For decades Santa Barbara has attracted and cultivated a melange of innovators from legendary shapers like Renny Yater, Al Merick & Matt Moore to some of the biggest names in surf history like Tom Curren, Bobby Martinez & George Greenough and continues to produce top-tier talent to this day. There is a certain element to the “Santa Barbara Surf Culture”, combining tradition with radical innovation, that has played an influential role in the international surf scene for over 50 years.

The Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival is the ultimate celebration of surf culture and Santa Barbara's rich surf history. Returning for its fourth year, the festival includes film screenings, live music, art in multiple mediums, local charities and vendors, and food & artisan drinks. Films screened at SBSFF range from new independent, international, documentary and short films, and often include in person dialogue with the filmmakers. Musical acts range from local acoustic duos, to teenage bands, to headlining artists. Past guest appearances have been from surfing legends such as Sean Thompson, Tom Curren and Dick Metz. The festival also includes a "grom program" - giving local up-and-coming surfers a platform to screen their surfing highlights. Proceeds from the festival's silent auction and raffle are donated to ocean-centric local charities.

- We are accepting surfing, skateboarding & ocean-related films only.

- The submission fee is non-refundable.

- We prioritize US and World Premieres.

- Films need to be completed by March 1, 2024 to be eligible for consideration for the 2024 edition of the Festival.

- Film must be in English or have English subtitles.

- Screening Format: If your film is selected for the festival, you will be required to provide a high-quality digital copy of the film for screening. DCP/Physical copies of films will not be accepted

- All selected films will need to electronically submit a poster (or photos from their film) and a film synopsis for the festival to use to promote the film screening.

- Selected films will receive 2 tickets to their film screening.

- Travel to the festival, accomodations, etc are not covered by the festival.

- Rights and Permissions: By submitting a film to the Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival, you are confirming that you have obtained all necessary rights and permissions for the film, including music, images, and talent releases. You are also granting the festival permission to screen the film during the festival and use clips or images from the film for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Well done to the organizers and crew of the Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival! It was a wonderful experience to collaborate in this first annual festival. It was an honor to share our film in the beautiful Arlington Theatre and it was a great experience. Thank you for the opportunity

    November 2019