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INTERVIEW: NY Women's Surf Film Festival And Lava Girl Surf Founder, Davina Grincevicius, Emphasizes Importance Of Women In Surf

Sydney A. Braat

Davina Grincevicius, Founder of NYWSFF and Lava Girl Surf. (Photo: Susannah Ray)

The Hamptons are known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Families flock to enjoy the smooth sand and alluring surf summer after summer. So, what better place to hold The 6th Annual NY Women's Surf Film Festival (NYWSFF)? This year on Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5, the public is invited to The Montauk Beach House to view an array of epic films that highlight surfers from around the world.

Even better, guests will get the chance to meet some of the filmmakers and surfers, as well as view photography exhibits, shop at a surf market, enjoy complimentary coffee and breakfast, or get in the water to participate in surf and paddle board sessions.

We caught up with Founder of NYWSFF and Lava Girl Surf, Davina Grincevicius, to learn more about the highly anticipated event.

Can you talk a bit about the beginning of your surfing career? What drew you to the sport initially?

DG: It started during a trip to Puerto Rico, almost 8 years ago. I was completely hooked after one session. When I made it back to New York City, even though it was the fall, I immediately went out, bought a board and wetsuit, and headed to Rockaway Beach in Queens. Then, after a full winter of traveling from Brooklyn every day to surf before work, I decided to move to Rockaway Beach and pursue my love of surfing. I truly believe that surfing challenges me in every way— physically, mentally and spiritually. I find absolute freedom being out in the ocean.

Where did you get the idea of the Women's Surf Film Festival?

DG: I founded another passion project of mine, Lava Girl Surf in 2012 and NYWSFF came to fruition as an extension of that. I started Lava Girl Surf alongside the first New York Women's Surf Workshop. It started as off-the-water surf workshops and evolved into social events encouraging women to explore the fundamental elements of the sport. As a videographer and producer, with my passion for film and surfing, I thought it would be a natural progression to host a night of women-only surfing films. What I didn't realize until then was how little content was out there of women surfing. The community embraced the idea, so we continued to build the festival and expand it.

Why is it important for the community and film directors to recognize women who surf?

DG: Women, as in most arenas, simply do not get the recognition they deserve in surfing. Women's accomplishments, both in the professional arena and as soul surfers who surf at their local breaks, are often overlooked. We're slowly starting to see a shift. More and more women are breaking down barriers, but we still have a long way to go until women are treated equally within the surf industry and in the water.

I plan to continue to grow the New York Women's Surf Film Festival and continue to share the inspiring lives of women surfers, their unique journeys and passions, and their connections to the ocean.

What do you hope this Film Festival will bring forth?

DG: I founded the New York Women's Surf Film Festival as a platform to showcase the grace, empowerment and performance of women surfers and acknowledge female filmmakers, photographers in the community. My goal has always been to increase the representation of women in surf media and in content featuring women and the ocean. There are so many wonderful female stories to be shared— it's time that the media caught up to the movement. I hope that through the festival, we're able to show that the female audience is powerful and more importantly I hope that we encourage younger generations to pursue their passions and surf with confidence.

How can the community stay in touch with your work year round?

DG: You can sign up for our newsletter. Or, you can follow up with us on Facebook, Instagram, or go to our website.

Montauk Beach House is located at 55 South Elmwood Avenue in Montauk. A full list of events is available at womenssurffilmfestival.com.

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