Ask any surfer what they like about their sport and they’re likely to tell you that catching waves is very therapeutic.
You could even say it soothes the soul.
Novocastrian Sophie Brown certainly thinks so. She is the founder of Fisherflicks, a short surf-film festival being held at Tower Cinemas Newcastle on August 25 in what promises to be a cinematic celebration of surfing and the ocean.
It is also, importantly, an event aiming to raise awareness about mental health. All proceeds will be donated to WOW Foundation, a mental health surf therapy charity.
“We chose to raise awareness for mental health because 45 per cent of Australians are affected by it at some stage in their lifetime,” Brown tells Weekender.
“We are helping to break the stigma. The ocean and surfing have incredible benefits for your mental health and well-being.
“I also founded Fisherflicks because there are so many creative people out there and I wanted to supply the platform for people to create, express and tell their stories.”
Anyone can submit a short film, the only guidelines being that you have to “express your passion for surfing and the ocean in four minutes or more”. The deadline for film entries is August 10. The top eight films will be shown at the festival.
The winner takes home $5000 along with a featured article in Tracks magazine and their film on Tracks’ official website.
People can submit their short film via the website (fisherflicks.com) where you can also purchase tickets to the event for $25. The ticket price includes entry to the official Fisherflicks after-party at The Family Hotel where DZ Deathrays will perform an exclusive DJ set. Prizes will be given away on the night.
Master of ceremonies will be Brown’s brother, Daniel.
“Otherwise known as the Mullet Lord, Browny is an advocate for mental health and surfing has helped him tremendously,” Brown says.
“He helps run Fluro Fridays at Newcastle beach every Friday morning at 6am, which is also about promoting awareness of mental health.”
Fisherflicks film festival is being sponsored by Tracks, Mullet Boards and OneWave.