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Production   /  Nicki Wynnychuk


Tumbuna is a poetic film that celebrates the rich history and sustainable future of PNG’s surfing culture.


Impact areas









  • DIRECTOR Matthew Hannon & Garry Parker

  • PRODUCER Nicki Wynnychuk & Bryan Bates



Haus Tumbuna is a dedicated timber surfboard shed in rural PNG that has been established by the independent community development project, Tupira Surf Club.
International surfboard shapers Bryan Bates, Josh Martin and surfer Justine Mauvine visit Tupira to help celebrate and expand the local methods and expression while riding these ever evolving designs.
The film Tumbuna is about sharing in the journey to establish a self sustainable surfboard factory. Tumbuna is an allegory of village life in PNG. The aim is to document the connection to community, culture and the natural world as an illustration for us who may have a different way.
There is nothing to fix, we come to learn, share and explore the extremes of contemporary PNG ocean play.
The ambition is to support local shapers Ben, Robin and Peter to make home grown surfboards for local surfers Jayway, Bernhard and Ruthy that are a sustainable local version of the modern surfing and equipment they have grown accustomed to.

Support this project

1.92% funded
  • $80,000.00

  • $1,535.00

  • 25

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Richard Agius $50.00
Stephen Lanfranco $20.00
Ruth Pring $50.00
Danny Carney $50.00
Alex Umbers $200.00
Anonymous $50.00
Murray Toy $10.00
Pascalle Russet $100.00
Christopher Johnson $5.00
Myles Macpherson $10.00
Chloe Warnock $10.00
Chris Peel $5.00
Dave Sobel $50.00
henrique nichele $5.00
Louis Grissom $20.00
Thomas Gleeson $500.00
Sarah Menacho $50.00
Stephen Lanfranco $10.00
Nicole Stephenson $10.00
John Bailey $200.00
Danny O'Brien $25.00
Robert Crewdson $50.00
Dylan Kelly $5.00
Nick Coghlan $25.00
Coralie Tapper $25.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Ocean play has been part of the coastal culture in PNG for thousands of years. Traditional PNG surfing is a form of body surfing, using pieces of broken canoe, the bark of a coconut tree or even the base of a sago palm branch to slide along the waves that come during the abundance of Taro season.
Over the past thirty years PNG has been a growing destination for the western surf tourist.
The international surfers arrive with modern fibreglass surfboards that are very easy to paddle, ride and are ridden standing up.
The dynamic approach that these boards brought to PNG was clearly very seductive and the locals began to desire and acquire this equipment.
The key issue is that this equipment is expensive, fragile, made out of toxic materials which created a disposal issue and culture of dependence.
Tumbuna is a form of resistance that helps decolonize this impact and helps revive the traditional way, so to build positive change into the future.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Haus Tumbuna is a working model that illustrates the demise of cultural dependance through the nurturing and celebration of the deeply connected spirit of the Papua New Guinean people .


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Tumbuna straddles a three key areas and audiences; surf culture, sustainability/activism and socially engaged art practice.
As individual practitioners, all of the contributing creatives have developed networks. Thunderbox film’s works with companies we can partner with like Patagonia, Australia & The Surfers Journal.
Bryan, Josh and Justine are all high profile contributors in the surfing world covering Australia, America and Europe.
Nicki has partner key connections with Art + Australia Magazine, Harrel Fletcher, Associate Professor of Art in Portland State Uni as well as other socially engaged artist’s writers, academics and galleries.
Tupira Surf Club and Haus Tumbuna have strong links with Patagonia, Japan. Tupira has developed relationships with World Surfaris, the world’s biggest surf travel company.
Haus Tumbuna has recently been profiled by Sam Bleakley’s Series Brilliant Corners that was screened on the world surf league’s WSL Studios media platform.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The Surfers Journal is working on an article as part of the films build up and for TSJ to be the media platform of distribution following the festival circuit period.
World Surfaris is already a sponsor of Tumbuna, through this connection we gain a major network.
Haus Tumbuna has already collaborated with Patagonia team surfers and one snow snowboarder (we made a timber board that was ridden in the surf and snow and it was published in a japanese magazine) Haus Tumbuna is currently in conversation with Patagonia Japan for them to host a series of regional screenings.
Tumbuna Co-Director Matthew Hannon writes for and will create an article that profiles the project prior to the regional tour
There will be regional tours in Australia, America & Europe,
Independent filmmaker Andrew Kidman will mentor us on the Australian tour, Tumbuna shaper Josh Martin will arrange the events in the USA and Tumbuna Surfer Justine Mauvine will arrange the events in Europe.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Tumbuna is a film about the longstanding project that is Haus Tumbuna which is in itself a direct stand of decolonisation. Tumbuna will show Haus Tumbuna as the leading edge of independent cultural survivalist activity.
The international surfers and shapers in Tumbuna are visiting a special place, treading lightly, arriving with limited baggage, an open mind and an open heart. This mode of travel or way of being is a powerful take away.
The simplicity and value in looking at the history, local heritage is of great importance here. Tumbuna is a clear example of how we can build sustainable processes by reviving traditional methods with a little modern adaptation in design, tools and resources.
The audience can acquire a fresh way of traveling and be reminded of the value in rethinking old ideas so to not just accept the status-quo so we can build a future that works best for our communities.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The film Tumbuna has the content range to participate in Film Festivals on Culture, Contemporary Art, Surf and Sustainability.
Tumbuna is a film about a key period in the Haus Tumbuan project, this document will give the audience a way in and provide the ongoing rationale.

Tumbuna is a kind of introduction to what has started and a lure for people to get involved by participating in what is happening or to create their own version.
With the release of Tumbuna there will also come the release of the Haus Tumbuna website: the project profile, newsletter, ongoing fundraising platform and Not for profit registration.
Tumbuna will apply to social development awards and networks.
The key indication of success is that the film Tumbuna will help provide the Haus Tumbuna project with necessary exposure, story description and support so that this ongoing self sufficient locally developed and run project can live on into the future by and for the community for generations to come.