A Swell Event: Carolina Surf Film Festival Kicks Off October 16

Jessie Parks



 Bo Edmonds, Chuck Gainey, and Chad Davis, co-organizers of the Carolina Surf Film Festival. Photograph by MCG Photography. 


“When some people hit their midlife crisis, they buy a red convertible,” Chuck Gainey explains. “We just wanted to plan a surf festival.” Midlife crisis aside, longtime buddies Gainey, Bo Edmonds, and Chad Davis joined forces to plan this year’s inaugural Carolina Surf Film Festival. Avid surfers themselves, the three co-organizers have channeled their love of the sport into a three-day festival that celebrates film, surf culture, and local artists, vendors, and musicians, with a focus on supporting nonprofits that preserve the Lowcountry’s coast and waterways, including Charleston Waterkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation.


The diversity of film entries is impressive, with films shot locally and nationally playing alongside films from around the world. Two Feet and Classy showcases some of Folly’s best longboarders—be on the lookout for some of your favorite “Edge of America” hangouts. Arctic Swell: Surfing the Ends of the Earth transports the viewer to Norway, where surfers battle sub-zero temperatures to catch waves in one of the most brutally stunning areas of the world. Prepare to have your mind blown by the carefully selected nine short films and five feature films.


The festival will kick off Thursday, October 16, at Brick House Party Plantation on James Island with an event open to Trident Pass holders, sponsors, and VIPs only. Trident Passes are available for $55 and include admission to all three nights of the festival, dinner and drinks Thursday with the filmmakers, a special film screening, and a t-shirt and sticker—now that’s a deal. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and festival goers will have the chance to groove to live music by The Brushfires as they peruse the wares of local artists and vendors and bid on some pretty sweet items in the silent auction benefitting Surfers Healing, a nonprofit that teaches kids with autism to surf. Be sure to grab a Westbrook or Coast brew and a bite to eat from Mex 1, Brickhouse Kitchen, or one of the food trucks onsite before the films start at 7:10 p.m. The revelry will continue into the night after the film screenings end.


“This is a water town,” Gainey states simply. Sometimes, the fewest words have the richest meaning. With all the hubbub surrounding Charleston as the up-and-coming Silicon Valley/food-iest food town in all the land/best city in the country (or world, depending upon the magazine), it’s all too easy to forget that Charleston is a city of water, built upon marshland, connected by waterways, bordered by the ocean. Carolina Surf Film Festival celebrates Charleston for what it is and will always be—“a water town.” Chuck, Bo, and Chad, you did good.


For more tickets and more information, visit http://carolinasurffilmfestival.com/