museum of Art and the historic Star Theater on August 10th-11th, and feature an art show auction curated by Brooks Sterling, live music from Taken By Canadians, as well as special appearances from featured filmmakers.

Save The Waves will be adding stops to the tour calendar on a rolling basis, so stay tuned to the STW newsletter and film festival website. 


Save The Waves Coalition protects and preserves the coastal environment with a focus on the surf zone, through a unique combination of protected areas, economics, and direct action.

For more information, please contact STWFF Director Trey Highton at trey@savethewaves.org

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