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Port Angeles Kayak & Film Festival

Published on 4/12/2016

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                



Award-Winning Filmmaker and Expedition Kayaker Justine Curgenven 

To Give Saturday Evening Keynote Presentation 

at Port Angeles Kayak & Film Festival


Local filmmakers to be featured at Friday Night Pre-Registration Party 


Port Angeles, Wash., March 22, 2016 – Paddlers and adventure film buffs will be treated to tales of hair raising adventure, wildlife encounters, self-sufficiency and lessons learned in a keynote presentation by awe-inspiring expedition kayaker and adventure filmmaker Justine Curgenven at the Port Angeles Kayak & Film Festival, on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m.  Titled, “Sea Kayaking the World,” the presentation will feature clips from Curgenven’s award-winning films, highlighting paddling excursions along the wild coastlines of Russia, Antarctica, New Zealand, Patagonia and the Aleutian Islands. The event will take place at Peninsula College Maier Performance Hall, 1502 E. Lauridsen Boulevard in Port Angeles.Tickets are $10.00, available online or at the door.


But that’s not all! The Festival Pre-Registration Party at Bar Hop Brewery on Friday, April 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. will feature films by local professional filmmakers, including producer John Gussman, that remind viewers why the Olympic Peninsula is world-renowned as an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca. The evening will round out with two worldly inspirations produced by NRS. 


Friday Night Line-Up:

Return of the River (30 minute truncated version), produced by John Gussman

          Greenland Bound, A Paddler's Pilgrimage, produced by David Hartman

          The Coast, directed by Skip Armstrong and presented by NRS 

          Expedition Q, A Crossing of Baffin Island, co-produced by Skip Armstrong and NRS


“We are delighted to showcase the beauty and diversity of the Olympic Peninsula on Friday, with features produced by two talented local filmmakers, along with two fantastic NRS films,” says festival co-organizer Tammi Hinkle. “It will be an evening of movies, beer, pizza and camaraderie – the perfect kick-off to a world-class paddling event!”


“Then on Saturday,” Hinkle continues, “we are honored to host one of the world’s most accomplished expedition kayakers. Justine is an adventurer’s adventurer, and she’s done it all! Her stories are captivating. She will arrive at the festival having just completed a 700-mile kayak expedition from the city of Sorong in the Eastern Indonesian Province of West Papua to Jayapura, on the Island of New Guinea.”


An Adventurer’s Adventurer

Justine Curgenven grew-up on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, off the coast of Normandy, France. A sports enthusiast, she played squash, rugby and field hockey while attending University at Cambridge, and represented England on a Universities level hockey team. She began kayaking 10 years ago with the Jersey Canoe Club. Paddling in general purpose kayaks, she loved the fresh air and the ability to explore while getting a good workout. 


Curgenven discovered sea kayaking at the Jersey Sea Kayak Symposium. Her first expedition was a 12 mile paddle from Jersey to a small harbor on the Channel Island of Sark – a challenge that she wasn’t sure she could beat! 


Since that time, Curgenven has launched expedition kayak trips from six continents. Her adventures, which typically take her away from home for three to five months of the year, have included:


  • The first all-female circumnavigation of Tasmania (900 miles in 42 days);
  • A 14-day solo trip around Iceland’s West Fjords;
  • A 120-mile trip from London to France and a 50-mile trip from Russia to Japan in a series of open water crossings;
  • Three crossings of the Irish Sea.


Asked what inspires her love of adventure, Curgenven says, “I feel at peace when out kayaking. It’s probably the sum of the parts that I love – the untamable nature of the sea, the delicious fresh air, seeing wildlife up close, the exercise and the satisfaction of journeying under my own power. It’s a chance to always be learning and to share stories with isolated people from different parts of the world.”


Many of Curgenven’s adventures have involved paddling in treacherous conditions.


“I’ve been scared many times,” she says. “I try to use good judgment so that I don’t get into any life-threatening situations, but a few times conditions have surprised me and I’ve ended-up worrying that I’ll get caught out. Once while paddling the exposed and cliffy west coast of the south island of New Zealand, a headwind picked-up to 40 knots per hour. My partner, Barry, and I didn’t dare turn around to look at the small beach we’d left from. We were making about one kilometer per hour. Eventually we reached the shelter of Dusky Sound. It was scary thinking about how we’d safely land if we stopped making forward progress.”


Adventure Videographer

Curgenven’s videography skills were acquired on the job. As a TV reporter she learned what could be achieved with innovative camera work and clever editing. In her next position as a multi-skilled program maker, she began doing her own camera work and editing, as well as storytelling, scripting and sound recording. After spending three years as an employee she quit, bought her own camera and began shooting adventure kayaking films.


In the early days prior to GoPro cameras, Curgenven developed a unique waterproof camera system and suction mount which enabled her to film from her kayak. This resulted in never before seen shots of bulging eyes, surprised faces and composure under pressure. Her films are known for making viewers feel like they are in the kayak with expert paddlers.


Her first film, This is the Sea, features footage from daring and difficult sea kayaking expeditions, including a 400-mile journey along the eastern coast of Russia with a novice paddler. The team encounters six-foot surf, brown bears in their campsite, and arresting Russian soldiers. The success of this film (it was a finalist at the Montreal Film Festival in 2005 and at the Wet West Film Festival in New Zealand), resulted in the filming of This is the Sea 2, 3, 4 & 5, which were shot in locations around the world between 2005 and 2013. Curgenven’s other films include This is the Roll 1 & 2; This is Canoeing; and Kayaking the Aleutians.


The films have won more than a dozen prestigious awards, including “Best Adventure Film” at the Banff and Kendal Mountain Film Festivals.


Adventure Videography Seminar

On Sunday, April 24, the final day of the Kayak & Film Festival, Curgenven will teach a two-hour seminar covering the essentials of successful kayak-based videography. She will share tips and tricks for shooting action video that captures a compelling story. The seminar will take place from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Feiro Marine Life Center on Port Angeles City Pier. Register online at



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