‘It’s a really lovely, laid-back vibe’

By on July 3, 2024

(Surfalorus Film Festival)

13th annual Surfalorus Film Festival coming to Jennette’s Pier in September

By Maggie Miles | Outer Banks Voice

In the 1990s, Zach Hanner, one of the founding members of the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, started watching old classic VHS tapes of surf films. He was particularly drawn to the works of Bruce Brown, the creator of “Endless Summer,” which were more artsy compared to the typical frantic, punk rock-infused surf films of that era.

In 2001, inspired by these films, Hanner decided to introduce a surf film night to the Cucalorus Film Festival. It quickly became a hit.

“It was so loud and irreverent, and people were flinging beer bottle caps and hooting and hollering and that’s the mood I wanted to bring to that night. And so I was just sort of told people ‘if you see something cool on the screen, shout it out. Let’s have some fun.’ And so that evolved and evolved,” says Hanner.

This year, the 13th annual Surfalorus Film Festival will be held from Sept.16-19 at Jennette’s Pier, celebrating surf culture and continuing the vibrant, community-driven atmosphere that began at Cucalorus.

Surfalorus Director Zach Hanner playing music at the Opening Night Party. (Photo courtesy: Surfalorus Film Festival)

Founded In 2011, the Surfalorus Film Festival moved to the Outer Banks in 2016 when the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources was seeking out more arts programming for the Outer Banks. The founders partnered with the department and formed relationships with local organizations like Dare Arts and the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and moved the Surfalorus Film Festival to the Outer Banks. Hanner took over as director in 2020.

After bouncing around to a few different locations over the years—at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (still a sponsor of the festival), Dare Arts, and Jack Browns—the festival found its perfect home at Jennette’s Pier. It has also partnered with the Eastern Surfing Association, which holds the Eastern Surfing Championships at Jennette’s Pier during the same time.

Hanner stresses that the festival includes films that everyone can relate to. You don’t have to be a surfer, and it’s not just footage of people surfing for two hours with a rock soundtrack.

“That’s more like a music video. And it doesn’t sustain your interests for very long. So we’re always looking for, you know, an interesting storyline,” says Hanner. “Most people have the misconception that they’re coming just to watch surfing. And these are films that you don’t even need to have an interest or connection with surfing at all to enjoy.”

He gives an example of a film at the festival this year called The Cigarette Surfer, directed by Ben Judkins. It is about a young designer who realizes that a surfboard called a “ciggy board” that he created from thousands of littered cigarette butts has the potential to captivate millions worldwide and decides to leverage it for a greater cause. The Cigarette Surfboards become a catalyst for promoting ocean stewardship and serve as a symbol in a campaign aimed at holding Big Tobacco accountable.

Judkins, a California native who will be at the festival this year, told the Voice that he wanted to create an environmental film that is uplifting and will appeal to people whether they surf or not. Ultimately, he thinks people will walk away from the film inspired to make change in their community.

“I spend a lot of time in and around the ocean, and I just have a tremendous care for the health of the ocean,” says Judkins. “And what I think The Cigarette Surfboard does, it takes this problem, it starts looking for a solution. But ultimately, it allows that process to be really fun… We knew from the beginning that we wanted to create a film that was really solution based.”

Freelance by Kuio Young.

There are also a number of short films, including one called Freelance by Kuio Young. In the film, Young shares his journey from full-time surfer to becoming a director and producer for a major media publication. He reflects on how his relationship with surfing has evolved, emphasizing the importance of balancing his passion for surfing with his professional responsibilities.

“I think the main message behind it [is] everyone’s relationship with surfing is going to change throughout their lives,” says Young, a Kauai native who says he loves coming to the Outer Banks because it reminds him of home. “You know, you might think it’s one thing now, but it could change and be something else on the next path. But if you really love surfing, it’s something that you can continue to stick with and make work no matter what is going on.”

This year, the festival starts with a kickoff party featuring Coastal Carolina, the original southern-fried Hawaiian band and Billy Hardeen, a world class dobro and steel guitar player. There’s also be free appetizers, beer and wine.

Other than film screenings, the festival will feature a NC Oyster Trail Social Hour, a collaborative initiative designed to promote oyster-related tourism and support the state’s oyster industry where festival goers can learn about the organization and try free oysters.

NC Oyster Trail Social Hour. (credit: Anna Bennett/Surfalorus Film Festival)

“It’s a really lovely, laid-back vibe,” says Hanner, explaining that it’s important to the festival to foster community and the idea of “aloha” and “ohana” they use in Hawaiian culture which has a strong surf community.

“We can learn a lot from some of these cultures and the importance they place on connection and community [and] on getting to know one another because we all have differing opinions,” explains Hanner. “If we can connect over something like a surf movie, then maybe we can get beyond some of the other differences that divide us—and put those things aside and focus on the real important things.”

13th annual Surfalorus Film Festival will be held from Sept.16-19 at Jennette’s Pier. For schedule of events and to purchase tickets visit Surfalorus Film Festival.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


See what people are saying:

  • Kathy

    Looks like a fine time! I watched Endless Summer in a local theater with friends in the 60’s in LI NY. Hawk surfboards, Bobby and Ricky and others, we all loved it and times at Gilgo Beach.

    Thursday, Jul 4 @ 8:42 am
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