Coast Film Festival showcases action sports and the great outdoors – Orange County Register


From mountains to sea, they have explored, broken down barriers, and achieved incredible feats.

There is the story of the Olympic gold medalist Hawaiian swimmer who helped share the enthusiasm of surfing, a waterman and hero who helped popularize surfing on the mainland, and the story of the curious surfer riding the wave. hitchhiking Laguna Beach that has inspired a wave of surfers looking for exotic places to explore.

There are the women who have faced a wave of gender discrimination in the water and the story of the ancestor of snowboarding who found a way to shred in the snow.

These stories and more will be shown on the big screen as part of this year’s Coast Film Festival at Laguna Beach, which begins Wednesday, November 10 and runs through Sunday, November 14.

“Come curious, come away inspired,” said Ben Warner, co-creator of the unique outdoor-focused festival, now in its third year.

Enich Harris, left, and Ben Warner, co-founders of the Coast Film Festival, now in his third year. The festival, which focuses on action sports and outdoor activities, begins November 10, 2021. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register / SCNG)

Festival films and documentaries will feature a mix of board sports – surfing, skateboarding and snow – as well as other outdoor activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing and environmental concerns.

“It’s never been more important to share these stories of people connected with nature and with each other,” Warner said. “As a community, we can learn through these films and connect with each other on these very important topics. “

For the first time, the film series will be held at the Festival of the Arts, with more feature films, feature films, and indoor and outdoor options, Warner said.

“Some people like to watch a movie in a dark room with full focus, others prefer the outdoor space,” he said.

The festival started three years ago with just 24 films, but has now almost tripled its offering, to 65 this year, and has gone on for one day.

The first night begins with the story of Dick Metz, from Laguna Beach, in “The birth of endless summer: discovery of Cape St. Francis” presented at the Hobie Surf Shop.

Dick Metz, a surfer who inspired the movie Endless Summer, revolutionized surf retail and created the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, is featured in the film “The Birth of The Endless Summer” created by Laguna filmmaker Richard Yelland . (Photo by Jeff Gritchen / SCNG)

The 86-minute film directed by Laguna Beach filmmaker Richard Yelland chronicles how Metz stumbled upon the surf spot in Africa during a three-year hitchhiking adventure that began in 1958 and then returned to tell the discovery to his friend and filmmaker Bruce Brown. Brown’s “Endless Summer”, which followed Metz’s travels, became a worldwide hit, inspiring a generation of adventure seekers to travel the world.

Yelland, a former Laguna Beach lifeguard, set out to tell the untold story of “Endless Summer” and traveled with Metz to South Africa to retrace his steps.

Metz not only returned to tell Brown about his escapades and put Brown in touch with the people he met, but he helped develop surfing in Africa by shipping foam blanks and to Hawaii by setting up the first stores. of surfing.

“It’s such a bigger story than just surfing. Dick is sort of the pioneer of modern surfing, not just the pioneering traveler to surf,” Yelland said. “He had a big hand with all of these things.”

Yelland said he was particularly excited to present his film to a crowd in his hometown. The film had two sold-out screenings when it premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival a few weeks ago.

“I’m really excited. My eyes are crying a bit,” Yelland said. “Growing up here, watching here and the legendary history of the watermen in this town, in a way, that doesn’t just give it credit. to Dick Metz, but to our city as being, without doubt, where it all began. ”

Laguna Beach filmmaker Richard Yelland, who created the film “The Birth of Endless Summer: Discovering Cape St. Francis”, which will be screened on the first and last night of the Coast Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of Yelland)

The film, which will also be screened on the last evening, will be followed by a Q&A with Metz and Yelland.

During the day of Friday, November 12, the film “Torn” will have its premiere in Southern California, directed by Max Lowe about the death of his father, Alex Lowe, in the Himalayas in the 90s.

The evening will feature a mix of mountain biking and rock climbing films, including the west coast premiere of “Dear Rider,” the story of Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards. The film is expected to attract several professional snowboarding athletes to celebrate the man who pioneered the sport, Warner said.

The weekend begins on Saturday with a hike and meditation at 8 am, followed by a short film called “Healed by Nature” and another called “Our Oceans”.

Saturday night’s feature films – themed “Ocean & Surf Culture – include” Girls Can’t Surf, “an Australian-made film focusing on 80s female icons, such as Lisa Andersen, who lives in in San Clemente, Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha and Layne Beachley, who has helped raise the level of female surfing despite gender discrimination.

The flagship film, “Waterman”, presents the story of Duke Kahanamoku, who hoped to popularize modern surfing while facing discrimination because of his dark skin tone during his quest for Olympic gold medals in swimming and later. as he tried to break into Hollywood.

Co-producer Steven Ungerleider, speaking from Hawaii, where the film premiered this week, said it was an important story to tell, especially after surfing’s debut at this year’s Olympics, a vision from Kahanamoku one century ago.

Duke Kahanamoku tandem surfing with Viola Hartman, Corona del Mar, in 1922. COURTESTY SURFING HERITAGE AND CULTURE CENTER

“He was such an important icon, not only in the water and surf arena, but also a decent human being that people admire,” Ungerleider said.

The film tells the story of the surfer who also used his board to save countless lives, including a great rescue off Corona del Mar in Newport Beach, paving the way for modern rescue.

“It’s pretty scary what he did,” Ungerleider said.

The film is narrated by actor Jason Momoa, whose roles include blockbusters such as “Aquaman” and the recent “Dune”.

“He was so kind and so courteous,” Ungerleider said.

Ungerleider reminded Momoa that it was important not only for the history of Kahanamoku, but also to talk about Polynesian culture and the aloha spirit.

The last day of the festival, Sunday November 14, will be dedicated to the ‘Legends of Laguna’, with films such as ‘The Lost Prophets’, a locally created film focused on the Laguna Beach surf scene, narrated by the inventor of Boogie Board, Tom Morey. , who grew up in the quaint seaside town. Morey passed away last month.

Laguna Beach movie legend Greg MacGillivray will present “Grand Canyon Adventure,” narrated by Robert Redford, and talk about the film.

To end the festival, another screening of “Birth of The Endless Summer” and a concert by local musician Matt Costa.

A portion of ticket sales and proceeds will go to related nonprofits, including the Laguna Canyon Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Protect Our Winters and Stoked.org, organizers said, and a $ 1,500 scholarship for a young filmmaker from Laguna Beach will be funded.

For Warner, the goal for the coming years is to make the festival a community event that “resonates with every age group and lifestyle choice.”

“The more you love nature and getting outside,” he said, “the more you’ll want to protect it.”

Information: coastfilmfestival.com