London Surf / Film Festival x Reef Shorties goes live:  

London Surf / Film Festival x Reef Shorties goes live:  

As we swing into autumn thoughts turn to real waves and for the next ten days perusing a brace of exceptional British and Irish short films in the LS/FF Shorties film competition. The standard is high as ever and making the short list to be shown on the cinema screen at the Regent Street Cinema alongside the main features is an honour for any filmmaker.

60 minutes of the very best short films

London Surf / Film Festival has just unleashed the longlist for the 8th Edition of The Shorties short film competition, serving up some 60 minutes of surf movie magic for your viewing pleasure over on the LS/FF site.

The hotly contested ‘homegrown filmmaking’ category at the heart of this international festival this year features 13 outstanding shorts from the very cream of British & Irish filmmaking talent. The longlist is a mix of surf action, comedy, sick edits, sublime soundscapes, travelogues and documentary filmmaking from both established names and new talents showcasing every aspect of surfing and surf culture from all corners of our shorelines.

London Surf / Film Festival needs your help in selecting The Shorties to be screened at this year’s festival so are asking you – the esteemed surfing community – to support your favourite films by watching and voting for them.

Voting is open now and will run until midnight 17th September. Check out the longlisted entries at and cast your votes.

The shortlist is decided by a combination of votes cast by the surf community and votes cast by the screening panel which includes influential names in the world of surf, media and filmmaking, from photographers and producers to commissioning editors.

The selected films will be shown on the big screen as part of the 8th Annual London Surf / Film Festival x Reef, 10 – 13 October at the iconic Regent St Cinema and 14 – 19 October popping up across the capital.

London Surf / Film Festival is a celebration of the cream of international surf culture. Bringing to the UK the best surf films from around the globe – documentaries to inspire, travelogues to stir up the wanderlust and cutting edge action to blow minds, and accompanied by talks, live music, gallery shows, workshops and more it is a must attend for saltwater aficionados.

Andy Irons: Kissed by God…

Andy Irons: Kissed by God…

Andy Irons: Kissed by God​ is a documentary film that focuses on the untold story of one of the world’s most prolific surfers. ​Andy won three World Titles throughout his career and is regarded as “The People’s Champ” around the world, for his blue collar rise to fame and his relatability. ​Despite all the success, Andy’s personal demons ultimately led to the heartbreaking tragedy that became part of his legacy. Filmmakers Steve and Todd Jones interlace breathtaking cinematography with archival footage and interviews with family, friends, and Andy’s competitors. ​Andy Irons: Kissed by God​ spotlights the effect of mental illness on one of the millions who struggle with the disease every day.

The film features in-depth interviews with Andy’s brother Bruce Irons, his wife L​y​ndie Irons, Joel Parkinson, Nathan Fletcher, Sunny Garcia and Kelly Slater. “The time to tell Andy’s story is now, not because we want to glorify his life or accomplishments but because Andy wanted to share the truth of his struggles to educate future generations,” said his brother, Bruce Irons. “We wanted to ​share the whole story​ – both the struggles and the triumphs – and ​give intimate insight as to ​who Andy was​ as a whole​.“

The film, three years in the making, honors the legacy of Andy Irons and focuses on his struggles with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction. This is a film about a person who lived life to the fullest, at the top of his industry, but did so facing insurmountable internal challenges. Fellow surfing champion and friend Kelly Slater said, “Andy was an absolutely gifted individual. I am lucky to have known him and had the times we had together. He was the most intense competitor I’ve ever known and one of the most sensitive people.”

Directed by Steve and Todd Jones, the World Premiere will take place in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 2nd. The Los Angeles premiere will be followed by special premiere screenings and events in Hawaii on May 6th and New York on May 10th.

It’s being shown in cinemas in the US on the 31st of May, details here, we’ll let you know when we hear about UK/European showings.

