Patagonia Never Town - A significant surf film.
Patagonia Never Town - Why is it the most important surf film of the last decade.
“The Dislocation to the natural world is enormous.”
In a world of Instagram clips and short films came a breath of fresh air, literally. Patagonia’s Never Town was released back in 2018 and at the time, we had a number of battles on our hands. The Fight for the Bight was really ramping up, deforestation was rife in Victoria’s Otways and Salmon Farming in Tasmania was expanding at an alarming rate. 2 of which are ongoing.
Directed by Andrew Buckley and produced by none other than Sean Doherty, Never Town can be categorised as part conservation film, part surf film. The surfing is incredible. The sound track inspires and Rasta is like a fine wine, he just seems to be getting better with age. Heath Joske absolutely rips and Dan Ross puts fires out with a few man hacks!
But, it's not why we follow these characters. Yes, they are good surfers but really, deep down they’re good human beings. Willing to put everything on the line and fight to help our environment so it can be enjoyed by family generations from now.
The film begins in the raging surf off Shipsterns Bluff. Still to this day is an untouched piece of coastline that comes to life in a vicious way. Rasta follows the coast from Shippie's, around the SW of Tasmania to King Island, where he is greeted by Dan Ross for a few of the Islands well known crystal cylinders. Charlie Stubbs, a local resident and activist, is still to this day fighting against the expansion of industrial fish farming in the area.
Fish farming in Tasmania is destructive to the underwater ecosystems of our coastlines. Oxygen is reduced in the water from the sheer amount of fish crammed into the hundreds of pens in areas like Mcquarrie Harbor, Strahan. Having worked as an Abalone fisherman for 7 years, we have explored the sea floor of these waters all year round and have seen first hand the destruction caused.
Some of our footage can be found in the 4 corners special from 2016 -
Tasmania leads the way when it comes to conservation. Dating back to the Franklin Dam protests. The Greens movement was founded in Tasmania by Bob Brown and Drew Hutton. It's great to see surfers still in parliament, Nick McKim is deputy leader of the Greens and a great advocate for surfing here in Tasmania.
Beyond Tasmania, Rasta verges on Victoria and meets up with surfing legends Wayne Lynch and Belinda Baggs. Wyane, having spent much of his adulthood in the Otways has had a lifetime of surfing this remote, rugged and extreme landscape.
Wayne Lynch opens up on the logging in the area, a place he once called home. Now it’s a devastated landscape with old growth ripped from the ground.
Leaving Vic and crossing the border into South Australia Rasta catches up with South Aus core lord Heath Joske. Heath, a Patagonia ambassador has made a name for himself in the activist world. A bloody good surfer and all round good dude. Heath was sent to Norway to front the company behind the drilling in the Great Australian Bight back in 2019. He represented Australia and the Australian way of life. Our dependence on the ocean for food and purpose.
South Australia was the beginning for the Fight for the Bight movement that put a stop to the Norwiegian Gas and Oil giant Equinor. Sean Dohety, Damo Cole and thousands of Australians held protests and paddle outs all up and down the eastern seaboard. Torquay undoubtedly one of the largest seen with over 5000 people participating.
In 2020 Equinor pulled the pin and damn did we share a tin or two. It was an incredible achievement by local communities across southern australia backed by Patagonia and the Surfrider Foundation.
Check out the film Never Town from Patagonia now: