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Action Sports Film Series at NB Film Fest

04.18.19

Action sports enthusiasts are in for an exciting time, when the 20th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival screens its Action Sports Film Series presented by Vans. It's an international showcase of films celebrating athletes, visionaries, filmmakers, cinematographers, pioneers and designers who have shaped the action sports culture and cultivated its progression with their innovation, energy, and creativity.

The Newport Beach Film Festival Action Sports Film Series takes place from April 25 – May 2, fittingly in Orange County, celebrated as the epicenter of the surfing and skateboarding industry, and a great place to experience exhilarating, cutting-edge adventure on the big screen.

Films will screen at Regency Lido Theater, THE LOT in Fashion Island, Edwards Big Newport, and Triangle Square Cinemas.

The Action Sports Film Series offers filmgoers an opportunity to experience breathtaking cinematography, fascinating cultural journeys, in-depth portrayals and compelling stories that explore the physical, emotional, historical and spiritual realms of surfing, skateboarding, skiing, kayaking, and other extreme sports. The series will spotlight sixteen films from around the world and will feature interactive filmmaker panels, post-parties, athlete guest appearances, autograph signings and the participation of action sports industry leaders.

On Saturday, April 27 at 8:15 p.m. the Festival will present the World Premiere of The Tony Alva Story at the Lido Theater. Written and directed by Rick Charnoski and Coan "Buddy" Nichols of Six Stair Productions, The Tony Alva Story chronicles the life of 61-year-old Tony Alva who is considered by many to be the godfather of modern-day skateboarding. Alva’s brand of aggression and bravado paved the way for skating as we know it. An interactive panel featuring skateboard legend Tony Alva, Jeff Grosso, and directors Rick Charnoski and Coan "Buddy" Nichols will follow the screening. “Nobody really knows the oldest age for a professional skateboarder because there haven’t been very many old professional skateboarders,” professional skateboarder, Tony Alva in 1979. The Vans produced short film Love Letter to China will screen with the Alva documentary.

Following the screening, the Newport Beach Film Festival and VANS will host the Saturday Night Spotlight Celebration at Via Lido Plaza at 10 p.m. The event will feature a hosted bar by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a DJ and culinary tastings from local restaurants.

On Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m., the Festival will host the North American Continental Premiere screening of Heavy Water. Directed by Michael Oblowitz, the film follows big wave surfer Nathan Fletcher through the evolution of his surfing and his relationship with big waves. A Q&A with director Michael Oblowitz will follow the screening.

The Festival will screen two films from South Africa, Can’t Steal Our Vibe and Satori. Directed by Graham Nash, Can’t Steal Our Vibe tells the story of a life-changing surfboard drive in South Africa featuring pro surfers Patrick, Dane, and Tanner Gudauskas, and South African pro-Michael February. This passionate documentary follows these influential surfers to Cape Town, South Africa on a journey to inspire youth in impoverished townships across South Africa. “You know you give someone a surfboard, it can change their life forever, there something incredibly special just feeling the energy that’s transferring through this movement in connecting each other in worlds apart,’ stated Dane Gudauskas, Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation Co-founder.  Directed by Rick Wall, the surf documentary Satori follows a group of passionate surfers who have dedicated their lives to the ocean and riding the huge waves on the shores of picturesque Cape Town, South Africa.

The Action Sports Film Series digs into historical archives and ventures behind the scenes of the sport of surfing to chronicle the photographers, cinematographers and board shapers who have helped to influence and advance the progression of the sport. A film about innovators compiled of never-before-seen footage from surfing’s Golden Age, Spoons- A Santa Barbara Story directed by Wyatt Daily will screen as part of the program. When Renny Yater and George Greenough made surfboards for one of the best waves on earth, they helped kickstart a revolution and influence generations of surfers and shapers. Directed by Brent Storm, White Rhino follows a team of professional big wave surfers and photographers as they chase down what could be the biggest surf ever seen, but what they find is much more than that.

Five films in the Action Sports Film Series spotlight top women athletes. Bethany Hamilton is rewriting the rules on being a fearless athlete. Directed by Aaron Lieber, Unstoppable tells the untold story of the heart of a champion and her resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers of our time. Directed by Finding the Line tells the story of Olympian and X Games Slopestyle champion Anna Segal and her Freeride World Tour, big mountain skiing sister, Nat Segal, use their skiing to understand the fear and how it manifests in the two siblings’ lives. The short documentary Paige follows Paige Alms the best female big wave surfer on the planet, as she surfs the biggest waves in the world while being an inspiration to the next generation. Faces of Adventure: Michelle Steilen aka Estro Jen follows quad skater Michelle Steilen over the course of three days, looking at her passion for the sport that changed her life. We Are Epic chronicles six female cyclists who were chosen via an Instagram contest to become the Liv Trail Squad and complete the ABSA Cape Epic--regarded as the world's hardest mountain bike stage race.

The program will feature a documentary about kayaking, a popular recreational sport in Newport Beach. Directed by Michael Brown and featuring Erik Weihenmayer, The Weight of Water follows the adventure of a blind kayaker balancing fear in the chaos of kayaking white water rapids . . . not to mention drowning, and the powerful desire to be free from a prison of darkness, as he kayaks the Grand Canyon with a cast of characters who each have a different take on how to approach the challenge of Lava Falls, the granddaddy rapid of them all.

Filmed in Huntington Beach, Surfing Circle of Honors for Surfers by Surfers tells the story of a local surf community participating in The Guinness World Record event for the largest recorded paddle out, a feat that required overcoming challenges while pursuing dreams. This "It Takes A Village" story demonstrates the power of teamwork.

Rounding out the program, two short films in the Action Sports Film Series depict adventures in the ocean and the mountains. As the cracks in our society spread, Beyond the Noise follows two surfers as they seek refuge in the vastness of the ocean, away from the deafening clamor of humankind. From the backcountry of Japan to British Columbia, Holy Shit. That Was Ten Years?! takes you on a snowboarder's dream winter tour.

The Action Sports Film Series is supported by Community Partners including John Wayne Cancer Foundation (Block the Blaze Campaign), Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, Surfrider Newport Beach, Ben Carlson Memorial & Scholarship Foundation, and Makapo Aquatics Project.

For Festival passes, tickets and information, visit NewportBeachFilmFest.com.



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