‘Under the Sun’ Wins Best Action Sports Film At The Newport Beach Film Festival

Under the Sun is a documentary film made by filmmaker Cyrus Sutton and co-produced by Michael & Jody McFadin, founders Ubiquity Records & Clothing.

Shot in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, on the Pacific Shore of Eastern Australia, it explores the commercialization of surfing subcultures through two opposing surf towns. While the two locations are geographically close their populations have completely different outlooks on life, and this clash is magnified in their respective surf scenes.  

These opposing forces offer a microcosmic view of the surf industry, and raise fascinating questions facing the surf world in general. With rising populations and dwindling resources where do these two towns go from here? While the industry promotes imagery of pristine waves, coastlines of the world are quickly becoming more crowded and polluted. Where does surfing go from here? Can the industry and culture sustain?

“For years the surfing subculture has blazed a rebellious trail with the industry following close behind turning scenes and ideas into dollars signs. With swelling crowds and deteriorating water quality surfing is reaching critical mass,” explains film maker Cyrus Sutton. “But whether you’re a beach bum or a CEO, we’re all surfers and in a world were money talks, embracing the surf industry may be the only way to preserve the lifestyles we have grown to love,” he adds.

Filmed in 2006 and 2007, the film was finished in April 2008, with Sutton returning from Australia to edit at Ubiquity HQ in Southern California. The lush landscape he had captured provided amazing footage to which Sutton also added mixed media animation. The films features cameos from Dave Rastovich (A Gold Coast/Byron Bay hybrid raised in the competitive surfing arena who opted for the Byron Bay lifestyle in his early twenties), and many other surfers including Rabbit Bartholomew, Nat Young, Beau Young, and Dean Morrison. The film includes an original soundtrack by Ubiquity Recording artist Shawn Lee and the Band of Frequencies (a collective of musicians hailing from Byron Bay), available soon from Ubiquity Records.

Ubiquity co-founder, Michael McFadin, met Sutton after the release of Sutton’s Debut film Riding Waves. “As a long time surfer (since 3rd grade) I have a strong appreciation for surf movies and liked Cy’s filmmaking style,” says McFadin. “We started discussing the possibility of doing the soundtrack for his then current project ‘Left’ (the Rob Machado story) which sadly has not been released yet.  When that film hit snags we made our own.”

For more information and future screening check UndertheSunsurfmovie.com for updates.