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Post-production   /  Nicki Wynnychuk


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


Impact areas









  • DIRECTOR Matthew Hannon

  • PRODUCER Nicki Wynnychuk



Haus Tumbuna is a dedicated timber surfboard shed (Haus) 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 celebrate and enrich the local methods and expression while riding these ever evolving home-made creations.
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, spirit and the natural world as an illustration for us who may have a different way.
We have our own footprints to erase, 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 gifted modern surfing and equipment they have grown accustomed to.

Support this project

43.86% funded
  • $62,000.00

  • $27,195.00

  • 38

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





ikuzo Fujimura $100.00
Barlow Foundation $10,000.00
Erik Naumann $100.00
Art Guide Australia $200.00
Rene Provis $50.00
David Burns $100.00
Caspian Rive $10.00
Ula Majewski $50.00
Ben Waldron $30.00
Donna Malone $20.00
Offline Donation (Nicki Wynnychuk) $5,000.00
Offline Donation (Harry Wynnychuk) $5,000.00
Offline Donation (Mark Wiedmann) $5,000.00
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 Madang, 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 bring to PNG is 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 continue the traditional foundations, so to build positive change into the future.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Haus Tumbuna is a working model to illustrate a mode of practice, one that reduces cultural dependance. This happens through the nurturing and celebration of the deeply connected spirit and long established traditions of the Papua New Guinean people.


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

Short term:
Haus Tumbuna creates an awareness of environmentally friendly and culturally appropriate surfboards.
The production quality and surfing performance is world class, this visual sample will deeply humble all that witness. Once the audience can see how holistic the Haus Tumbuna project is there will be a desire to support the cause, by visiting the surf camp, buying a board or by donating to the project.

Mid term:
Haus Tumbuna will expose a refined working model by and for the community. This process is built out of a deep connection to ones' environment and will help act as a catalyst for the audience to reimagine a more conscious version of themselves.

Long term:
Haus Tumbuna has a balsa tree plantation ready to mill in two years. With this timber we will provide the world's first surfboard specific grown and milled timber to market. All Haus Tumbuna profits go to the local health, education, culture and empowerment of women projects


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

In Tumbuna, with limited dialogue we are showing rather than telling a story of risk, trial and conviction. A reminder of the importance and value of local traditions and what a deeply entrenched do-it-yourself spirit can offer. The visual imagery will be spiced by a soundtrack of live recordings, including the local bamboo band and traditional sing sing to help embody the audience into the magic that is rich and active in PNG.
Tumbuna will help remove much of the negative media gaze that is shown about PNG. Tumbuna will enable audiences to feel how utopian the bright side of village life can be.
Haus Tumbuna has been in development for over six years and Tumbuna has captured the moment when locally made boards became as inspiring as any other board available.
Haus Tumbuna is a fully functioning homegrown and homemade surfboard factory with all the necessary infrastructure and skilled local shapers to move into professional production, a world first.


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 maintaining 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 cultures and 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.