Yesterday, when the impending Rainpocolypse was about to drop the heavens on us there were surfers in the water. Surfers waiting on the right wave that would take them from being in the water to being a part of the water. It is an emotion that escapes us most of the time. The San Diego Surf Film Festival is going to be bringing that emotion out of the ocean and onto the screen.

On Wednesday May 20th the San Diego Surf Film Festival kicks off four days of surf films, beer, live art, music and good vibes with a Sonny Miller tribute party at Green Flash Brewing. You have my attention. This is the fourth annual film fest, and it has grown each year necessitating a move to Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A VIP lounge will be across the street. A full schedule films and artist events is available here. Tickets start at $5 for Groms, and range from $12-20 for Salties.

Ok, oddly enough the festival audience is comprised of about 85% beautiful single women… Oh, and some screenings are already selling out so don’t delay.

In addition to getting you stoked about all things surf SDSFF is using their platform to support H2O Trash Patrol in their fight to keep and create cleaner, healthier waterways. We reached out to Festival Director Pierce Michael Kavanagh to get the details & learn more about why we love all things surf so much and should get to SDSFF.

SDSFF 2015 from MISFIT PICTURES on Vimeo.

SoCal Sessions: The San Diego Surf Festival is a celebration of surf. Why choose the independent film-makers to showcase instead of more established draws?

Pierce Michael Kavanagh: I have always been a big fan of the under-dog. As filmmakers ourselves, we know how difficult it is just to get screen time. So the SDSFF creates a level playing field and pits the unknowns against the old pros. Every film is judged on it’s own merits not which names are attached to it. We don’t run a popularity contest.

SoCal Sessions: Surfspiration (A word I just made up) is evident across film, photography, paint, music and on and on. What is it about surfing that inspires so much creative output?

PKM: It’s true, most surfers are really creative. We have a pretty special thing going on. I have taken in so much beauty from riding waves throughout my lifetime that I guess it just has to be released somehow. I would imagine the same being true for every other surfer out there.

SoCal Sessions: How did the screening panel determine which films made the cut and how many submissions did they have to go through?

What rain?

PKM: The screening panel has a lot of freedom because I trust all of them. After 4 years, everybody knows that the SDSFF’s foundation is strong narrative films. Hey, I love films that just blast huge airs time and time again but they get old quickly. As luck would have it, there are a lot of really talented filmmakers out there that have a lot to say and we applaud them all.

The competition in our festival is extremely stiff because of the amount of films and the constraints of our schedule. We play as many films as we possibly can over the four day festival. The most difficult job we have is telling great filmmakers their film did not make it in.

In 2015, we receive about 75 submissions and will be screening 24 films so only the top third of all global submissions make it into the SDSFF.

SoCal Sessions: Why should SoCal’ers, Surfers take a break from their regular routine of beer festival, brewery tour, beer festival to come to SDSFF?

PKM: Hmmm…let me see. Ok, oddly enough the festival audience is comprised of about 85% beautiful single women.

SoCal Sessions: Anything else to add? 

PKM: In all honesty, the festival is an amazing event to be a part of. We are honored to be able to create so much stoke in our beautiful hometown.

See you all there. Oh, and some screenings are already selling out so don’t delay.

Lightning Bolts of AwesomenessFollow us for full event coverage on Twitter & Instagram. We’ll be using #SDSFF throughout the weekend. Follow San Diego Surf Festival here. As always, if you see a bearded man in a SoCal Sessions tee or just any bearded man really, hi-5’s are free and vigorous.

Event poster by SDSFF Featured Artist: Andy Davis Designs