Surf. No other sport is so intrinsically linked to nature. And yet, in becoming the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, a great paradox has arisen. Surfers are directly connected to the earth’s pulse and yet a majority of the materials used are environmentally toxic.
Manufacturing Stoke, an introspective look into the surfing culture’s struggle for positive environmental change is one of the many films to be featured at this year’s Byron Bay International Film Festival. Now in its 6th year, the Festival has established a reputation, locally, nationally and now internationally, for dynamic programming. This reputation is built on the festivals ability to pull together a captivating, stimulating and entertaining dose of screen culture.
But there two stand out genres for which both the festival, and Byron Bay, are best known. Surf/street culture, and conservation/the environment. So it’s fitting that one of this year’s highlight films, Manufacturing Stoke, has both genres at its core.
A history of open-mindedness and creativity has put Byron firmly on the world map for people seeking a positive change in lifestyle or perspective. A progressive place where new technologies and practices are embraced, green awareness and eco living are promoted, Byron is a place where ‘quality of life’ sits high on the list of life priorities. And the festivals programme reflects this.
Screening over 10 days, from 2-11 March, the festival will feature over 40 public screenings in Byron Bay, with introductions and Q & A sessions by attending filmmakers, Gala Red Carpet Opening Night and Closing Party showcase nights, free workshops & panels, primary and secondary school screenings, a balcony bar for the audience to mix with filmmakers and an expanded programme in neighbouring Lismore. In 2011, 206 films were screened from 35 countries of which 72 were Australian films. 135 of the films screened were Australian or World Premieres. BBFF2012 is shaping up to be even bigger.
With a record 900 film entry submissions received Festival Director, J’aimee Skippon Volke has had her work cut out. Whether your interest is surf/street culture, self-development, conservation and the environment, animation, music video or world cinema, BBFF 2012 will screen a dynamic programme of local, national and international film, to suit all tastes.
Pierce Kavanagh, International filmmaker and director of Manufacturing Stoked is one of a selection of directors, actors, producers and charismatic crazy dudes, who will be making a personal appearance at this year’s Byron Bay International Film Festival. Check out echonet for daily news, reviews, trailers and filmmaker insights. Further programming and ticketing information will be available in the lead up to the festival at www.bbff.com.au.