Surf Film Festival Looking for San Diego Venues

by on April 11, 2014 · 7 comments

in California, Culture, History, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Endless Summer posterBy Promise Yee

The California Surf Festival will be showing three epic surf films at three locations in San Diego County this spring and summer.  This is the sixth year for the film festival that screens surf films with amazing cinematography and compelling story lines.

“Half the surf movies out there don’t have storylines,” Sam Zuegner, California Surf Museum operations manager, said. “We focus on the other ones.

“When you see the world’s best, you’re watching an artist.”

The California Surf Museum, located in Oceanside, holds the film festival as a community outreach each year. The films share the beauty and history of the sport.

“We want to make sure we’re a well-rounded museum,” Zuegner said. “It’s a fundraiser in part, but it’s more community outreach.”

“We want to give back to the community. There’s no other surf film festivals.”

Last year most films were shown at the museum, and one film was screened at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.

“The screening at La Paloma was incredible,” Zuegner said. “It was the 25 year reunion of ‘North Shore.’ It filled La Paloma. A couple of actors from the film came down.”

This year plans are to bring classic surf films to a wider audience.

“We want to spread it out a little bit and expose new people to the museum,” Zuegner said.

Plans for this year’s film festival have not been finalized, but the aim is to secure the films “Endless Summer,” “Step Into Liquid” and “Chasing Dora.”   “Endless Summer” is a cult classic.

“It’s the most iconic surf movie,” Zuegner said. “Two guys travel the world in search of waves. They’re following summer around. There were no wetsuits yet.”

This year is the 50 year anniversary of the film.  “Step Into Liquid” shares the beauty of surfing from different viewpoints.

“It exposes the sport and lifestyle of surfing from all generations, from the youngest surfers to the oldest surfers,” Zuegner said.

“It highlights the beautiful things about the sport.”

Zuegner added it is a universally relatable film, that had a run in mainstream theaters.  “Chasing Dora” shows the personal side of surfing legend Miki Dora.

“Miki Dora is a true surfing legend,” Zuegner said. “The film shows a side of him most people haven’t seen before.”

Locations for film screenings are also being finalized.  A week ago two of the anticipated venues had schedule changes. Zuegner said he hopes new dates can be secured.  One screening that can be confirmed is “Chasing Dora” at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park Aug. 23.

“The Hall of Champions is a go, it’s a beautiful place,” Zuegner said.

The California Surf Museum began in George’s Restaurant (now closed), in Encinitas in 1986.  It had its first museum building in Oceanside in 1996, and later moved to its permanent location at 312 Pier View Way.  The museum has a permanent collection of surfboards dating from the early 1990s to today.  It also has rotating exhibits on surfing as a sport and culture. In addition to exhibits there is an archive room of surf literature, videos, and interviews.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

want2surf April 11, 2014 at 10:24 am

is OB Playhouse too small…?


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie April 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

My thoughts exactly, but am not in the loop about all of this. The museum ought to be contacted. (How many does the Playhouse hold?)


da john April 12, 2014 at 9:51 am

Too bad that Wings wasn’t still a theater.

I know it’s kind of ancient history now but talk about a perfect fit for a film fest like this.

Endless bummer.


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie April 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

While in high school, I saw Endless Summer before it had a narration soundtrack. In a packed PB school auditorium, Bruce Brown himself gave us an on-the-site narration.


jim grant April 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm

The Endless summer will be show on the grass at Veterans Plaza June 21st.I beleive ….


Jon April 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

That sounds right Jim. International Surfing Day is June 21st, and rumor has it the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has some really fun plans in store for OB!


Mic porte April 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Mission Bay High School , in Pacific Beach has a cool mid century school,auditorium, that would be fabulous for films or productions (besides the fabulous church of canvass show on the weekend). They are working on their tech, join the movement of a future local cool venue, films, acts….. With parking, a rare product in our zone…
Go Bucs!


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