Interview with Surf Filmmaker Stefan Jose | Director of Mctavish - Dedicated to the Craft Series’ Episode six: Roisin Carolan

'Mctavish - Dedicated to the craft series’ episode six: Roisin Carolan' was selected for screening at the 4th Annual NYC Women's Surf Film Festival 2016, featuring Roisin Carolan, and directed by Stefan Jose. Roisin is a team rider for Mctavish Surfboards, and has been surfing since she was little girl, in Byron Bay. The short film takes a glimpse into her Byron Hinterland life. 

Photo: Fran Miller

Photo: Fran Miller

Where did you grow up and where do you call home now?

My father was an Audio Engineer so we moved quite a lot as kids.  I also left home quite early to travel.  My family are now based on the Mornington Peninsula but I have nw been based in Byron Bay for the past 9 years or so.

How did you get started in filmmaking and why? 

Filmmaking for me was an accident.  I followed my fathers footsteps and studied Audio Engineering.  Nearing the end of my Audio Degree I had been trying with some film techniques etc.  I was offered a scholarship by the University to study a film degree following the audio one.  Before finishing the degree I was working full time as a freelance How did MCTAVISH - ‘Dedicated to the Craft Series’ come about?

McTavish are one of the pinnacle and original surf brands of East Coast Australia.  The brand has been established for almost half an century and it was time for a re-branding to stay relevant within the quickly evolving surf industry.  The series was a large part of the new McTavish and to showcase the people behind the brand.  There are still more episode to come this year.

How did you come to meet Roslan Carolan?

I met Roisin through McTavish.  Not only does this girl shred she makes a mean cup cake.

What was some of the challenges in making this film?

None really.  Usually it would be nailing good surf but he had a lucky run fir this one….and Roisin just makes it too easy.

Tell us more about the surf culture and scene in Byron.

ohh I don’t want to say too much here as it can be quite cliche.  Byron is a very close-nit community and people are very passionate about it.  Well-Being and the environment are both as important as the surf is to the people.  Join all of that together and you have a pretty special lifestyle.  

Is there a discrepancy with the number of women and men that surf in the water in Australia?

Possibly in some areas but certainly not in Byron.  In fact Id say there are occasions where the men are outnumbered.  There is certainly a strong movement of women surfers, photographers, filmmakers, authors, bloggers and environmentalists in Byron Bay.  The women here’re very passionate about it and are an integral part of the culture.

Do you feel that women’s surfing has improved over the past decade? If so in what ways?

Definitely.  Although women have always been an integral part of the industry and have always had a strong presence I think its really stepped up a notch in the last ten years.  I think only the women could tell you the reasons why or how, Id prefer to to speak for them but Im super stoked about it!  The women seem to have collectively developed sisterhoods and friendships and have collaborated in getting better at surfing itself, the art and culture behind it, tackled the environmental issues and developed their own unique interpretation of the industry that is just as significant as the men.  Its so hard to explain as a man but they really look after each other.  When have you ever seen two women argue in the surf?  I think the men can learn a lot from them.  

Where has been your favorite places to surf and shoot surfers?

Cloudbreak, Fiji.

What can't you live without when you travel?

Oh that an easy and boring one sorry.  Camera, Camera and camera.  Ive tried travelling without it and it drives me nuts.  

Where do you find your personal inspiration? 

Other Cinematographers and Directors inspire me.  To be honest I don’t really watch surf clips, I watch the odd surf feature length doc or short but thats about it.  The majority of the work that I draw inspiration from is narrative based drama, documentary, short or feature films, music videos and commercials.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched a surf clip.  haha is that bad?

Whats next for Stefan?

Im currently working on a shot contemporary dance film for a Swiss Dance company.  The narrative is told through dance, visuals, locations and foley.  Really fun project! 

Roslan Carolan stefan jose nyc womens surf film festival lava girl surf 2016
Roslan Carolan stefan jose nyc womens surf film festival lava girl surf 2016

Join us for the 4th Annual NYC Women's Surf Film Festival.  August 12-13, 2016 - At the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. For more details you can go to