Surfalorus Film Festival wraps up with record crowds

A full house at Dare County Arts Council for the second Surfalorus screening.

Contributed photo by David Huff

More than 100 people came out three nights in a row to see regional, national and international surf films at the 6th Annual Surfalorus Film Festival, which took place Sept. 21-23, on the Outer Banks.

Surfalorus kicked off at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head with music by Sensi Trails, frozen yogurt from Surfin’ Spoon, and a book signing by Nags Head native Jessica Lowcher for her first book Queenie Wahine, Little Surfer Girl. The North Carolina premiere for feature film Take Every Wave by Rory Kennedy and the official premiere of LIMITLESS by Manteo High School film student Logan Marshall were screened in front of the film festival’s largest crowd ever with over 150 people in attendance at Jennette’s Pier.

“I am so stoked on the premiere,” says filmmaker Logan Marshall. “Everything was perfect and better than I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful to the Arts Council and the Surfalorus Film Festival for making this happen. That was an evening I will never forget, and I can’t wait to start working on my next film.”

The free, family-friendly event traveled to Dare County Arts Council for the second night of films and not a single seat was left for guests to enjoy a collaborative trailer for a 2018 documentary film about Mickey McCarthy, Maranasati and Protecting the Atlantic by Outer Banks filmmaker Chris Hannant, and feature film Fish People by Keith Malloy.

“I am super grateful to the team at Surfalorus for continuing to put on this event on the Outer Banks,” filmmaker Chris Hannant says. “We need more stuff like this around here. I am already so stoked for next year”

Friday night at Dare County Arts Council also celebrated surf art with a book signing by Chris Bickford for "Legends Of The Sandbar," a photography exhibit honoring Mickey McCarthy curated by Daniel Pullen, and a longboard exhibit curated by Steve Wise.

On the final evening of Surfalorus, a huge crowd gathered at Outer Banks Brewing Station to view two feature films: "Under an Arctic Sky" by Chris Burkard and "The Church of the Open Sky" by Nathan Oldfield.

Intermission between the two films included a fire performance by Kill Devil Hills local Panda Daniels.

The traditional poi performance was a perfect metaphor for the festival's fiery emergence as a major event on the Outer Banks social calendar.

About the festival

Surfalorus is a premier collaboration between Dare County Arts Council and the Cucalorus Film Festival, which will celebrate its 23rd anniversary this fall bringing over 300 films to downtown Wilmington, North Carolina.

"The third year is always special for an event like this — it takes a few years to build momentum and we could tell as we drove up from Wilmington that this year was going to be special,” says Dan Brawley, executive director of the Cucalorus Film Festival and curator of Surfalorus.

“I think it is fair to say that Surfalorus has found a permanent home on the Outer Banks — thanks to Dare County Arts Council executive director Chris Sawin, the Surfalorus event committee and the core crew of salty surfers who come out every year to celebrate the intersection between filmmaking and riding waves," Brawley says. "We're stoked about all the possibilities that lie ahead. We'll be building our relationship with ESA and the Easterns, as well so that the stoke builds every year."

This project is funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

Surfalorus is sponsored by Outer Banks Blue and supported by The Town of Manteo.

Dare County Arts Council is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.

For more information about the Surfalorus Film Festival, call (252) 473-5558 or visit and

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