The town of Kailua-Kona gathered in the Honu lawn of the King Kamehameha Hotel on January 27 to enjoy an evening of community. The rain came on strong all day long, but at 4pm when the doors opened the skies cleared and gifted us with a beautiful evening. The 14th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES was brought together by Chad Campbell and family with the goal of bringing together the community to enjoy all things surfing. The festival has always been a showcase for independent filmmakers to display their work on a stoked audience. Each year the festival donates 100% of funds raised to local non-profits. This year Changing Tides Foundation was honored to be on that list along with Surfrider Foundation and Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
Having been in attendance for the last 4 years, I noticed that this year's event gave special attention to our groms. For example, the festival made a Big Island Grom film showcasing 17 and under local surf rippers. The clips were then edited into a “Big Island Grom Movie”. You can find photos and video recap here.
Just looking around the audience I noticed kids and their families everywhere. They were dancing to the live music and coming to the Changing Tides Foundation booth where CTF co-founder and photographer, Jianca Lazarus, and I sat. They asked us questions about our foundation and what our products were about. They are so curious about our world and the movement towards taking care of it. Jianca and I also met a wonderful man and his wife who grew up in nature with his father. He told us a story that exemplifies why this event is so important for the community and our future, beyond just enjoying some epic surf films.
He told us about a day that he and his dad were on a hike. They usually went hiking in the hills together. The father was always asking his son questions to make him think about his actions. On this particular day, the 10 year old boy throws a stone down the path that they hiked up. His dad stops him and says, “Why did you do that?” The boy replies, “I dunno” and shrugs his shoulders. The dad then stops him and says, “son, don’t you think that rock was perfectly fine where it was?” To that the son replies, “I dunno”. The dad then turns the boy towards the path that he threw the rock down and points, “Did you look to see if anyone was walking up the path behind you?” The boy looks and says, “No, I didn’t.” The dad smiles at him and says, “Son, there will always be people walking up the path behind you.” The son didn’t understand the metaphor that day on the hike. Years later the man telling Jianca and I that story, we realized, was the son himself. It became clear that the metaphor his dad was referring to was that we must take care of our earth for those who will come behind us. This man is now an influencer in his community and works to take care of the ‘aina (earth) for future generations.
Sam Bennett, CTF board member and Big Island local, Jianca and I enjoyed being part of the festival so much. Our CTF table was stocked with all our favorite eco-friendly travel gear including Avasol sunscreen, Mizu water bottles, Bamboo Utensils, Sawyer water filters, Simply Straws, Humble Brush toothbrushes, Khala cloths and t-shirts. The surf community in Kona is alive and well educated! This was the first year CTF was represented at the festival and we are honored to have been included in this event that is exemplary in earth conscious fun.
Sponsors for the event included: Altres, Ola Brew, Hurley, Zeal Optics, Mana Botanics, Freesurf Magazine, Kohanaiki, Kona Boys, the Wave 92.7.