'Waveriders' US Première at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Time & Date: 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th January 2009
Venue: Arlington theatre, Santa Barbara, USA

The US Première of the feature documentary `Waveriders’ will take place at the 24th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Wednesday, January 28th 2009 at 7:30pm in the historic 2,500 capacity Arlington theatre. The event will be attended by surfers Chris, Keith & Dan Malloy, Kelly Slater (World Champion) Gabe Davis and the documentary co-writer Lauren Davies. Director Joel Conroy and Producer Margo Harkin will present the film and take part in a question and answer session. A second screening date has been announced for Friday 30th January at 1.00pm in the Metro 4, Theatre 1.

`Waveriders’ had its world première at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2008 where it won the Audience Award for Best Film and was critically acclaimed. The film has recently been nominated for two Irish Film and Television Academy Awards in the categories of Best Feature Documentary and Best Sound. (The awards ceremony will take in Dublin, Ireland on 14th February 2009). The distribution rights in Ireland and UK have recently been acquired by Element Pictures Distribution, Ireland. `Waveriders’ will be released in Cinemas across Ireland and UK on April 3rd 2009.

The film explores the little known story of George Freeth, the son of an Irishman, who re-introduced the ancient Polynesian art of wave riding in Hawaii in the early 20th century after it had been stamped out by missionaries. By the time of his untimely death at the age of 35 he was renowned for his legendary skills as a surfer and lifeguard. Waveriders pays fulsome tribute to Freeth’s forgotten legacy and explores the wave of influence he created for surfers everywhere down the years. The unlikely Irish connection to the worldwide phenomenon of surfing comes full circle as we see skilled Irish and British surfers link up with world champion Kelly Slater, soul surfer Kevin Naughton and the renowned Malloy brothers to ride some of the most exciting surf ever seen in Ireland. The film reaches a spectacular climax when surfers ride a monster wave reaching heights of over 50’ off the coast of Mullaghmore in Sligo.

`Waveriders’ is a co-production between Inís Films based in Dublin, Ireland and Besom productions based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It was directed by Joel Conroy, produced by Margo Harkin, narrated by Cillian Murphy, written by Lauren Davies and Joel Conroy with Daniel Trapp as Director of Photography. It features Richard Fitzgerald, Gabe Davies, Kelly Slater, Chris, Keith and Dan Malloy, Rabbit Kekai, Kevin Naughton, Craig Peterson, Drew Kampion, Arthur Verge, Andy Hill, Alastair Mennie, Easkey Britton and John McCarthy. The film was financed by the European Union through the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the ICBAN Partnership, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland with the participation of Bord Scannán na hÉireann / The Irish Film Board.

SBIFF: sbigg.org
Waveriders Film Website: waveridersthemovie.com

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