2010 Billabong Pro Teahupoo, contest scenics

Blue Trim

Blue Trim

A guide to surfing The Pass, featuring Wispy on his 11’3 McTavish Trimmer

Roisin Carolan x Wategos

Oli Adams on the making of Trip the Light…

Oli Adams on the making of Trip the Light…

To deliver a British and Irish film means a lot of road and ferry time...

To deliver a British and Irish film means a lot of road and ferry time…

Oli Adams has been evolving as a surfer and a filmmaker. His latest visual feast, which has the honour of being a Vimeo Staff Pick, Trip the Light documents a British and Irish winter. We asked him what it takes to deliver a class film.

I wanted to make a high performance clip that showed the UK and Ireland’s waves and lifestyle in different way. There have been a lot crazy slabby/big wave clips and some moody destination pieces but this was all about surfing fun waves although I did want some bigger conditions in there but last winter there were really no high quality big swells, instead there were a few small windows that only local surfers would have scored while having their eyes on the lineups.

I’m always thinking of ways to move forward with my career. Being from the UK means that you are very low down on people’s radars internationally unless you can make or put out content that is up there internationally in terms of surfing but also largely the level of production. I realised this and looked for a way to get my productions up to that level.
One was to essentially sell project ideas to production companies who then get the project funded through sponsorship. This was long winded option that can work but takes time to get off the ground. The other was to invest in high level equipment myself and make my own films which will in turn help me run my social media better too. Around the time an opportunity came about to buy a second hand RED Epic camera(5K 300 frames a second).
They are super expensive so after a lot of thinking I decided to set it up as hire business and the hire income would eventually pay off the camera while in the mean time I could use it to film my surf projects when it wasn’t on a job. It’s the only camera like this available to hire in Cornwall so it has done loads of mainstream productions for film and TV and has been round the world without me. I’ve also had to invest in computers and hard drives capable of dealing with extremely big files as each quick surf clip is around 3GB. In terms of editing it’s been a massive learning curve and I couldn’t have got through it without the help of pro guys like Timmy Boydell, Mikey Corker and Ollie Fawcett and also Google tutorials. I feel like I’ve been to film school. Also my wife is always a big help as a sounding board plus she always nails the title names.

Timmy Boydell one of the high end film crew.

Timmy Boydell one of the high end film crew.

Since being ill I feel like I’ve been on a constant upward spiral in my surfing from learning to walk and get around again, to getting up on a surfboard for the first time and then as you start loosening up and adding strength you start being able to finally put your mental approach to surfing together with a physical platform of support that wasn’t there pre-op when I was extremely malnourished for most of my career.
I started production on Trip the Light less than a year after my surgery and I can see my surfing improving though the course of filming. It’s great to film often because you can really analyse what you are currently doing but you also have a great reference as to where you were at in that moment. I can really see this in each video I’ve released since I’ve been surfing again. I went to Canada three months post-op, Mentawais five months post-op and then now this one which started filming 11 months afterwards.

Cornish waft. Photo: Luke Gartside.

Cornish waft. Photo: Luke Gartside.

Basically I started thinking I could work with one filmer on this but after a few months realised that charts in the UK and Ireland are so unpredictable and last minute that even asking every filmer in the UK the night before the trip might end in the waves not being documented. I ended up using six filmers who all nailed their parts apart from one who forgot his tripod after we got a wild ferry in January out to a remote Irish island haha!
Luckily a bird twitcher randomly lent him one. The stress of calling the trips on was intense as filmers day rate is £150 minimum, if you’re lucky, so with travel I was dropping heavy coin on one swell or even a session. I would be checking charts, wind, tides right until an hour before lift off and by that point I usually hadn’t managed to get a filmer.
On one trip this one filmer who lived up country was 50/50 and to make it in time for a ferry I had to set off with the equipment in the car for an hour just in case he could make it and then as I got near his turning he pulled out so I went anyway and scored better waves than were in the film and had no footage to show. So tricky!

