Story and Photos by Shawn Pila

January 30th was a perfect night for the 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES as families, friends, surfers, boardmakers, filmmakers and tourists gathered for an evening of movies, live music, art, photography and food.

“This years event was our best and most diverse yet,” said Chad Campbell, local filmmaker and KSFF founder. “The venue at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel was unbeatable and bringing the community together is awesome. The hotel sold out and the overall vibe was really cool, friendly and stoked!”

It was a night of good vibes with a hefty capacity of nearly 2000 people. Dozens of vendors were posted under pop-up tents and over a hundred beach chairs and blankets scattered the lawn
as old and new friends mingled.. A variety of live music set the evening mood as people gathered to witness a total of 18 local and international films, documentaries and shorts.

Films spanned genres from the highly acclaimed, “View From a Blue Moon,” starring John John Florence, to the cold-water comedy “Freezing.” Patagonia big wave surfer Kohl Christensen made an appearance showcasing a short local film about surfing and the laidback Big Island lifestyle entitled Hawaii Island. Surf, fashion and underwater photography prints by local artists were also on display.

Heaps of product raffles and surfboard giveaways from sponsors and local surfboard shapers got the crowd hyped and helped raise money for the Hawai’i Wildlife Fund and Innovations Public Charter School.

A huge mahalo to Chad Campbell and the entire Campbell family for spearheading another awesome event, and to all the filmmakers, musicians, artists, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and cleanup crews for making this occasion a success, year after year. For more information and media coverage of this year’s event, visit www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

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