AFTER two decades away from the Coffs Coast, Kate Howat has returned to share her passion for film.
Most recently curating film programs for the Brisbane International Film Festival, Kate has been working as an actor, in film production and as a cinema technician and projectionist at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art.
Now's she's back home to start a new film festival company, Screenwave Australia, with her husband David, to offer a series of film festivals for the Coffs Coast.
After first performing onstage at the Jetty Memorial Theatre at age 14, it is in that same theatre that Kate and David will screen their first film festival on Saturday, August 30.
Call of the Surf Film Festival is an all-day, all-night event, screening an all-Aussie line-up of classic and contemporary surf films.
As presenters of the Call of the Surf Film Festival, Screenwave Australia has engaged the surfing community to make this event more than just watching surfing movies together.
Australian indigenous surfing champion Otis Carey is among those counting down to the day of celluloid dreaming.
"The first surf movie I can recall would be Sabotaj, Taj Burrow's first surf movie. As soon as I saw it, all I wanted to do was surf - and try and surf like them," he said.
"I think the impact of the Call of the Surf Film Festival will be a really good thing.
"There are so many kids who I see at the beach every day with the biggest smiles on their faces. It'll fuel the fire they have for surfing.
"Who knows, it could even put enough fire in a young kid's heart to become the next world champ in the years to come."
Kate said she believed the film festival was a perfect fit.
"We are bringing Call of the Surf Film Festival to the whole of Coffs Coast for everyone to enjoy. Surfing is such an integral part to our cultural identity as Australians.
"It's something worth fostering and worth celebrating. We have eight sessions during the festival, including new feature films, innovative short films, rare documentaries, silent surf films with live musical accompaniment, as well as a free Q&A chill session where the audience can ask questions of festival guests, such as Otis Carey, Lee Winkler and Nell Schofield, who starred in the original Puberty Blues film.
For program and ticket information go to www.call ofthesurf.com.au.