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Florida Surf Film Festival Announces 2022 Awards

The fourth and final event of the 2022 Florida Surf Film Festival, presented by Monster Energy has concluded and we are excited to announce the winners of this year’s awards.

One of the biggest rewards of hosting the festival is our ability to host filmmakers and surfers from around the world and this year did not disappoint. We kicked off the year with the world premiere of Ben Gravy’s, For the Dream, an amazing night with an overflowing packed house. Ben’s inspirational story is highly recommended.

Ben Gravy and Peter Hamblin - Photos by Patrick Ruddy

We also hosted Peter Hamblin and the El Salvador crew as they premiered Sweet Adventure and took home the coveted Viewer’s Choice Feature Award – Feature. One of our favorite singer/songwriters Matt Costa dipped his toe into the filmmaking world and came out to the festival to show off his short film, Donde Los Terremotos, earning Best Soundtrack - Short and treating our fans to a private concert following the premiere. The two Bens – Weiland and Gulliver came over in August and took home some hardware for their efforts with Ben Weiland’s Island X earning Best Surf Film – Feature and Ben Gulliver taking Best Soundtrack – Feature for his Documentary Hail Mary, featuring the life of fearless east coaster, Balaram Stack. Floridian filmmakers Lauren Hill, Drew Miller, and Luke Khotera showed their work respectively and attended the August event.

November closed out the year with a truly unbelievable weekend with Hurricane Nicole making landfall one day before the event. Western Australia’s pride and joy, Kerby and Cortney Brown, holed up with Kevin and John in New Smyrna Beach, riding out the storm. We also hosted Argentinian filmmaker/adventurer, Jaoquin Azulay and presented his latest work African Territory (Part One).

Photo by Jade Camacho Photo by Christian Oehemke

Facing Monsters, directed by Bentley Dean, took home the Best Documentary – Feature and Best Cinematography – Feature, shot by Rick Rifici, and if we gave an award for most vocal responses to a movie it surely would have taken that as well with audible gasps in abundance as Kerby charges era-defining, heavy water slabs.

Ben Gulliver - Photo by Patrick Ruddy Balaram Stack - Photo by Patrick Ruddy

Here are all the winners for the festival year 2022:

Best Documentary – Short Beyond Sunset by Keith Malloy

Best Surf Movie – Short DNA by Jacob Vanderwork/Kyle Buthman

Best Cinematography – Short Water III by Morgan Maassen

Best Soundtrack – Short Donde Los Terremotos by Matt Costa

Viewers’ Choice – Short The Color of Winter by Pat Stacy

Best Documentary – Feature Facing Monsters by Bentley Dean/Rick Rifici

Best Surf Movie – Feature Island X by Ben Weiland

Best Cinematography – Feature Facing Monsters by Bentley Dean/Rick Rifici

Best Soundtrack – Feature Hail Mary by Ben Gulliver

Viewers’ Choice – Feature Sweet Adventure by Peter Hamblin

John Brooks and Jack Coleman - Photo by Jade Camacho Matt Costa - Photo by Christian Oehmke

It’s been an incredible year, and there’s no way to thank all the producers, directors, cinematographers, and editors that put their hard work into these projects. Their stories are the ones we want to hear. Adam Steckley constructed our 2022 awards from a felled Floridian tree allowing our winners to take home a piece of Florida in their awards.

We recognize the difference between Best Documentary and Best Surf Movie. Those who approach the artform by documenting character, locale, etc. with personal interviews, historical footage, and anecdotal clips were in competition for Best Documentary, and those movies focusing on the high performance, action-driven sequences competed for Best Surf Movie. This award will be extended to short films as well.

Florida Surf Film Festival’s jury, comprised of twelve individuals with journalistic, cultural, and/or experiential factors will determine recognition.

Juries include: Feature Films – Matt Warshaw, Chas Smith, David Scales, Taylor Steele, Keith Malloy, Lauren Hill, and Ira Opper. Short Films – Marcus Sanders, Takuji Masuda, Matthew Shaw, Scott Hulet, Ashton Goggans, Lisa Andersen, and Joe Turpel.

Florida Surf Film Festival Mission

Florida Surf Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public charity, invigorating surf culture and artistic appreciation by exhibiting contemporary documentary films with surfing as a focus from artist far and wide while also producing a story-driven podcast, literary group discussions, and artistic workshops.


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