The Adrift Film Festival Overdelivers

25 October 2019 By Laura Dunn

On October 23, co-founders Shelton Du Preez, Randi Barry, and Francesca Rubi finally saw their one-and-half-year vision come to fruition when hundreds of people turned out for the Adrift Film Festival at Park & Ocean, sponsored by Denison Yachts, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night.  

The three veteran yacht crew have been working tirelessly since June to make this debut film festival happen, which had a rousing response with over a dozen entries in the first 24 hours after they announced it on August 12. Because of their hard work and commitment, more than 300 people came to the show, as well as countless more who watched it via Instagram Live.

“We were so happy to be able to stream the event live,” says Rubi. “As a yachtie event, we understand that not everyone who wanted to attend could be there and were stoked that over 130 crew were watching from their crew mess, some even got up at 4 a.m. to watch it!”

Before entering the oceanfront venue, donations were required in an effort to help raise support for Hurricane Dorian Bahamian victims. Thanks to the generosity of so many attendees, several hundred dollars was raised, which included some donations from afar. As a thank you, each attendant was able to enjoy a free beer, compliments of the local Saltwater Brewery, which provided three flavors to choose from.

Du Preez, a professional filmmaker and photographer and former chief mate aboard M/Y Latitude, Randi Barry, the founder of Nautic Nomad and rotational crew chef aboard M/Y Samadhi, and Francesca Rubi, event planner, production manager, and superyacht purser.

Thanks to all their hard work and marketing, their expectations were blown away: “We were thinking maybe one hundred people would come — and if not, we would just have a great party by ourselves!” says Barry. “We had triple the amount of people we had planned for so that was incredible and shocking in the best way possible.”

In each of the four categories, 140 films were submitted by 70 yacht crew in the following four categories:

•Best Short Film: zero to three minutes long
• Best Long Film: three to 10 minutes long
• Most Creative: for the most creative film
• Wild Card: any funny or amazing cellphone shot films (no time requirements)

Much to their surprise, M/Y Loon was awarded with the first annual humanitarian award by Denison Yachting, the main sponsor. “Motor Yacht Loon were the first responders on the scene and helping with relief. There are not many yachts out there being first on scene to major incidents, and there should be more,” says Rubi. “So for us, it was easy to make this Humanitarian Award and support this fantastic video made by Deckhand Henro Devros. We want to encourage more yachts and owners and crew to help in disaster relief, because we can, in this industry we are lucky to have the facilities and the money to be able to help.”

You can go to to see the finalists’ videos. “The caliber of videos we had was outstanding and shows that there is a market for the festival,” says Barry. “Yachties want to show off their work, inspire other people to travel, and be proud of the industry we work in.”

Though there was a lot of talent, only one could win each category. Here are the following winners:

Best Short Film: Second Stewardess Shani Davies and Third Engineer Dylan Ross of M/Y Laurel for “Rescuing 50 Dogs and Delivering 30 Tons of Aid to Bahamas”
Best Long Film: Capt. Denzil Baynes of M/Y Sea Delight for “Aurora Saves”
Most Creative Film: Deckhand Zakk Arion for “Lil Yachter — Epaulets (The Yachtie Song)”
Wildcard Film: Bosun Holy Robertson for “Bandol Wine Tasting”

Prior to the festival’s debut, Barry shared that she hoped this festival would be less competition and more camaraderie. Mission accomplished. Throughout the night, you could hear fellow film submitters cheering on their “opponents.” This should hopefully set the precedent for next year, which the Adrift team is already planning.

“Due to the astounding success of the launch year, we have decided to make this an annual event,” says Du Preez, who adds that there will be an announcement for the 2020 Adrift Film Festival. “We are excited for film makers to get a whole year to plan and create their entries.”

Follow them on Instagram @adriftfilmfestival to learn more about their next festival and be sure to visit their website

Prizes and Giveaways:
Best Short Film:
DJ Oslo Pocket, sponsored by Yot Stick Carbon
One-year subscription with Masterclass, sponsored by Saltee Rags

Best Long Film:
$500 Travel Voucher, sponsored by Blue Marine
One-year subscription with Epidemic Sound, sponsored by Amels

Most Creative Film:
Insta 360 One X Camera, sponsored by Cabin Fever
One-year subscription with Masterclass, sponsored by Saltee Rags

A Ukulele, sponsored by BC Surf
One-year subscription with Epidemic Sound, sponsored by Amels

Humanitarian Award: Henro Devros for M/Y Loon
Presented by Denison Yachts
The winner received a skateboard, sponsored by BC Surf.

Beer sponsored by Saltwater Brewery

UPDATE: 11/15/2019

Thanks to the generosity of so many attendees and some donations from afar, $2,112.44 was raised for YachtAid Global’s Operation Topaz for relief in the Bahamas. The donations are going toward school supplies in the Abacos.