Tim Bonython is an award winning Cinematographer and Director, specialising in footage of Local and Big Wave surfing. His production company Tim Bonython Productions has a vast footage library, which is available for licensing [you can view some of Tim’s work here].
Tim Bonython Productions was created by Tim Bonython and his wife Sandrine, and specialises in cameraman and production services, which are available to hire. It also operates the Australian Surf Movie Festival, an annual national tour showcasing TBP’s latest and greatest independent surf feature films throughout clubs, pubs and cinemas Australia wide. Tim Bonython Productions run their own distribution.
Who is Tim Bonython?
Tim Bonython simply has a major addiction to what he does. Shooting the biggest waves with the best big wave surfers & then showing it all on the big screen at his annual tour, the Australian Surf Movie Festival (ASMF).
An award winning surf film-maker, photographer and director, Tim Bonython’s association with surfing films began in 1978, when, armed with a Super-8 camera, he set off to Hawaii’s infamous North Shore to capture the big waves and their riders. From that moment he became totally besotted with the sport, it’s participants and turning the footage he captured into captivating, breath-taking and inspiring films.
In 1998, on the advice of internationally renowned surf photographer Dan Merkel, Tim went off to document one of the biggest swells ever surfed at Jaws Maui, one of the world’s greatest big wave locations. The film, produced from the hours of footage collected, became one of the most respected surf documentaries created, called Biggest Wednesday. After touring this film throughout the country and overseas, it was sold on to VHS then to DVD and with over 130,000 units sold remains one of the biggest surf video sales of all time in Australia.
During that time Tim was working for Quiksilver International and also produced music videos for the Screaming Jets, Midnight Oil, The Angels & Frenzal Romb.
Over the last 12 years, Tim has made a home-away-from-home in Tahiti shooting at one of the world’s most notorious, big wave surﬁng locations – Teahupo’o. From footage shot here, Tim created the award -winning documentary Blackwater—The Story of a Place Called Teahupo’o. In May 2006 it won Best Surf Documentary in the International Surf Festival in St Jean De Luz, France. He followed this with May Dayz, showing the jaw-dropping feats of the big waves and their riders over two incredible days at the same location.
The Australian Surf Movie Festival
Tim filmed the renowned Rip Curl Pro event at Bells Beach in 1981 where competitors surfed waves in excess of twenty feet. With a projector & PA in the back of his car and and a 4 x 3 screen on the roof, Tim set off to show some of the most amazing surfing footage ever shot in Australia in pubs and clubs around Australia’s East Coast. This annual tradition would eventually grow into the Australian Surf Movie Festival.
In just a few short years, Tim and his wife Sandrine have grown the Australian Surf Movie Festival from its humble beginnings out of the back of his car to screening his films at Big Day Out and in front of sell-out crowds at large pub and club venues on the coast and in selected independent cinemas throughout Australia and international locations. The Australian Surf Movie Festival has now completed over 10 hugely successful tours, combining film with live music by presenting young-up-and-coming artists as part of the ASMF experience.
The last surf film release was Immersion the Movie. It won many awards around the world throughout it’s first year touring to various film festivals and has been called the ‘best surf movie to date’. The latest surf film, which is yet to be released, is Encoded: The story of the world’s most dangerous wave continues. Keep an eye out for its release date which is set for the coming weeks.