This Is Yentl Touboul
Filmmaker Yentl Touboul Playlist & Interview 17 Videos ･ Last Updated: Mar 09 2023
I'm a filmmaker with a passion for surfing, skateboarding, and short documentaries. I also do video/photo work & interviews for Wasted Talent and help with the curation of their print magazine.
Portrait photo by Pierre David.
Based now: Hossegor, South-West France
Born and raised
I was born in Belgium, but I've spent my entire childhood in Guadeloupe, a small island in the French Caribbean.
When and how did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was 10. A friend of my parents gave us a beat-up thruster from the '80s. I brought it to the beach one day and got hooked straight away.
Who are the surfers that inspire you?
Craig Anderson, Creed McTaggart, Ozzie Wright, Benjamin Howard, Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Ryan Burch, Nate Tyler, Noah Collins, Dane Gudauskas... Also, my good friends Tito Lavole and Erwin Bliss. I've known these two since we were kids, and seeing them evolve since then has been amazing.
Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?
A few places I won't name in Indonesia and Australia… Everywhere is so crowded these days, so any spot that has minimal or no crowd.
Where are the surf spots you want to visit in the future that you've never been to?
I'd love to go to the Australian desert. Some of my favorite surf sections were filmed there, and the idea of finding waves with no one around is what surfing is about for me. Also, Iceland, South America, South Africa, other parts of Indonesia…etc.
Which type of surfboards and fin setups are you into?
Anything that has a bit of volume and goes fast… I've mostly been surfing twin fins for the past few years.
Which one video would you highlight in this playlist and why?
'FRATERNITÉ' is a video I'm happy with. The local surf scene in Senegal is as pure as it gets, and I feel really lucky for the opportunity to document such a unique moment in time for the Senegalese surf scene. ‘DEBRIS HILL’ was an odd one. I started the project by filming a few weeks with Tito and Benny in Australia and Indonesia in 2019, although our plan to do other trips got cut short by Covid and the project basically slept on a hard-drive for two years. With the inability to travel, I felt like I was facing a wall and that the project was headed straight to the bin. Ultimately, it felt stupid to not show what to me is good surfing and fun memories, and with our filmmaker friends based in Australia coming to the rescue with newer clips, it enabled me to drag the project out of the forgotten and piece it together. ’22:22’ released earlier this year with my friend Erwin was also a fun one. I’ve been friend with Erwin before he even surfed, so seeing his surfing ramp up constantly has been amazing.
What cameras and lenses do you use?
16mm and super 8 film cameras, VHS-C and Mini-DV camcorders, Black Magic digital camera.
What editing tool do you use?
Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve.
What's your favorite focal length?
It all depends on the situation and the subject really.
When and how did you start filming?
I started filming when I was around 13. Like many others people in our field, surfing is what got me into it. I got injured, and during the months I was out of the water, I picked up a Mini-DV camera. I would film my friends, and do these little edits that we uploaded on a Vimeo channel. Being able to express your interpretation of a subject through visuals, but also audio and music really got me hooked.
Who are the creators that inspire you?
Kai Neville, Joe G, Greg Hunt, Pontus Alv, Robin Pailler, Riley Blakeway, Matt Payne, Ben Ericson, Tom Jennings, Dave Fox, Shane Fletcher, Pierre David, Douglas Guillot, Guillem Cruells, Jack Whitefield...etc.
What are the surf films/videos that inspire you?
There is so many to mention. All the Globe movies Joe G directed (Secret Machine, Year Zero, Strange Rumblings…etc.) had a huge influence on me growing up and are probably the main reason why I love shooting on 16mm film. Joe's unique aesthetics and use of storytelling ads such a dimension to his films... Like if you were watching a movie rather than a surf video, and I've always loved that. Kai (Neville) has also been a major influence throughout the years. I remember receiving Modern Collective, and the impact that had on me and my group of friends. That film arrived at the perfect moment for my friends and me, and it showed us an alternative vision of what surfing could be. Kai's other full-lengths (Dear Suburbia, Lost Atlas…) were also influential, and seeing him still at the top of his game with his recent videos (Ceremony, Sonic Souvenir…etc.) is inspiring. Matt Payne as well! 'Arbutus' and 'Weird Way Home' were epic. He's been killing it whilst staying a super honest dude, and seeing that is really refreshing.
Other than surf films?
Taxi Driver, There will be Blood, 37.2 le matin, Fargo, La Haine, Buffalo 66, The Lighthouse, Gummo, Fire Walk with Me, Clockwork Orange (all of Lynch's and Kubrick's filmography for that matter) + Koyaanisqatsi.
Who are your favorite bands and musicians?
The list would be long, but here are some all-time favorites: Pavement, Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, The Birthday Party, Beck, Ween, Psychic Tv, Lou Reed, Pixies, Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, Bob Dylan, Aphex Twin, Alex G.
Tracks you love?
Spotify Playlist: Yentl Touboul
- "Dash Snow" by Dean Blunt
- "Godstar" by Pyschic TV
- "Frontwards (remastered)" by Pavement
- "Dead Finks Don’t Talk" by Brian Eno
- "Loser" by Beck
- "Truckdriving Neighbors Downstairs" by Beck
- "Heliosphan" by Aphex Twin
- "Baby Bitch" by Ween
- "We No Who U R" by Nick Cave & the bad seeds
- "Regalame Esta Noche" by The breeders