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Ampfest celebrates surf and skate culture in coastal communities

Ampfest celebrates surf and skate culture in coastal communities

Ampfest plants its flag in the sand of West Coast beaches, bringing the film and music festival to the surrounding communities August 10-14. The event promises to integrate the best of extreme sports filmmaking, past and present, with a combination of hot bands and emerging artists. In addition to the film and music Ampfest endeavors to incorporate other artistic contributions that help to make up the fabric of this culture, such as photography, fine art and fashion. “Bridging music, film, and the arts, Ampfest showcases the past, present and future of action sports culture. The idea is to …” says co-founder Steven Hein.

From the South Bay to Santa Monica, screening venues will include the Hermosa Playhouse, Bergamot Station, the Santa Monica Pier, Laemmle’s Monica Theatre and the Santa Monica Civic, the flagship home of the classic surf films and expos from the 60’s and 70’s. The film program will be a unique combination of current surf and skate features, docs and shorts, along with retrospectives, and special tributes. The inaugural event will feature a Spotlight on Austrailia, anchored by the World Premiere of legendary surf filmmaker George Greenough’s DOLPHIN GLIDE. The Call for Entries for film submissions is now officially open, applications available at or

The music acts will be sprinkled throughout the communities, with several bands performing each night at regional clubs, in close proximity to one of the screening venues. Sonicbids will support the music entries and can be found at

The event was hatched between co-founders Steven Hein and Jon Fitzgerald, as both realized the beach communities deserved an event that celebrates this great culture, and the influence it has had on music, film and the arts, "There is such a rich history with the surf and skate sports culture, from performers and their equipment to the clothes they wear and the music they hear. It seems natural to bring all these elements together in an exciting format that the community can enjoy" says co-founder Jon Fitzgerald.

Both Hein and Fitzgerald have a history of supporting emerging talent, as Hein produced Chrysler’s Million Dollar Film Festival with Hypnotic and Universal, and Fitzgerald has run several major film festivals.

Fitzgerald had produced a similar model called Surf Sessions as executive director of the Santa Barbara film festival several years back. This sidebar was hugely successful, as packed crowds attended a Special Tribute to Bruce Brown (ENDLESS SUMMER) and THICKER THAN WATER, introduced my musician Jack Johnson and filmmakers the Malloy Brothers.

Additionally, the founders recruited producers Michael Abbott and Sid Z from the Coachella Music Festival and The Coachella Independent Film Festival to partner on the music program. .

Festival Consulting Group was brought on to produce the event with Hein. The Company was launched a year ago by Fitzgerald and partner Mitch Levine, yet another festival veteran (Palm Springs International Film Festival).

The team looks forward to the flagship event this August, but plans to take the event on the road. “There is a strong demand for this type of event in many different territories and each event will be modified to fit the local demographics” For example, Aan event in snow country would emphasized snow boarding and other local lifestyle events as opposed to surfing in the beach communitiesmore than surfing. The event will benefit a number of charities including The Surfing Heritage Foundation and Land of Plenty.

For further information, visit the website at


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