There's more to surf films than just surfing...

There’s more to surf films than just surfing…

Probably 5000 miles at a guess were covered during filming. During the winter probably more because I didn’t film all my trips. When you’re on the way to epic surf I don’t care how long it takes. The trick is to travel with mates and then you can catch up on the way. That’s my version of going to the pub.

Shooting with a RED makes for epic footage.

Shooting with a RED makes for epic footage.

The idea to put other surfers in just came in a really natural way and wasn’t pre-organised. The guys in there are all shortboard surfers that I really admire in different ways and they just happened to be out there for the session. My mate Felix came with me on the trip to Beefies though as I had been promising to take him for years. He wasn’t expecting to be in a film but ended up probably getting the best clip of the trip.

Oli deep in Kernow. Photo: Luke Gartside

Oli deep in Kernow. Photo: Luke Gartside

Is a jumble of ideas, drive and froth but most of all a continued life long love of surfing. I have a million ideas ranging from more high performance stuff to adventure stuff, business stuff. A few new exciting projects are up and running already (luckily I’m not producing them just surfing) and there are many more burning away in my head but the thing I learned most from this project is family is more important than anything!
You have to find a balance and they have to come first. Being a pro surfer it’s easy to think ‘I’ve got to do this right now because my career is short’ and if you are driven it’s easy to over commit so moving forward I’m going to take it one step at time and work within realistic deadlines.
It’s been horrible saying to my kids all summer, ‘Sorry, Daddy is busy with his film.’ Balance is the key to life and surfing good waves will follow.

Oli mid shoot.

Oli mid shoot.

London Surf / Film Festival 2016 x REEF – The Winners are…

London Surf / Film Festival 2016 x REEF – The Winners are…

The 6th annual London Surf / Film Festival x Reef served up six nights of World, European and UK movie premieres, live music, art, talks and the very best in surf culture in four epic venues across the capital.

“Waveriding is such an ephemeral thing. Each moment and each wave is unique, they can’t be re-ridden. It’s what sets surfing apart and this is exactly the spirit of we wanted to bring out in this year’s festival,” says LS/FF Director Demi Taylor

“Our closing gala with the live A/V performance of Chasing Zero from composer CJ Mirra and award winning filmmaker Chris McClean, followed by the 35mm premiere of Forbidden Trim and live set from the Forbidden Trim Band blew everyone away. It really encapsulated the surfing spirit and underscored just how special the communal act of a big screen surf movie experience is.”

“Every evening we curated was designed to capture that essence too – from hearing filmmakers and surfers talking about their projects and experiences, including the likes of Argentinian explorers Joaquin and Julian Azulay, British surfers Mike Lay and Elsie Pinniger, Carve Editor Roger Sharp, Irish charger Peter Conroy and filmmaker Jack Murgatroyd, to jokes shared amongst friends, sausages sizzled, art enjoyed, beers drunk and hoots and stoke emitting from the amped audience.”

Thanks to everyone who supported the event, came, watched, hooted, brought the stoke and helped to make it such a great year at the LS/FF. The judges votes are in and here are the results of the LS/FF 2016 Awards…

Photos: Peter Chamberlain / London Surf / Film Festival



· LS/FF 2016 Best Film presented by Reef: Let’s Be Frank by Peter Hamblin

· LS/FF 2016 Best Documentary presented by Sharp’s Brewery: Dirty Old Wedge by Tim Burnham

· LS/FF 2016 Best Cinematography presented by Allpress: View From a Blue Moon by Blake Kueny

· LS/FF 2016 Viewers Choice presented by Xcel Wetsuits: Chasing Zero by Chris McClean and CJ Mirra

· LS/FF 2016 Shortie of the Year presented by Reef: Call Me Peg Leg by Josh Hine

· LS/FF 2016 Shorties Emerging Talent Award: Ella Kite for Ewen, the Organic Surfer

