Out of the Pond, Echo Beach Mark World Premieres Tonight
Two films make their world premieres at the Regency Lido Theatre tonight as part of the Newport Beach Film Festival's 2009 Action Sports Film Series.
First, at 6:15 p.m., it's Out of the Pond, Irvine-based, action-sports clothier Billabong USA's new film from director Chris Heffner that follows the company's wakeboarding team around the globe, from crazy big spillways in the Philippines to the Hard Rock Hotel pool
in Las Vegas to rails in Orlando, Fla.--at midnight. Among those who appear in the documentary are Brian Grubb, Shawn Watson, Danny Harf, Chad Sharpe,
Erik Ruck and Kevin Henshaw. Heffner, Grubb and Henshaw also participate in a post-screening Q&A with the audience moderated by Jim Kempton, Billabong's director of media.
Sadly, the 7:30 p.m. screening of Echo Beach is sold out. Well, probably not sadly if you are the filmmakers or the festival organizers, but . . . you know. Echo Beach is director Jeff Parker's look at the 100-yard stretch of Newport Beach sand that's credited as being the spawning ground for the explosive growth of surf culture and the action-sports industry in the 1980s. Surfers, photographers, board shapers, magazine publishers and future execs from such companies as Quiksilver, Stussy, Rip Curl, McCoy and Wave Tools all considered Echo Beach their epicenter. Danny Kwock, Preston Murray, John Gothard, Bob McKnight, Shawn Stussy and Peter Schroff are among those who appear in the film. Scheduled to attend the screening and participate in a post-Q&A are Parker, his co-screenwriter and producer Stefan Jeremias, sound man Geoff Harrington, editor Mark Whittledge, Kwock, Murray, Gothard, McKnight, Schroff, Mark McGrath, Bob Hurley, Jeff Yokoyama, Richie Collins, Andrew Doheny and Josh Hoyer.
Immediately following is an art show featuring paintings, photographs, surfboards and other items from the era the doc takes place in beginning at 9 p.m. at Sideways Wine and Sake,
501 31st St., Unit B, Newport Beach.
Other action-sports films and shorts pepper the remainder of the festival's schedule, which you can find here. One that sounds particularly interesting is the action-sports finale, The Glacier Project, which also makes its world premiere at the Lido on closing night, Thursday, at 6 p.m. Brent Meeske and Ryan Casey's documentary looks at a new type of surfing--on he waves created as glaciers melt and break off in Alaska. Big wave riding champions Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala appear in the film.