Tuesday,14 Jan 2014


Justin Henderson is responsible for most of the the text on this site. Justin is an established writer, having published six novels as well as many non-fictions and travel guides. When he’s not writing, he’s usually riding waves on a surfboard or a paddleboard in Sayulita or Punta de Mita.


With the first annual Festival Sayulita—the first of many, of this we are certain, for this promises to be an inspired event—just a few days away, we thought it time for one last preview before the opening events.

Festival Sayulita combines film, tequila, fine dining, music, and surf in a way that shows off Sayulita at its best. Our restaurants are offering gourmet meals paired with a selection of fine tequilas. Our local Sayulita Surf Club is putting on a surfing contest/show on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that will be more about fun than competition, and with all kinds of boards involved, it should be a unique and lively event. There are parties aplenty, tequila tastings, live musical performances, and movies, movies, movies of all kinds: 9 documentaries, 5 action sports movies, one animation special, one full length feature—an excellent Australian drama, about surfing, what else?—and 11 short features.

The short features promise to be particularly worth watching, in my book, for it is here, in their early, lower-budget, less-complicated films that many a great film maker has found a style and made his or her beginning as an auteur. I’m sure many if not all of these 11 ambitious writers and/or directors, and possibly cast members as well, will go on to bigger and better things; this is your chance to see where they began.

The Festival opens on Thursday, January 16th, with a ceremony in the plaza which will include some words, perhaps some shots of tequila, and a folkloric dance performance sponsored by the Nayarit Tourism Board, among other things. This will get the show rolling, and roll it will, with movies slated for four different venues on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The schedule is available at the website, festivalsayulita.com, but even if you aren’t online, you’ll surely be able to find out what’s playing where and when by asking around. You’ll find a link to the festival schedule right here at sayulitabeach.com as well.

And if you haven’t got tickets, don’t worry. A few tickets at all levels except VIP are still available, and better still, all of the movies at two of the four venues are absolutely free. That’s right. No ticket, no problem. You can bring a blanket, sit on the beach, and watch movies for free. Same goes for the movies showing at the Casa Cultura downtown. The other two venues—the Ejido office building and Don Pedro’s Palapa—are for paid ticket holders, so if you want to visit those venues, hit the website and get your tickets. They are not expensive, you’ll be entertained, and you’ll be supporting our local festival and the arts in general. Go for it!

Friday night’s dinner pairings, at local restaurants Miravino, Sayulita Public House, Los Afortunados, Calypso, and Don Pedro’s, will mix and match fine tequila with fine food; Saturday night’s event at the Palapa will include high end gourmet appetizers whipped up by local star chefs paired with tequila tastings, followed by, what else, a movie.

On Sunday, wrapping things up, there will be an 11 a.m. brunch, complete with an awards ceremony recognizing the outstanding films shown in the festival.

This will surely be the first of many Festivals Sayulita to come. We hope everybody in town will make time to see at least a few of these films, taste a few of these tequilas, enjoy some great food, and join the party.