Surf film looks at the 'magic' and 'nightmare' of Byron Bay

Afends team rider Luke Stickley features in Vortex Bandits that launches in Byron Bay next week.
Afends team rider Luke Stickley features in Vortex Bandits that launches in Byron Bay next week. Patrick Gorbunovs

THERE is "magic", but there is also a "nightmare" side to Byron Bay a new surfing film which premieres next week suggests.

Vortex Bandits is the first feature-length film produced by Byron Bay-based clothing label, Afends, and showcases a stable of local surfers sponsored by the brand including Josh Sleep, Duncan McNicol, Torren Martyn, Joel Ford, Luke Stickley and a guest cameo by Creed McTaggart.

"The ethos was to showcase our local surfers and what we love about Byron and its beautiful surfing community; but to also show another side of the town with its darkness and strange characters," said Afends marketing manager, Heath Mawson.

While the nightmare aspect of the marketing film fits with Afends's punk roots, the film is focused on the gentler side of Byron Bay and the brotherly friendships that have sprung up around the label since it was established in Byron Bay in 2006.

"The crew in Vortex have all known each other for years and they all ride for us and this was a chance to band together and show how special surfing in Byron Bay is," Mr Mawson said.

Shot locally by Toby Cregan, premiering Vortex Bandits in Byron ahead of its Sydney and online release in August was a way to give back to the town that supported Afends's growth into an international label.

Topics:  byron bay movie surfing

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