· LS/FF 2016 Best International Short presented by Magicseaweed: Bruce Gold – Last of the Great Surfing Hippies by Anders Melchior


· LS/FF 2016 Best British Film presented by Carve: A Road Through Galicia by Luke Pilbeam

· LS/FF 2016 Yeeeeeeew! Factor presented by Approaching Lines: The Zone by Jack Coleman

· LS/FF 2016 Spirit of the Festival: Forbidden Trim by George Trimm

· LS/FF 2016 Honorable Mention: Peter Conroy for Mistakes Made are Lessons Learnt


Forbidden Trim

Forbidden Trim

Forbidden Trim

Forbidden Trim

Filmmaker George Trimm has been on our radar since he dropped his first film Bootleg – a colab with Joel Tudor mixing stylish surfing with rad tunes. Since then, this cutting edge independent director has been working feverishly on a new project – Forbidden Trim. Shot entirely on celluloid, George has crafted what is arguably the most hotly anticipated surf movie of the year that combines the best of grindhouse, B-Movie traditions with a surfing twist. What’s more, he’s produced a 35mm print for the big screen that he’s bringing to London for its first outing accompanied by a live performance from the Forbidden Trim Band.

We caught up with George to find out more.

London Surf Film Festival hosts the UK Premiere of Forbidden Trim Saturday 1st October. For tickets and info, hit the link:

Can you tell us about ‘Forbidden Trim’ – what’s the concept and how did you pull the whole thing together?

I wanted to make something that resembles a short novel, a H.P. Lovecraft or a Louis L’Amore, but set in the deep jungle. I like the idea of going on an adventure with the main character, into the darkness to find out what’s going on where no one’s allowed to go. With Forbidden Trim I am mixing a lot of different film genres. It’s a Grindhouse, Surfing, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy, War film. I’ve been editing it ever since I put out Bootleg, which is a bit over three years. We started filming five years ago – and I’m stoked to be sharing the 35mm print with the UK audience.

It sounds like more than your average surf movie!

It’s definitely a movie you can watch four times and still find something new on the fifth visit. My small team and I did everything on this movie. All the filming, score, miniature models, props, art direction, editing, special effects, etc. It’s my most involved picture for sure.

As an independent filmmaker how hard is it to get a project like this financed?

It’s hard. I have been taking little bits of each pay check I receive from being a professional editor/videographer, and putting it into this movie. It’s shot on super8mm and 16mm film, which is not cheap.

How did you get into filmmaking?

My parents bought a Hi-8 camera when I was about 10. I was getting into surfing then so I would film pictures of surfboards and little objects around my house. I started interning at O’Neill wetsuits when I was 16 as a graphic artist. I went to college for Graphic Design. I didn’t do much filmmaking until 2008 when I started assisting a motion graphics editor. I loved how graphics were used in films, and was super inspired by people like Saul Bass. I bought a super 8 camera in 2009 and went to Australia and shot 18 rolls of super 8 and ever since I’ve been hooked on Cinematography, Editing, and tying those crafts together with custom musical scores.

What is it about filmmaking that drives you?

In my opinion it is the most exciting art we have today, being able to create with image, concept, dialogue, time, layout, and audio. Not only with the score but the creation of sound effects. Take those elements and throw in some surfing, I think that’s what I am most interested in as a filmmaker today. For the last six years I’ve been working as a freelance filmmaker full time, doing commercial work to help with the bills. This is not a hobby, I see filmmaking as a lifelong career, and hope to make many more movies in the future.

London Surf / Film Festival X Reef concludes this weekend 30 September – 1 October brings to the UK the best surf films from around the globe. Accompanied by talks with waveriding’s most inspiring heroes and icons, a live audio visual performance, a very special 35mm screening, a gallery show, music, art and more this saline hit of inspiration is an essential cultural happening. For full schedule details and info on a couple of very special LS/FF pop-up screenings head to: