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Screening Panel

The NYSFF Screening Panel is made up of both international and local surfers with a wide range of credentials ranging from magazine editors to filmmakers, journalists and photojournalists, recognized artists, surfboard shapers, pro athletes, agents, distributors, local surf shop owners and more. The panel will judge the NYSFF 2012 Official Selections across a growing categories list this year including, but not limited to: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score, and Best Animation.  Attendees will continue to vote for Viewer’s Choice Awards in both the Feature and Short Film categories

Additions & Updates to the NYSFF Official Screening Panel for 2012:

Chas Smith is Editor-at-living-large of Surfing Magazine.  He is also a jerk.

Jon Coen is a freelance writer from across the river.  Although he has embarked on global journeys and spent plenty of time living in dirty vans, he always returns to Long Beach Island where he lives with his wife, Ann Marie, a freelance photographer. He lives by a punk rock ethos and good hats to cover bad haircuts. Between occasional empty barrels in the snow, he has written for The Surfer’s Journal, Anthem, Huck, Philadelphia Magazine, Transworld Surf, Frank 151, Surfing, Slide, and Living Proof.  A flag waving East Coaster, he was associate editor of N’East Magazine and is a senior writer for ESM.

Ron Schein is an overworked, undersurfed surf journalist/artist/model/actor/dancer. He’s a regular contributor on, and his rants, raves, reviews and interviews can be seen throughout the surf blogosphere and on his own A lifelong New York surfer and professional surfing fanatic, Ron is an eternal gromet, splitting his waking hours between chasing waves and contests. A consummate barrel dodger, he can even be found dodging barrels in his dreams.

Di Mattison originally hailing from Moss Landing, CA, Di Mattison is a life-long surfer and total surf frother. Di also teaches private surf lessons (emphasis on etiquette and style), is an adjunct professor of fashion history and theory at Parsons, and is two years into a PhD in philosophy at the New School for Social Research with work focusing on self fashioning and aesthetics of the body.

Additions to the NYSFF Official Screening Panel for 2011:

Micah Abrams, is an Emmy-winning writer and editor whose work appears regularly online, on TV, and in print. He’s the Senior Editor for Action Sports at and the screenwriter for the annual Warren Miller Entertainment feature film. Formerly El Porto-based, he now commutes to Rockaway. Micah’s an accomplished skier, an avid surfer, and can still fall hard enough on a skateboard to make other skaters wince.

Allan Weisbecker, was a Hollywood staff writer for over twenty years on shows such as Miami Vice and Crime Story, respected journalist + photojournalist for a diverse spread of magazines including Men’s Journal, Smithsonian, Surfer’s Journal and Popular Photography, and has authored three books in print including In Search of Captain Zero and comic novel Cosmic Banditos.

Stuart Cornuelle, Managing Editor at SURFING Magazine, grew up in Honolulu, and now live in Portland, Oregon. He thinks there are two types of surf film: the type you watch before paddling out and the type you watch under any other circumstance. The latter type is much harder to create, and making a film that fits in both categories seems nearly impossible.

Grant Washburn was one of the earliest surfers to join Maverick’s pioneer Jeff Clark at the big wave spot.  He was raised in Wilton Connecticut, and spent summers at the New Jersey shore, where he found a love for the ocean that would guide his life. Grant completed his first documentary film in 1998. “Maverick’s,” a seven year project detailing the rise of the infamous big wave arena, became an instant classic.  Surfing the giant waves alongside the best in the world, Grant narrates the film he directed and produced.  Other projects include the Imax film “Adventures in Wild California,” the big screen feature “Riding Giants,” and the large format book “Inside Maverick’s” which he co-wrote and edited.  Recently completed films include “Quest for Fear,” a personal project documenting his adventures in Africa, a permament installation of shorts at the San Mateo County History Musuem, and broadcast shows for The History Channel and Nickolodeon.  He is currently collaborating on several productions including a Feature Film based on the life of Jay Moriarity.

Ron Schein is an overworked, undersurfed surf journalist/artist/model/actor/ dancer. He’s a regularcontributor on, and his rants, raves, reviews and interviews can be seen throughout the surf blogosphere and on his personal weblog, A lifelong New York surfer and professional surfing fanatic, Ron is an eternal gromet, splitting his waking hours between chasing waves and contests. A consummate barrel dodger, he can even be found dodging barrels in his dreams.

Donaldson Miele, is the founder of Mutiny Media, Inc. has represented the largest catalog of surf titles in the industry for the past fifteen years.  Since 2006, he and partner Ryan Ray have produced fourteen films under their Seven Films banner.  “Dono” as he’s known to friends, is happily married with two beautiful daughters.  He remains an unrepentant East Coast transplant, self-professed industry outsider and opinionated critic.  By his estimate, he’s spent thousands of hours viewing surfing fare.  Ironically, given the choice, he would much rather be a professional vert skater than surf professionally.

Buzzy Kerbox is one of the all-time surfing legends and watermen from Hawaii. Buzzy won the 1974 Smirnoff Pro Am on Oahu’s North Shore moving from Sunset to Waimea. It was Buzzy and Laird Hamilton that pioneered tow-in surfing at Phantoms and then Jaws that opened it to the world.

Lisa Andersen won four World Champion titles in a row from 1994 to 1997. Born in Amityville, New York, and later moving to Florida, Lisa eventually moved to California on her own at the age of 16 to then light the world on fire with her fantastic surfing. Lisa was the first surfer to take four consecutive championships since Australian Mark Richards. “Andersen wasn’t just the best female surfer in the world; she was one of the best professional surfers ever.” - Surfline.

