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First Wave

From its opening days in 1973, Sydney Opera House's Playhouse was a thriving home for a radical wave of surf films, drawing audiences from across the harbour in droves. Marking the return of surf films to the Sydney Opera House, First Wave shines a light on this legacy with a selection of recently restored psychedelic surf classics including the world premiere of the new restoration of Crystal Voyager, while also considering the current tide of Australian surf films with a selection of contemporary documentaries.

All sessions feature special guests.

Co-Presented by Tracks

9 – 10 Aug 2024 Cinema

Crystal Voyager + Director Q&A with special guests

Over 50 years since it first premiered at Sydney Opera House, legendary surf film Crystal Voyager returns to our shores for the debut of a new 4K restoration.

10 Aug 2024 Cinema

The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun + Q&A with Chris Brock

Celebrating the World Premiere of its new 4K restoration, The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun is the cult 1970 directorial debut of George Greenough that captures the freedom of ocean living and the first stages of the shortboard revolution.

11 Aug 2024 Cinema

Morning of the Earth + Filmmaker Introduction

Beautifully remastered in 4K, Albert Falzon and David Elfick’s 1972 classic Morning of the Earth is renowned as one of the greatest surf films of all time.

11 Aug 2024 Cinema

Girls Can’t Surf + Q&A with Pauline Menczer

The untold story of how a band of renegade surfer girls in the 1980s fought for equality, changing surf culture forever. Featuring champion surfers Layne Beachley, Pauline Menczer, Pam Burridge and more.

10 Aug 2024 Cinema

You Should Have Been Here Yesterday + Director Q&A

A poetic homage to Australia’s early surf-culture with unearthed footage set to an original soundtrack. You Should Have Been Here Yesterday combines hundreds of hours of lovingly restored 16mm footage with a salt-infused soundscape by Headland.

11 Aug 2024 Cinema

The Blind Sea + Q&A with Matt Formston and Director Daniel Fenech

The Blind Sea is an inspirational and breathtaking documentary about Australian World Champion blind surfer, Matt Formston. With only 3% vision, Formston attempts his most dangerous challenge, surfing the monster waves of Nazaré, Portugal.