Surfing South America SBIFF

Surfing South America

by Emma Zavala

During the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival, there was a special screening of three short films about surfing. Each of the films were about how surfers were/are raising awareness for different important causes related to the sport.

The first film, Thank You Surf Again, was about a foundation called Surf For Life helping out in different countries. The film featured children in Nicaragua that do not go to school because the school is too far and the children have to help out with their families. Surfers with the foundation went to Nicaragua to help build closer schools for these children. The second part of this film was about another group of surfers with the foundation going to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. This group helped in the community and rebuilt day-cares. Over all, this film was about the impact that surfers and everyday people can make.

Double Barrel, the second film in the series of three, was much more surf oriented. This film was about a woman, Angie Davis, who moved from Japan to Australia after the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. After moving, she visited Peru for a surf trip. Even though it was just meant to be a surf trip, she realized that she had a chance to save the surf spot. Peru at this time had been dealing with oil troubles and needed sustainable development. Davis then helps the locals of Lobitos, Peru with development and tourism struggles as well as working with the oil factor to save this surf spot. When a price is put on the waves, the government realized how important it was to protect them.

Lastly, the film The Fisherman’s Son aired. This film follows a Chilean man named Ramon Navarro throughout his surf story. Navarro came from a long line of fisherman in Chile and has had generations of his ancestors living along the coast. He discovers surf at a young age. When he gets discovered as a surfer and moves to Hawaii, he has nothing but $100 dollars. This film shows his journey from being a small Chilean boy to one of the top ten big wave surfers in the world. Surfing Waimea Bay, Pipeline, Back Door, and Off the Wall everyday pushed him to be in the Eddie Aikau competition in Waimea Bay. He won the title and started using his fame to preach about the environment. He fights to stop development in Chile and stop the usage of sewage pipes leading into the ocean. Over all, this film shows the course of a fisherman’s life to becoming a world class surfer and environmental activist.

These three short films projected the voices of environmental-activist surfers who brought their passion into the world and put themselves to good use.

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