Lights, Cameras, Action Sports at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival
April 20, 2009


Brace yourself guys, I’ve got an s-load of information to share. Let’s start with the vitals:

WHAT: The 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) is proud to announce its Action Sports Film Series.

WHEN: April 24-30, 2009

WHERE: The Regency Lido Theater at 3459 Via Lido Drive and at Edwards Island Cinema, located at 999 Newport Center Drive in Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

For the big breakdown on the WHY and HOW, keep reading:

Sponsored by FUEL TV, SURFING Magazine and Etnies, and co-produced by ChopShop, Orange County’s leading action sports and lifestyle production company, the Festival’s Action Sports Film Series will spotlight twenty films from around the world, including documentary, narrative, animated and short films.

The Action Sport Film Series will kick off on Friday, April 24 at 6:00 pm with its presentation of the Irish surf film Waveriders at the Regency Lido Theater. On Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 pm at the Regency Lido Theater, the NBFF will present the Festival world premiere of Berkela Film’s new film Street Dreams starring Rob Dyrdek, Paul Rodriguez and Ryan Sheckler. The Festival will also present the world premieres of Echo Beach, a local OC-produced film portraying the emergence of surf culture in Newport Beach in the 1980’s, Billabong’s new wakeboard film Out of the Pond and Harley-Davidson’s road adventure film Steezy Riders. On Thursday, April 30 at 6:00 pm at the Regency Lido Theater, the NBFF will host the world premiere of Brent Meeske and Ryan Casey’s latest film The Glacier Project, a stunning surf glacier documentary shot in Alaska, featuring big wave surf champions Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala, as the finale of the 2009 Action Sports Film Series.


Beyond the Dream: The Joey Buran Story (2008, USA, 58 min)
Director: Matt Katsolis, Nic McLean
Cast: Joey Buran, Tom Curren, Jennifer Buran, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, David Barr,
Legendary professional surfer Joey Buran rose up from his humble Carlsbad, California origins to become one of the sport’s greatest athletes. In 1984 he won the highly coveted Pipeline Master’s Championship, but it left him feeling unfulfilled and depressed, ultimately leading to a suicide attempt. However, Buran’s rise to fame, fall into obscurity and comeback a decade later, lead to his discovery of his life’s true purpose.

Clay Marzo: Just Add Water (2008, USA, 40 min)
Director: Jamie Tierney
Have you ever loved something so much that life is unbearable without it? Clay Marzo does. His passion forsurfing is so pure it defies description. In the ocean Clay is super-human. He easily destroys the waves of Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, France, Spain and Australia with his wildly creative surfing. Legendary surfers from around the world attest to his talent. Clay achieves all of this as he comes to understand the gifts and challenges of living with Asberger’s Syndrome.

Echo Beach (2008, USA, 50 min) World Premiere
Director: Jeff Parker
Screenwriter: Jeff Parker, Stefan Jeremias
Cast: Danny Kwock, Preston Murray, John Gothard, Jeff Parker, Bob McKnight, Shawn Stussy, Peter Schroff
In the 1980’s, Newport Beach, California spawned a new era of high performance surfing and DIY entrepreneurship. This established Orange County as the focal point of the surf industry and a worldwide influence on youth culture. Surfers from different backgrounds and interests fused together, creating a unique look and revolutionary style that gave way to Quiksilver, Stussy, Rip Curl, McCoy and Wave Tools. Flashy wetsuits, colorful surfboards, and a new wave attitude created a surfing Mecca that impacted the worldwide surfing community. Photographers, surfers, surfboard shapers, magazines and clothing companies all came together to create this movement, whose epicenter was a one hundred yard stretch of sand known as Echo Beach.

The Glacier Project (2009, USA, 56 min) World Premiere
Director: Brent Meeske, Ryan Casey
Screenwriter: Ryan Casey
Cast: Garrett McNamara, Kealii Mamala, Ryan Casey
In the summer of 2007, two big wave surf champions, Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala traveled to the ‘wilds’ of Alaska to attempt an almost unimaginable feat. Their mission was to surf a wave unlike any that had been surfed before… a wave produced by a glacier. If they succeed, it will be a historic ‘first’ in surfing, opening new ideas to what is truly possible; failure could their mean death. This awe-inspiring documentary shows the trials, tribulations, and the drama that unfolds as two men face an incredible force of nature and show what can be achieved when the power of the human spirit and personal determination come together as they did in that Summer of 2007.

Havana Surf (2008, Spain / USA, 51 min)
Director / Screenwriter: Rodrigo Diaz McVeigh
Cast: Bob Samin, Eduardo Nunez Valdes, Brayam Ramirez Garcia, Yuniel Valderrama Martinez, Francisco Valderrama Martinez, Humberto Rodriguez, Yaima Espinosa Martinez, Roberto Diaz, Ramon Gomez Carla.

