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Image 1 for The Australian & NZ Surf Film Archive – one year in, one year to go!

Image 2 for The Australian & NZ Surf Film Archive – one year in, one year to go!

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The Australian & NZ Surf Film Archive – one year in, one year to go!

15 October 21

From Jolyon & Hamish: “It’s been 12 months since we had this idea and it’s a bigger project than we ever imagined. We’ve been up and down the coast — from Dick’s basement to the National Film & Sound Archives in Australia and New Zealand — to find, clear and restore all the Australian and New Zealand Surf Film Footage we can find. 

“Everything we share is approved for use and is scanned to professional archival quality. We are halfway and estimate it’ll take another 12 months to complete the project, so we have launched a fundraiser to keep it going.”

The Mission

For the last 12 months we’ve been uncovering Australia’s lost surf films in order to build an Australian and New Zealand Surf Film Archive. These images represent an important part of our cultural history, and we want to preserve and share them with the whole community. 

To get the best results we’re going back to the original negative, or best available print. We’ve bought a specialised 4k scanner and are working with one of Australia’s best colourists, Billy Wychgel, at Elements Post. Everything is going to be scanned to archival specifications and all usage will be approved.

The film is 50-60 years old already and is degrading. Now is the time. This is our history and we have to look after it.

We have asked Ben Brown to design us a limited-edition poster which we’re screen-printing with care and love at Aisle6ix Industries. This poster is going to be stunning. It’ll come in two sizes and every poster will come with a digital download of a film we’re making about the whole process.

We’re also raffling a hand-crafted Outer Island Surfboard by the master Mitchell Rae. If you’re a business, you can become a founding supporter of the archive; your logo will feature on the site and we’ll promote your association with Australia’s core surfing history on our social media.

You can see some of the footage we’ve already scanned on our social media and we’re uncovering all sorts of hidden gems. We know you’ll love it and hope you’ll come on this journey to help save our surfing history!

 - Jolyon & Hamish @ Light Sound Art Film


Jolyon Hoff Bio

Australian Filmmaker Jolyon Hoff returned to Adelaide in 2020 after spending the last 15 years living and working in Nigeria, Indonesia, Nepal, and Washington DC. His latest feature documentary, The Staging Post, was awarded Highly Commended for ‘Best Stand-Alone Documentary’ by the Australian Directors’ Guild and was one of best performing documentaries in Australian cinemas across 2017/18. Previous films include Searching For Michael Peterson about th 70s schizophrenic surfing legend, Morrowind Babies inside revered computer game company Bethesda Softworks, and Aceh - Ten Years After the Tsunami for USAID, now on permanent display at the Aceh Tsunami Museum. Jolyon is a lifelong surfer.


“This is such a crucial project for Australian surfing history and culture. Our collective surf film archive is a precious treasure of our shared cultural memory. It’s brilliant, brave and slightly mad that someone is actually game to take this herculean task on. They deserve all of our gratitude and support.”

- Tim Baker, Author

“This is one of the most important projects in Australian surfing history. Back it.”

- Rob Layton, Journalist

“What you guys are doing shows us who we are and where we came from, and what an insanely fun ride it has been.”

- Ben Brown, Artist

"The next best thing to a time machine.  The scans are amazing, stoked our surf history is in caring and capable hands.”

- Alan White, Filmmaker

“If we don’t know where we come from and what we belong to, we will experience a superficial understanding that will invoke confusion and chaos.”

- Wayne Lynch, Surfer and Shaper

 "Now that I am 50 and have been around long enough to see plenty of changes. I realise how important this project is for the cultural history of Australia."

- Jeff Earl, Surfer

“The Surf Film Archive project is as beautiful as it is necessary.”

- Matt Warshaw, Encyclopedia Of Surfing

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