8 Intriguing Surf/Snow/Skate Flicks at the Newport Beach Film Festival

It's hard to say on what “list” (A, B, C or D, etc.) Stoked & Broke director Cyrus Sutton would appear. He's a stellar surfer, a blogging savant and an up-and-coming filmmaker, but chances are if he sauntered down the red carpet at the Newport Beach Film Festival gala with Alana Blanchard on his right arm, Alana would get second looks, and Sutton would just get envious and quizzical stares. 

A large percentage of the action sports world knows Sutton. But the entertainment industry does not. Which is fine. That's why Sutton and directors with similar action sports interests and projects are pleased to have their own separate festival distinction altogether: NBFF's Action Sports Film Series. Some of us in the Weekly office don't care to know about or see any of the films that the movie critics pick, but we do have eight action sports films and documentaries that will have us elbowing for the best seat possible in the coming days. 


All but one (Splinters, May 4, at Lido Theatre) of the screenings for the Action Sports Film Series will take place at Triangle Squares. Check the full screening schedule HERE.

1. At Equilibrium 

Directed by Rene Eckert – Saturday, April 30th at 11 a.m.

Snowboarding in Bulgaria. The sport got a late-start in the Eastern Europe country, but its cultural significance managed to evolve beyond some counter-culture activity, as it's perceived by many North American simpletons.

2. The Baja Wave Document

Directed by Chris Figler – Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m.

Wave-rich Baja California has been under attack by groups that want to remake large chunks of the coastline into harbors and other mega-developments. An alliance of surfers, fisherman and environmentalists have been working to prevent such projects from going through.

3. Castles in the Sky
Directed by Taylor Steele – Sunday, May 1, 2:15 p.m.
From the director of two of the most generationally signifiant surf flicks in recent memory, Momentum and Modern Collective, is yet another attempt to pioneer new surfing frontiers. This time, Taylor Steele took Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and a host of other top surf talents to Vietnam, India, Africa and Iceland.


4. Downhill: The Bill Johnson Story
Directed by Zeke Piestrup – Sunday, May 1, 1 p.m.
American downhill skier Bill Johnson was cocky and brash, but supremely talented. He once said “Everyone else is racing for second place,” which made him unpopular among his competitors and critics. But he backed it up, winning gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics. Then his luck changed for the worse. Until he tried to make a comeback at 40 years old.
5. Eddie's Day
Directed by Nick Carroll – Friday, April 29, 4 p.m.
No other surfing event can match the shock and awe reserved for The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. It's known simply as The Eddie, in surfing circles. It's an event that is dictated by Mother Ocean–“the bay will call the day,” has long been the mantra. Only when the waves at Waimea Bay appear beyond surfable is the event a go. To be invited is an honor; to win it all places one among the all-time greats.
6. On the Grind
Directed by James Cheeks III – Tuesday, May 3, 5:30 p.m.
Skateboarding is not a crime. Skateboarding Saves. According to this documentary, that's exactly the case in particular rough neighborhoods in Long Beach. 


7. Stoked & Broke
Directed by Cyrus Sutton – Tuesday, May 3, 6 p.m.
Two talented surfers, a stack of self-made surfboards, a pair of bamboo rickshaws and a 30 mile walk through San Diego. Proof that adventure is what you make it.
8. Surfing With The Enemy
Directed by Adam Preskill & Scott Braman – Tuesday, May 3, 5:30 p.m.
Surfing in Cuba takes on risks beyond vicious tides, hungry sea life and territorial assholes–a restrictive society that outlaws the sport. A story about a group of Havana surfers trying to make a place for a sport they love.

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