I love outdoor cinema. There’s something quite romantic about sitting under the stars, with blankets and a picnic watching a movie (and hoping with all your might that the great British weather doesn’t ruin it…)
So when Rock Up Movie Night popped up on my radar, it was a no brainer about whether I wanted to go.
Showing surf and environmental films, with links to many of the marine conservation charities I follow and support, it sounded just up my street.
But this was the first time I’d ever found, and decided to attend, an event through Facebook, so I was a little anxious.
I’m pleased to say though, that on the evening of Saturday 26th May, after the initial panic of not being able to find the event, we eventually spotted a banner just underneath the i360 (in an area otherwise known to proper Brighton locals as ‘the event space’).
Rather than an entry fee, there was a suggested donation of £5pp to Surfers Against Sewage, which we gladly paid. There was also a raffle with all proceeds going to The Wave Project so again, we gladly obliged in purchasing a strip of raffle tickets (keep reading to find out if I won…)
We settled ourselves down on blankets and after a little introduction from the organisers, the show began.
The evening was split into two halves, with the majority of films in the first half focusing on the environment.
The legendary Sir David Attenborough kicked things off with an introduction about plastic pollution and the shocking truth about how bad things really are.
He described our oceans as being ‘sick’ and pointed out that we don’t get another chance at this. I know I talk a lot about plastic pollution and protecting our oceans but its because we’re not reacting fast enough. We don’t realise how bad things really are.
Even in an audience of surfers and environmentalists who know and preach about this stuff, Attenborough’s video was met with silence as we all digested exactly what he was saying and the severity of the situation.
What a way to start the evening.
The films throughout the night consisted of mini clips about people trying to make a difference (like an American who picks rubbish up from his local beach everyday and as a result has drawers and boxes of plastic in his home – including army men); to Icelandic surfers who described the feeling of ‘flow‘ perfectly; to surf films about Brighton (I laughed too until I saw the waves pumping in Shoreham harbour and Southwick).
There were also films and trailers for organisations like the Shark Trust and Sea Shepherd. These were incredibly memorable which shows they did their job perfectly.
The Shark Trust played out a scene from Jaws with people running out of the water in fear and pointing back out at sea. But rather than a killer shark in the water, up popped….
Apparently, more people are killed each year by faulty toasters than by sharks. Yet are you scared of making toast? No, probably not.
So what’s with the unreasonable fear of sharks?
Sea Shepherd also had an interesting video. An organisation that regularly finds itself having to take direct action against shark finning and whaling vessels, they’re often labelled as hardcore activists who love confrontation. This video set the record straight.
It showed their volunteers out at sea – many of which have never sailed before and who are lawyers and journalists, holding down full time careers. It also revealed how much they work in accordance with the UN and that they only take direct action against vessels (which are illegal vessels by the way) when verbal action doesn’t work.
They are on the front line looking after our seas and their video revealed the passion and the dedication behind this organisation.
So that’s a snapshot of what the evening was like. Informative yet worrying environmental films, balanced with impressive surf films and brilliant trailers for equally brilliant organisations.
As for the raffle?
Yes I did win.
But despite holding out for the SUP taster or the surf lesson for two, I walked away with a Surf Bait t-shirt which is ever so slightly too big for me.
You can’t win everything though and the evening alone was enough for me. Called off slightly early when the wind blew the projector screen over (!) and the heavens opened, it was still fantastic – a super chilled vibe, some great films and a really friendly crowd.
Plus, it raised hundreds of pounds for Surfers Against Sewage and the Wave Project.
An evening well spent I think!
If you’re interested in attending the next Rock Up Movie Night, follow the Facebook page and stay tuned for updates!