Nick Carroll, a surf journalist/writer, grew up surfing with his younger brother Tom at the peak of Newport beach in northern Sydney. Nick writing has inspired many surfers to not only surf better, but also grasp some unique insights into surfing from Nick’s very talented perspective. Nick has written many books including “The Complete Guide to Surfing Your Best: Vol. 2 “, “The Next Wave: The World of Surfing” and “Fearlessness: The Story of Lisa Andersen” just to name a few.

Derek Hynd is one of surfing’s greatest pioneers & legends on all levels, from surfing the wave to putting it on the page. There are few, if any, that can do this. We all wait to hear the next chapter from Derek, being his surfing or his words. A supreme legend that continues to shake our core and always make us think.

Peter Townend, “PT” is one of the original members of The Bronzed Aussies, and  was considered to be the best surfer in the world throughout the 70’s and 80’s. PT made history when at the age of 23 he became the 1976 IPS World Surfing Champion. PT’s career in surfing has seen him wear many hats advancing surfing for not only for the USA but also the world. President of Surf Industry Manufactures Association (SIMA) for two years and helped found Surfing America. PT was inducted into Huntington Beach Walk of Fame, the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in 2001, as well as the International Surfing Hall of Fame.

Keiko Beatie is a contributing writer for various film publications and is a Creative Consultant, Curator, Jury Member and Programmer for a number of film festivals. She curates film for Laguna Art Museum and is also the producer for films events at the prestigious Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente, California, the largest surfboard collection and surf archive in the world.

Gerry Lopez is the one and only Mr Pipeline. One of the greatest surfers of all time and still pioneering surf and snow in many ways. Gerry also started the Lightning Bolt Surfboards brand that pretty much every surfer in 70’s wanted one…well, the same can be said today. Gerry starred in mammy movies and is also an author, penning the book Surf Is Where You Find It in 2008.

Kristen Foster is EVP and head of the music division at global entertainment communications firm PMK*BNC.  She spends her days creating PR campaigns for big name musicians like Eric Clapton, John Legend, Joan Jett, Harry Connick Jr and has even added musician/surfer Timmy Curran to her client list.  She has also worked on numerous rock documentaries including films about the Foo Fighters, Rush and the Doors.  But her clients have learned that her love of music takes a backseat when the waves are breaking.


Joining our [growing] past NYSFF screening panel members:

Alexander Karinsky started the first ever surfing TV show in NY called “NYC Wipeout!” and founded the Gotham Surf Club.

Denny Aaberg began his filmmaking journey in 1970 when he worked with George Greenough, creating the soundtrack for George’s surf classic, “Innermost Limits of Pure Fun.” In the mid-seventies, Aaberg became deeply involved in the Hollywood movie business, co-scripting, with Director, John Milius, the Warner Bros. cult classic, “Big Wednesday.” Over the years, Denny has continued to nurture his passion for filmmaking, writing screenplays, making short films, and most recently, working on Greg MacGillvray’s upcoming documentary, “Hollywood Don’t Surf,” to be released this year.

Mike Becker of Nature Shapes Surfboards, which began in 1993 and has grown to become the second largest surfboard company in NY.

Todd DiCiurcio is an artist and surfer living in Brooklyn, NY. Acclaimed for his portrait work, he has created a dialogue between art and music with his live drawings.
Alex Dick-Read is the Founding Editor of The Surfer’s Path magazine, which he started 12 years ago in the UK.

Lewis Samuels formerly of Surfline’s Power Rankings and infamous In the course of analyzing the greatest surfers on earth, Lewis has become perhaps the most hated man in surfing.

Thad Ziolkowski is the author of On a Wave (Grove/Atlantic 2002), a memoir about growing up surfing in Melbourne Beach, Florida during the 1970’s.
Richard Phillips is an artist living and working in New York City. His paintings have been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles and White Cube Gallery in London

John M. Schultz was born and raised in New York he is an archivist who maintains a sizable quiver of vintage and contemporary surfboards, has been awarded two Emmy Awards for his documentary work.

Charlie Bunger, Jr. manages Bunger Surf Shop in Babylon, NY. Bunger Surf Shop is one of the oldest family owned and operated surf shops in the USA. Charlie lives and surfs on Long Island.

Jamie Brisick has written two books: We Approach Our Martinis With Such High Expectations (Consafos Press, 2002) and Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow (HarperCollins, 2004). His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Surfer’s Journal. In 2007 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Japan. He lives in New York City with his wife and 5’10” Channel Islands Pod.

Thomas ‘Snapwater’ Colla is a New York photographer and underground shredder whose work has been featured in the Surfers Journal, Newsday, Transworld, Glide (Japan), Surfer, Surfing, and Slide (NZ).

Dave Denis is the main man/stuff maker; a product of the Long Beach, New York surf scene circa 1986.

Sancho Rodriguez is the founder and organizer of the San Sebastián Surfilm Festibal, perhaps the oldest surf film festival in the world. Sancho says “ I just came out of the water, enjoyed a couple of 5 footers at Lafitenia, St Jean de Luz. Good vibes in the water with some of the classics and a couple of young guys. But there was this guy who kept paddling around everyone, he transmitted bad vibes, he was not enjoying it and neither us around him. But at the end we will see how the good vibes will make a BIG comeback… get ready, smile and come to enjoy a Txuleta to the basque country!”

Mark Fragale is a Surf Journalist, archivist, and collector of historic surfing artifacts. Mark is a founding member of the Surfing Heritage Foundation and has been actively surfing for more than forty-five years; He lives in Kailua, Hawaii.
Tom Parrish is a 70’s North Shore shaping God who continues to make magic boards on Maui, where he also practices law when not surfing.