Local surf filmmakers awarded at Lobero

Not only was the event by Sundance Beach free to attend, but event sponsors took over the Lobero lawn and red carpet area to give-away lots of free gear. (Presidio Sports Photo)

This weekend, Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theater hosted the 5th Annual Sundance Beach Surf Video Contest for a crowd of enthusiastic attendees. The contest showcases 10 short surf films produced by amateur surf filmmakers for a chance to be recognized in the surf film community.

This year a total of 30 films were submitted but only 10 finalists made it to the screening. Each film was judged based on surfing, cinematography, originality, and best overall film. The judging panel comprised of five: Jay Larsen, Matt Bovar, Josh Pomer, Jon Shafer, and Chris Davo.


This year’s 10 finalist films were: “The Queen” by Andrew Schoener ;“Wet Floors” by Paul Vallone; “The Ricks” by Seth Deroulet; “A Thousand Colors” by Luc Blanchou; “The Avenue” by Wilson Winneguth; “Detached” by Austin Card; “Puerto” by Brian Elliot; “Permafroth” by Aaron Howard; “What Is This?” by Adam Lambert, Owen Schied, and Chris Riel; and “Krooked Horizon” by Dana “Skimshady” Baldzikowski.

The Electric tent was busy handing out freshly pressed hats

Saturday evening’s screening ended with the revealing of this year’s winners beginning with the award for Best Surfing Footage. The prize went to Dana Baldzikowski for “Krooked Horizon” due to the unbelievable surf stunts performed in waves up to about 30 feet tall.

The Most Original award given to the film that took risks to stand out from the crowd was granted to Luc Blanchou for “A Thousand Colors.”

The big winner of the night was “What Is This?” by Adam Lambert, Owen Schied, and Chris Riel which took home the prizes for Best Cinematography and Best Overall Surf Video of the Night.

The first and second runner-ups for Best Overall were given to Andrew Schoener’s “The Queen” and Seth Deroulet’s “The Ricks,” respectively.

But there is still one award left! The Viewer’s Choice film has yet to be decided so like the SundanceBeach.com and watch the fun and inspiring films to submit your vote by March 18th.

Each winner walked away with cash prizes from $300 to $750 and an additional hefty prize pack donated from this year’s wonderful sponsors.

This year’s sponsors included Quicksilver, Billabong, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, RVCA and many more. The evening began at 4:30 where the event’s sponsors were stationed with games and some free swag for the attendees. Throughout the screening there were hats, sunglasses, t-shirts and plenty of sweet gear thrown into the audience for some extra excitement.

Below is a brief synopsis of the different films to help you decide what your viewer’s choice film is. Good luck and enjoy!


“What Is This?” – Adam Lambert, Owen Schied, and Chris Riel
Best Cinematography, Best Overall Film

The film begins with a zoomed out shot exposing the ridiculous number of surfers in the water at one moment. It then quickly begins focusing on individual surfers mixing images of crazy stunts with some mess-ups and a little amusement.

Each surfer is beautifully displayed with a mix of wide shots, closeups, and slow motion moments to uncover the talent in these men. The film also includes an incredibly cool and original shot of a surfer performing tricks while holding onto a rope attached to the jet-ski where the camera lies.

“Krooked Horizon” – Dana “Skimshady” Baldzikowski
Best Surfing Footage

An upbeat short film displaying some of the most incredible surfing skills around. The surfers in this film dropping into waves 30 feet tall, and continue to float through the tunnel emerging just as the wave collapses behind them. A truly jaw-dropping film that will leave viewers longing to rush out and practice their own skills.

“The Queen” – Andrew Schoener
1st Runner-Up for Best Overall

In short, a wonderfully filmed and edited montage of surfers. The music is very surfer vibe and fitting but the true beauty lies in the tricks and stunts performed throughout the film. An extremely fun film filled with spectacular maneuvers and skills rare but extraordinary. An immensely insane film and a must see for all surfing fanatics.

“Wet Floors” – Paul Vallone

The film dives straight into the surfing with an upbeat soundtrack and some really incredible surfing skills to match. Overall a very fun and exciting film that instantly inspires a desires to surf. The film was made even better by the apparently large number of friends and family of Paul cheering in the audience and gasping respectively.

“The Ricks” – Seth Deroulet

The only short to wonderfully combine surfing and humor into a brief but truly entertaining piece. The movie begins with a stunning shot of a surfer in the foreground and a rather large whale surfacing not far behind. It then continues to show the art of “noseride” surfing, that is surfing on particular boards shaped to allow the surfer to balance on the very front tip.

Shortly into the film, there appears to be an awkward cut to intermission but instead proves to be a segway into the comedic portion of the film: a series of surfing falls, collisions, and all together wipeouts. Mixed with some interesting closeup shots and noseride surfing tricks this film definitely proves to be unique.

“A Thousand Colors” – Luc Blanchou
Most Original

This film is very interesting in the way it takes the viewer through the world, surfing. The short begins in France with a voice over detailing the joy surfers get at the first breeze of winter for it signifies the great swells to come.

After a short montage of surfing the film takes you south to North Africa. The film guides the audience across the desert and to the beach where the surfers begin again. Then at last the surfers return to California and perform the best they have on our very own beaches.

“The Avenue” – Wilson Winneguth

This short film began rather uniquely with overhead views of the shore, mountains, and the waves as scene from a helicopter. While these shots might not be taken with the best clarity, they provide a little something different to make the film stand out among the rest.

The surfing itself is not too spectacular compared with a few of the others but Wilson Winneguth captures some increasing moments what will hold your attention. There is one rather precious look at a man paddle surfing with a younger boy on the board as well, in fact this is the only film to incorporate paddle surfing.

“Detached” – Austin Card

A fun film with really spectacular landscape shots and some seriously cool surf tricks. There is a nice build to ease the viewer into the surf experience however the surfing is then intercut with some very random images such as a bee hive in negative color. In all, the film is entertaining enough and the audience appeared to enjoy the surfing tricks performed in this short.

“Puerto” – Brian Elliot

One of the few films to not dive straight into surfing, the film begins with a few men traveling to Puerto Rico. The introduction includes shots of the airplane and landscape some of which are even displayed in negative.

The surfing shots include some pretty stellar surfing through the curls of the large waves mixed with some random jump cuts of the Puerto Rican terrain and the surfers out of water. The film then comes full circle ending just as the boys are leaving Puerto Rico.

“Permafroth” – Aaron Howard

Taking place in San Francisco, this short chooses to identify the different surfers by dressing them in very odd but unique wetsuits. This provides a simple way to help the viewer keep track of the individual surfers throughout the film.

This movie definitely mixes things up a bit with shots tinted blue and some rather unique and cool tricks. The film culminates with a shot of a large crowd of surfers and fans alike gathering in the water holding an american flag for a bit of American surfing pride.