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X-Dance Film Festival: Day 2

Yesterday wrapped up another wonderful day at X-Dance. The obvious highlight of the day was the screening for That’s It That’s All. I was especially stoked to see it on the big screen and apparently I’m not the only one as it was literally standing room only with people stacked out the doors.

There were also plenty of other good films throughout the day that you can read about below.

Whitewash is a documentary that aims to tell the story of the history of black surfers. I made a special point to show up for this screening as I had met one of the producers that night before that sold me on the storyline of this film, which did an exceptional job detailing not only the history of black surfers but black aquatics all around. Add to that, narration by Ben Harper and a soundtrack by The Roots, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a compelling movie. I honestly have never given much thought to the state of black surfers and maybe that’s just because I don’t really look at it as a black and white issue, instead as either a surfer or non surfer. Or maybe it’s just not something I am consciously looking for. I’m sure I will be now though. One thing that really stood out about this movie was that the director is actually white. When asked what the inspiration for the film was he attributed it to the way he was raised, calling his family “socially conscious”. The director also said the inspiration was to “explore the complexity of race through the eyes of the ocean.”

Storm Surfers
Pretty much from the start of this movie I was thinking, this is going to end up as a show on Discovery Channel, guaranteed. You could just tell by the way Storm Surfers was made and it was confirmed by Ross Clarke-Jones who said it’s actually already been airing on Discovery Asia Pacific. That’s not a bad thing. The movie was actually really really good. It follows Ross Clarke-Jones and fellow nut-case, Tom Carroll, as they set out to surf a gnarly big wave in Tasmania that’s never been surfed before. I am telling you, these guys are absolutely nuts and it was super enjoyable to watch them and their energy as they tracked this beast. Especially Ross, he’s on a whole other level of nuts. The wave actually turned out to be a little disappointing but the adventure and science behind it all, made for a compelling show anyways. It was awesome that Ross made it all the way out for this screening and had some great stories to tell. Like getting smacked by the lip of a gnarly wave that’s left him sidelined for the last 3 months. They’re also after a new wave in BC they found on Google maps, but I’m not going to be the one to out the name of it. Oh, and to attest to Ross’s nutty-ness… He actually said he likes falling on big waves and compared it to the excitement of a ride at the amusement park. Umm, sure thing.

Hunting Yeti
Hunting Yeti is a ‘break from the norm of pro athletes hitting jump after jump with contrived lifestyle segments, and communicates what ski culture is and the community it creates.’ We’ve actually been following the Hunti Yeti webisodes since last winter when they first starting airing. The number one thing that stood out about this movie to me was the soundtrack. Awesome song selections and order that flowed from stop to finish. Add to that the timeless styles of Eric Pollard, Chris Benchleter, Pep Fujas, and Andy Mahre and you’re pretty much on point for a ski movie that will be watched again, and again, and again. Great mix of freestyle and backcountry skiing.

If you put Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado, Dave Kalama, and the Malloy Brothers on a boat in the Mentawais that’s filled with various wave sliding devices, you’re going to end up with a film filled with flawless barrels, good stories, and plenty of new ways to ride the waves next time conditions aren’t ideal for your standard thruster. I was a little skeptical before I first watched this movie. I guess I just wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Laird being the main guy behind it. I could see it going two ways, either a complete commercial surf movie for the masses or something that true waterman could connect with. It was the latter. Perfect amounts of both epic action and story telling. And when it’s these guys telling the stories, you shut up a listen. What a great reminder of why we love the ocean so much and base our lives around it.

That’s It That’s All
I have so much to say about this screening I am actually going to end up writing a separate post about it. Lets just say that an already mind blowing action sports film is taken to a whole other level when you watch it on the big screen. I invited about 10 friends up to this screening who don’t even snowboard, some of who don’t even participate in action sports, yet, every single one of them could not believe what they were seeing. Travis Rice, Jeremy Jones, Scotty Lago, and Director, Curtis Morgan showed up as well and gave a great Q&A session afterwards. Look for the separate write up in the next day or so that will be filled with some juicy info. I had the chance to have in depth conversation with both Travis and Curtis as well, so I’ll share some of that as well.

That’s It That’s All Party
The night ended with another great party. This time put on by VAS Entertainment and That’s It That’s All. The free booze were flowing and lots of pro athletes were on hand to entertain.

I wish I could write a little more but I’m already late for some of the screenings today. On my way back for another 7 hour marathon session of action sports films. If you’re in the Salt Lake City area and you haven’t been attending the show, you’re missing out. But it’s not too late, we still have two more days of great films so get your ass down to X-Dance at 272 S. Main in Salt Lake.

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Posted by Cameron on Sunday, January 18th, 2009 in Industry.

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