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Women’s Surfer Film Festival in Rockaway Hotel

Lava Girl Surf presented its 8th annual Women’s Surf Film Festival at the Rockaway Hotel this past weekend, bringing together the global surf community for a special event focused on women in surfing, skating, photography and filmmaking. The free, public event ran from Friday, September 10th to Sunday September 12th.

“Over the years we’ve grown the festival to support and act as a platform for filmmakers and artists, but also for women-owned businesses,” said Davina Grincevicius, founder and creative director of Lava Girl Surf, which was created in 2012 in New York to encourage women to explore the sport. 

The Festival supports Laru Beya, a program dedicated to empowering the youth of Far Rockaway through surfing, and A Walk on Water, a nonprofit that provides surf therapy to children with unique needs and their families.

The first part of a three part series,“Kaikana” (meaning “little sister”) premiered at the festival. The director of the film Monica Medellin is also the CEO and Founder of The Gnar Gnar Honeys, an L.A. based production company aiming to represent more women in front of and behind the camera.

“Kaikana” featured up-and-coming Hawaiian talents like Moana Jones, alongside Hokulani Topping, Vaihitimahana Inso, Ēweleiʻula Wong and Puamakamae DeSoto. Medellin recalled how she chose the cast for the series. 

I wanted Kaikaina to be told from a female, Native Hawaiian perspective,” said Medellin. “Not only are the Kaikaina girls connected through their culture, but they also are on track to become the future of the practice and sport. You can’t help but fall in love with their fun personalities, unique vibe and unbreakable bond.

Very much like her production company, The Gnar Gnar Honeys, Medellin created “Kaikana” to represent women in the surf culture and highlight the rising talents of Oahu, Hawaii.  “Creating Kaikaina and featuring this female surf collective means everything,” said Medellin. “If I had seen more diverse images of surfing growing up, I would not have felt like I didn’t belong in this sport as a Mexican-American girl.”

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