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This Is Northern New South Wales

Bringing History To The Making

The Byron Bay Surf Festival Surf Shorts short film competition is being inundated with exceptional entries.

The Surf Shorts contest invites upcoming surf filmmakers to create a short film of between five and seven minutes based on the theme of Surf Culture Now – Experimental Surf Designs. 

With an already established panel of experienced judges, the Byron Bay Surf Festival is delighted to announce the addition of two iconic filmmakers in Paul Witzig (Evolution, Sea of Joy) and Alan Rich (Saltwater Wine, Wizards of the Water).

Joining Johnny Abegg, Justin Gane, Dick Hoole and Mick Waters, the distinguished panel of judges is expansive, covering contemporary, high performance, alternative and historical genres and almost 50 years of surf filmmaking. Gane, another late addition to the panel, featured heavily throughout the 90s and early 2000s, capturing the growth of Australian professional surfing through the likes of Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo and Brenden Margieson. His movies, including Pulse, Tempo and Wanderjahr, encapsulated the development of competition and freesurfing outside of the then dominant US scene.

Whilst Bob McTavish was an ever-present and pivotal character throughout the ‘60s and the 1970’s shortboard revolution, Witzig and Rich were some of the few behind the lens, capturing those groundbreaking moments, and will certainly expand the diversity of opinion and experience in the judging panel.

Bringing it’s consummate knowledge and experience to the event, the panel will provide a definitive assessment of entries, producing a well-deserved competition winner of the highest calibre.

Submission date for the Surf Shorts competition entries has now been extended, allowing filmmakers a further two weeks to complete their masterpieces. Entrants now have until Sunday, October 14th to complete and present their submissions.

The public is invited to experience the competition for themselves, a screening of the five finalists and winner’s announcement taking place at Byron Bay Community Centre on Saturday, October 27th.  In addition to the finalists’ creations, Taylor Steele will be presenting his latest cinematographic masterpiece, This Time Tomorrow as part of his Australian film premiere tour.

For further information on this and all events of the Byron Bay Surf Festival 2012, please visit

Written by Thomas Leitch /