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.
Anna Ehrgott is a Californian professional surfer and adventure/cold-water trip enthusiast. As an environmental steward she advocates for better practices with sourcing organic/recycled materials through both her surf accessories brand, Sagebrush Bags, and working to phase out single-use plastics and fast fashion.
Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author, often traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth.
World renown athlete and international role model, Imani is the founder of Surf Girls Jamaica and featured face in the award-winning film “Surf Girls Jamaica”. She spends most of her time running the Jamnesia Surf Camp (Jamaica’s first and only surf camp) and Creative Family Jamaica (a media production company in Jamaica).
Artist and activist “kittiekipper” Caroline Bond, creates fibre art sculptures from ghost nets and fishing detritus to raise awareness of pollution in the marine environment. Using social media, she spreads the beach clean ethos, while openly sharing her journey to becoming plastic free, championing the idea of reusable items and ownership, over single use items and consumerism.
Kahana was born and raised on the east side of Oahu and ventured to San Diego 18 years ago to pursue a degree in Business. After a decade of toiling in the surf/fashion trade as both a professional surfer and hired hand for different brands in the industry, Kahana co-founded the Aloha Beach Club. He currently splits time between Hawaii and California where in addition to operating his retail stores, consulting and designing for brands in the surfing and beverage space, he can be caught playing music under the dj/producer moniker of Sunburnt Reynolds.
Coal miner turned “wave whisperer” and internationally renowned ocean photographer. Ray aims to create an emotional impact with his images of breaking waves, and hopes to inspire people to put nature over convenience as far as plastic goes, so we can keep the ocean as pristine as possible.
The most interesting stories are the ones that we feel, and when we immerse ourselves in nature, our senses enliven. Photography captures a moment in time, and Nikki enjoys collecting moments of her favorite subjects, people and the environment they inhabit.
Meg Hayward Sullivan
Meg Haywood Sullivan is a photographer & environmentalist who splits her time between shooting campaigns and pushing for environmental stories through editorial features & social platforms, working on projects that inspire the public to care about the planet, while activating a whole new generation of environmentalists, stewards, and voters.
Julia Wheeler is a certified adventure addict. Openly admitting to loving “the wild places”, this Australian-based photographer, explorer and competitive champion freediver is at her happiest when she’s either 50 metres below the sea’s surface exploring shipwrecks, immersed in a photo shoot or on the frontline of anti-poaching.
Environmentalist, presenter and one of Australia’s top plus size models, Laura Wells believes in the importance of educating people not only on the issues, but focusing on solutions, to empower individuals to create change. Whether this be in their personal sphere around the relationship with their body and who they are, or the impact their actions have on the environment; fostering behavioural change can facilitate improvements in environmental and human health simultaneously.
Nate splits his time between traveling to remote surf locations across the world, diving into foreign cultures, and writing articles that highlight these adventures. He holds a degree from UC Santa Cruz in Cultural Anthropology.
Alex Blackbird works as a rock climbing photojournalist in Southern California, for SoiLL’s women’s community Take Hold LV. A recent ocean convert, she has dedicated her passion to the stewardship of our natural spaces and works in her community to erase single use plastics and educate the public on the importance of clean and healthy oceans. She enjoys long walks on the beach while picking up trash with her dog.