STWFF Selection Committee
We work with an international panel of professional filmmakers, photographers, athletes, and activists to curate the best new ocean-focused films of each year to create an educating and entertaining program. Panelists also play a key role in the success of the STWFF tour by leveraging their networks to help us bring stoke and inspiration to new surf communities and expanding audiences each year.
Marine biologist Brinkley Davies explores her passions for the underwater world, waves, and wildlife around the world, while bringing awareness to conservation efforts, that are helping to preserve not just the ocean, but all ecosystems. She founded her own registered charity and environmental non-profit, Balu Blue Foundation.
Elli Thor Magnusson
I’ve spent most of my adult life looking for ways to escape city life, to find new adventures. Somewhere along the way I picked up a camera. I was never one for writing a journal and a camera seemed like a good substitute, I haven’t stopped using it since. It has given my travels, friends, activities and adventures a new meaning.
Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author, often traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth.
Greg Long is by any standard the sport’s most celebrated big wave surfer in a career that now spans two decades. He has been awarded virtually every title in the big wave riding arena, including multiple XXL Global Big Wave Awards including Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year and Performer of the Year. Deeply thoughtful and well informed, Long has become one of the sport’s most articulate spokesman, lending his perspective and credibility to a number of ocean-oriented environmental groups.
Snowy, windy, dark, cold and numb is just a few adjectives of where and how you would find Montauk based photographer James Katsipis. There is nowhere he would rather be than swimming off of the Montauk Point Lighthouse with his camera in the middle of February after a fresh snow storm the night before.
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.
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. She has over 20 years of surf competition experience in both longboarding and shortboarding, yet her passion lives in the heart of surfing, and connecting with the wide surf culture around the world.
Everyone has a special memory of wonder from their childhood, my obsession quickly became the Great Barrier Reef. I left school to start home schooling at age 14 and traded my school fees for an underwater video system, a simple tape camera in a housing. From that point on, the sharks, the Great Barrier Reef, and the oceans worldwide became my normality, my classroom and my home. I work for sharks, they are everything to me. The most important career I can hope to be involved in, is the protection of this planet, and thus my own future.
Shark attack survivor turned shark advocate. Professional outdoor adventure photographer who is an advocate for marine conservation and legislation in his spare time.
Acclaimed filmmaker and veteran surf journalist, Nathan Myers is also the co-founder of the open-source surf video competition Innersection.com — which awards $100,000 to the best surf short every year — along with surf filmmaking legend Taylor Steele, with whom he previously collaborated on the surf-travel films Stranger Than Fiction, The Drifter and Castles in the Sky. Myers recently returned to California to raise his family after spending a decade in Indonesia.
Rodrigo Farias Moreno
I was born in Santiago de Chile and grew up with my feet in the sea of Pichilemu. I’m a publicist, documentary filmmaker and photographer. More than the action I like the lifestyle and landscapes mixed with perfect waves. Thanks to the sea I have been able to meet people and wonderful places that have made my work something really inexplicable.
Sachi Cunningham is a documentary filmmaker, visual journalist and Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism and Brown University, Cunningham’s stories focus on the ocean environment. Her camera has taken her in the water with everything from 350-pound blue fin tuna to Olympian Michael Phelps. Her water surf photography has been featured in Surfer Magazine, Surfline and The Inertia.
STW Film Panel
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.
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.
Director for Save The Waves Film Festival