They call themselves Havana Surf and have helped the evolution of surfing in Cuba. Legendary Australian surfer Bob Samin and his brotherhood of surfers overcome the struggles created by the fifth year old embargo. They ingeniously make their boards, leashes, and wax out of junk like refrigerator insulation, cork walls from closed down fisheries, and old tables. The ease of travel restrictions allows five of the surfers to go on the road trip of their lives; discovering their country in a camper and hitting its best surf spots.

Hermanos 2 (2009, Argentina / Costa Rica /Mexico, 39 min) North American Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Mateo Rojas
Cast: Martin Passeri, Diego Naranjo, Kalle Carranza, Gabriel Escudero, Magnum Martinez
Covering the main beaches of the Latin American continent, local surfers encounter the common conflicts that arise in these regions. Showcasing the customs, values, and identities of each country, the film inspires us to reflect on the need to protect the culture and environment of Latin America.

Looking Thru The B-Sides (2008, Animation, USA, 7 min.)
Director: Saiman Chow, Sean Dougherty
Follow the adventures of a skater named ‘Ollie’ as he is off on a quest to find his lost skateboard. What starts off as a casual trip to the skate park, turns into a wild trip down the rabbit hole and ends up in a way that Alice in Wonderland could never imagine. What trip would be complete without a butt-chinned painter, skating underwear, and bacon to grind on? Part adventure, part love story, always ready for the unexpected.

The Lost Wave (2007, USA, 58 min)
Director: Paul Taublieb, Sam George, Sam Boyer
Cast: Sam George, Holly Beck, Joe Curren
Joined by pro surfers Holly Beck and Joe Curren, surf historian Sam George returns to the country of São Tomé, a remote island off the west coast of Africa. The original West African wave-riding paradigm has melded with the more contemporary one introduced to them by Sam six years earlier. The sport of surfing flourishes with ease in an island nation with a tortured past of slavery and colonial abandonment.

The Massive (2008, USA/ Canada /Austria, 40 min)
Director: Constantine Papanicolaou
Cast: Tanner Hall, Sean Pettit, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh, Sammy Carlson, Ian Provo, Neal Provo, Frank Raymond, Sean Field, Christ Turpin, Tom Burt, Karl the Gnarl
Follow Tanner Hall, Sean and Callum Pettit, Ian McIntosh, Dana Flahr, Sammy Carlson, Ian and Neal Provo, Sean
Field, Frank Raymond, Tom Burt and Karl the Gnarl, (the crew known as “The Massive”) from the super-pipe at Copper Mountain to the powder of Retallack, BC. Go from the urban assault on Salt Lake City to the brutal heat wave in St. Anton, Austria. The action continues from the heavy slo-roast in Pemberton BC to the bluebird crushfest in Haines Alaska. They bring it all home with an end of the year jam at Mt Hood, Oregon.

Out of the Pond (2009, USA, 40 min) World Premiere
Director: Chris Heffner
Cast: Brian Grubb, Shawn Watson, Danny Harf, Chad Sharpe, Erik Ruck, Kevin Henshaw
Follow the Billabong Wake Team around the globe as they examine the definition of wakeboarding. But in examining that definition, they push its boundaries. The Billabong Team, and their friends, take the sport of wakeboarding to new levels by taking influences from other board sports, including skating, snowboarding, and surfing. Watch them go from crazy big spillways in the Philippines, to the Hard Rock pool in Las Vegas. Along the way, they discover a variety of creative ways to ride a wakeboard without a boat; from night-time rail shoots in downtown Orlando to wall riding the bus at the Projects. Before it’s all over, they get behind the boat to show us that they are still the best in the world at wake to wake as well.

Red Bull X-Fighters: Unleashed (2008, Ireland / Mexico /Spain, USA, 80 min)
Director / Screenwriter: Jeffrey Pakosta
Cast: Ronnie Renner, Travis Pastrana, Robbie Maddison
The best freestyle motocross riders in the world face off in an international competition to see who will be crowned the world’s champion. These FMX athletes risk their lives competing in one of today’s most dangerous sports. In this competition alone, athletes show off the sport’s best fly high for 42,000 fans at Plaza del Toros in Mexico City; 70-foot back-flip combos against the picturesque Slane Castle in Dublin, Ireland; and in Madras, Spain, they give us a super-whip off of the sickest quarter pipe in FMX competition. No other event in the world combines FMX competition and performance at some of the most unique locations on earth.

The Ripple Effect (2009, USA, 34 min)
Director: Brendan Kiernan, Frank Pickell
Cast: Wallace Westfeldt, Chris Davenport, Gretchen Bleiler, Pat Sewell, Will Cardamone, Kate Cardamone
Set in the heart of Colorado during one of the deepest winters on record, this documentary chronicles an eclectic group of homegrown athletes as they find meaning and expression through a common connection to their surroundings. An action-driven homage to Colorado’s snow-covered Elk Range, this documentary explores loss and affirmation and has emerged as the definitive meditation on life in the mountains.

