For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.ksff.com
When Kona-born Chad Campbell gets it in his mind to do something, he just go. I no kid you. It’s a seeming contrast to the easy lifestyle typically associated with Big Island.
In 2001, what began as a small-scale surf film, The 5th Symphony Document, eventually won Campbell Surfer Magazine’s Video of the Year. He went on to produce Blueprint, which features Shane Dorian and Searching For the Haj, a spoof that follows fellow Kona-ites, Pepper, in their quest to find the mysterious “Haj.” The surfer/filmmaker also goes by Splinta the Rat and recorded a hip-hop album, in addition to founding his own production company Folklore Films, in addition to organizing yet another film festival in Kona. All in a day’s work for Campbell.
The weekend kicks off the 7th annual Kona Surf Film Festival, which has become known for showcasing some the newest but lesser known surf films. From documentary to animation, this festival has something for everyone. We had a chance to get the busy Campbell to tell us a little more about this year’s festival.
Where did you get the idea for the Kona Surf Film Festival?
I grew up in Kona, surfed a ton and made a surf movie, which was pretty successful, called The 5th Symphony Document. That opened doors to do more movies. Every movie that we made we would do a fun premiere for. I love the whole surf movie cinema thing, and it’s so much fun for the surf community. So after doing a couple premieres, we just thought, why not do a film festival? And so we did it…
Why did you pick Surfrider Foundation (Kona) to benefit from the proceeds of the festival?
We always give various organizations a portion of the proceeds, and I chose Surfrider because they are a really motivated organization, and the one here in Kona is just starting out. We always try to support some good causes here on the Big Island.
How do you decide which films will showcase?
Basically I look around and see who’s making new movies and try to contact them. Now days, I know many filmmakers so it’s kinda cool to be able to ask someone you know. It’s easier too with the internet because you can see a trailer and get a good idea about the film. What’s hard, though, is there are always more films than you have time for. So it’s also about balancing out the films: high action, mixed with documentary, mixed with abstract art, for instance. I just try to get a good mix of films.
Which film(s) are you most excited about this year?
Who is J.O.B is awesome. Crazy surfing, but also a real good look at Jamie O’Brien, who is kind of an enigma for how famous he is. Stoked and Broke because it kinda reminds you how it feels to be a grom and find adventure right in your backyard. And Destination 3 (degrees) is kind of our odd man out film; it’s really a paddling movie where two Hawaii girls paddle every channel of the islands to raise ocean awareness. One of the girls is from Kona and she’ll be there. But really I’m stoked on all the films.
What’s more challenging, making a film or organizing a film festival?
I think making a film is more challenging, but organizing a festival is more stressful because the day comes and you hope that it’s a success! Like, you hope nothing goes wrong! With a movie, if you’re not satisfied you don’t let anyone see it!