Steezy Riders (2009, USA, 30 min) World Premiere

Follow professional snowboarders turned Harley-Davidson enthusiasts Jeremy Jones, JP Walker, Seth Huot, Aaron Bittner, Jon Kooley and others on an odyssey that took them on a 2,000 mile journey across the western United States. The Steezy Riders’ adventure went from Salt Lake to Las Vegas and continued west to Bear Mountain, Mammoth Mountain and Northstar, north of Lake Tahoe. The film depicts Jeremy, Seth and Aaron as the tour veterans, with experience riding and customizing their Harleys.

Street Dreams (2008, USA, 90 min) World Premiere
Director: Chris Zamoscianyk
Screenwriter: Nino Scalia, Elisa Delson, Rob Dyrdek
Cast: Rob Dyrdek, Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, Terry Kennedy, Ryan Dunn, Yancey Arias
Skateboarder Derrick Cabrera dreams of being sponsored one day. Talented as he is, some major roadblocks stand in the way of his dream. He is failing in school, his girlfriend thinks he is a loser and his best friend has become his
rival. Things come to a head after Derrick gets arrested, fights his father and runs away from home. Alone with few options left he decides to follow his dream to the Tampa Am contest, one of the only ways an unknown skater can get noticed.

Swift Silent Deep (2008, USA, 86 min)
Director: Jon Klaczkiewicz
Cast: Warren Miller, Scot Schmidt, Doug Coombs
A group of rag tag ski bums chronicle their rise to the pinnacle of the modern extreme skiing movement and portray their contribution to the beginning of the United State’s ski industry. This is the story of skiing’s rebel spirit, a counter culture personified by the Jackson Hole Air Force through their pursuit of freedom, adventure and a romantic lifestyle totally committed to skiing.

That’s It That’s All (2008, New Zealand /USA / Canada /Japan /Germany / Tahiti, 60 min)
Director: Curt Morgan
Cast: Travis Rice, Mark Landvik, Nicolas Muller, Terje Haakonsen, Jeremy Jones, Scotty Lago, John Jackson
Dedicated to everything snowboarding, Travis Rice and a dream team crew set out on a seek-and-destroy operation for the new zone, the new trick and the new perspective on the sport. New Zealand, Valdez, B.C., Munich, Tokyo, Jackson Hole and deeper, this film aspires to show why Rice and his friends have poured blood, sweat, tears and soul into a simple thing like snowboarding.

Tougher Than Iron (2008, USA, 60 min)
Director: Rich Van Every
Cast: Taddy Blazusiak, Geoff Aaron,Chris Birch
Enter a world in Central Austria where 1300 riders put themselves through an agonizing thrill ride of physical and mental endurance on a dirt bike. Their opponent is the Iron Giant… an ominous and dangerous iron mine that offers the most ridiculous and challenging terrain known to man. With hands aching, legs burning, jaws clenching and heat exhaustion, only the strong can truly survive. This documentary is a non-stop, in your face, account of the Erzberg Rodeo – the toughest single-day motocross race in the world.

WaterMan (2008, USA, 45 min)
Director: Don King, Sonny Miller, Jeff Hornbaker
Screenwriter: Susan Casey, M. Scott Mortensen
Cast: Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado, Chris Malloy, Keith Malloy, and Dan Malloy.
Join Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez and Rob Machado, along with Chris, Keith and Dan Malloy as they venture into the heart of Indonesia to a hidden paradise of colossal barrels and perfect waves. Take a boat trip with these influential surfers as they bodysurf, paddle surf, hydrofoil, stand up surf and tow surf in the Indian Ocean. Venture with them beyond the shallows of the surf culture and into a deeper shade of blue.

Waveriders (2008, Ireland/ United Kingdom, 80 min)

Director / Screenwriter: Joel Conroy

Cast: Gabe Davies, Richard Fitzgerald, Chris Malloy, Keith Malloy, Dan Malloy, Kelly Slater, Kevin Naughton, Drew Kampion, Rabbit Kekai, Craig Peterson, Easkey Britton
This film is a feature documentary on the spectacular nature of surfing in Ireland. This cross border film showcases the world class surfing destinations available off the North West coast which are now attracting the best international surfers to the island. A distinguished surfing cast is seen, and an unexpected local connection to the origins of this most sublime of sports is revealed.

5’5 X 19 1/4 Redux (2008, USA, 90 min)
Director: Mike Reola
In the winter of ’96/’97, while everyone was riding 6’1″ thrusters featuring Slater’s elf shoe rocker and long before the “retro fish” craze, two kids attacked the North Shore and beyond on 5’5″ twin fins. A collection of 12 years of surf footage from the best surfers in the world on boards under five and a half feet, the film features Chris Ward, Aaron Cormican and Mason Ho pushing their short boards to their limits, with sections from Dane Reynolds, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Luke Davis, Ryan Carlson and Mr. Sl9ter. Check out Cory Lopez and Ian Walsh on the wave Surfer Magazine called “the holy grail” of surf scores.