Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wild & Scenic Film Festival - Delancey Street Foundation Theater - 10/21/2009

review written by San Francisco Surfrider Member Christy O'Connell

I attended the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Wednesday night, held at the Delancey Center Foundation screening room on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The film festival was started by the South Yuba River Citizens League, SYRCL, a watershed advocacy group based in the Sierra foothills. The event was hosted by two Bay Area non-profits - International Rivers and the Women's Environmental Network. This film festival is the largest of it's kind in the United States. The festival travels from city to city so that a lot of people can see the films and hear their messages.

The Wednesday night San Francisco event was emceed by Michelle Chan, host of KPFA's radio program "Terra Verde." "Terra Verde" is a live public affairs program that investigates and analyzes environmental issues from a global perspective. The festival screened 11 films which varied from animation shorts to documentary style flicks.

The turnout was a variety of WEN members and pro-environment, Bay area folks. The Surfrider Foundation was one of five organizations co-sponsoring the event. (Our San Francisco Chapter's logo appeared in the film festival program.) Our table was shared with The Greywater Alliance.

I has the opportunity to learn more about greywater systems and how they can benefit homeowners. However, the purpose of the festival was to bring awareness to many topics covered by each film.

A few examples of flicks ranged from a clever animation about animals in the zoo, to how coal is ruining the Appalachian region of West Virginia's residents, pollution infecting the largest wetlands ecosystem in Puerto Rico, to one man's dutiful efforts to save the endangered Lora sea turtles from extinction.

This particular film, "Papa Tortuga" was extremely heart-warming. It followed Fernado from Tecolutla, Vera Cruz, Mexico on his daily chores of saving Lora sea turtle eggs from poachers and relocating them to safe nests til they are ready to hatch. He has a team of volunteers and has promoted his efforts through education. He invites local and distant school children to be a part of the annual release of 30, 000 baby sea turtles into the great big ocean.

photo: Children releasing the turtles

Check out the "Papa Tortuga" trailer --

It is quite remarkable to witness how one man's efforts have dramatically affected the life span of this ancient species of turtles.

photo: Papa Tortuga

It just goes to show you, that one person really can make a difference. Personally, I am going to follow-up on the mission and progress these films are promoting. They certainly have opened my eyes to environmental crises that are existing in a variety of national and international locations due to human consumerism.

Thanks to Karolo Aparicio of International Rivers who coordinated our Chapter's participation in the festival!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kapakahi - Great American Music Hall - 9/30/2009

photo: Kapakahi @ Cafe Du Nord, June 28, 2009. Flickr photographer joesuave.

by Nick Arlas, San Francisco Volunteer

Neel and I rolled down to Slim's on September 30th to catch three reggae bands that are building larger fanbases at every show they play. Kapakahi, Philly based group The Movement, and DC-based SOJA rounded out the lineup that kept the audience stirring it up until close to 1am. The Movement, a talented 4-piece group, got the crowd going early with harmonizing vocals/rhymes combined with an excellent blend of electric reggae-rockin' guitars, bass, and irie beats. Local group Kapakahi followed with a high energy set that left the the crowd amping for the headliners SOJA to come on stage. After much anticipation, SOJA stepped up and got the crowd immediately singing their subtle lyrics and dancing to songs with a dub and traditional reggae feel. On the outreach side, we were able to spread the word about Surfrider Music Outreach Program to some future volunteers, as well as pass out a few beach clean-ups schedules-thanks to Hillary for the help. SOJA and Artist Chris Pederson also helped us out by placing a stack of schedules at their tables. Pederson's work is 100% epic surfscape fantasies and you can check it out at

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Searching For Michael Peterson" & Music by Beau Young - The Victoria Theatre - 10/7/09

On Wednesday, October 7th the San Francisco Chapter had an outreach table at a surf film and music event at the historic Victoria Theatre in the Mission District of San Francisco. The theatre, built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, is now a city landmark and the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco.

110 event attendees watched a film by Australian Jolyon Hoff called "Searching for Michael Peterson" and heard music performed by Australian Beau Young.

Surfer Magazine has named Michael Peterson one of the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time.

The film's website states that in 1977, in front of 20,000 people, Michael Peterson beat future 4 times world champion Mark Richards to win the first event of the surfing world tour. It was his last competition and he was only seen occasionally until 1983 when he was arrested in a 15-car police chase from Coolangatta to Brisbane. He never surfed again and, after years in Boggo Road goal, he was finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

photo: Michael Peterson @ Sunset Beach, 1975. By Dan Merkel.

This film beautifully tells his story. The Australian tour had 22 sell out shows through March & April this year, and recently premiered in the USA at the NY Surf Film Festival. The NY Surf Film Festival has a nice interview with director Jolyon Hoff, here.

We really appreciated the tour's invitation to have our Chapter at the event. Jolyon wore one of our Chapter's t-shirts on stage when he did the film's introduction, and gave us a shout out!

Australian singer/songwriter and former 2 x World Longboard Champion Surfer (2000, 2003) Beau Young opened the evening with a 45 minute performance on the stage where the film would be shown later that night. Beau's first album "Waves of Change" was released in Australia and Japan in 2005, debuting at #13 on the independent charts in Australia, and then reaching #10 in the following weeks. Beau's second album, “One Step at a Time”, came out last year.

Beau also gave our Chapter a shout-out from the stage, during his performance.

This video interview with Beau features his music.

The film & Beau are currently touring So Cal. You can check out the remainder of their dates, here.

Jolyon, Beau, and Tour Manager Rick Christian all visted our outreach table and talked with us about our Chapter's events and programs, and also promoted our upcoming events from the stage.

Photo: Rick, Jolyon, Beau

Tim, a Surfrider Music Outreach Program volunteer, did a great job capturing attendees attention when they walked in the front door, and were passing by our outreach table.

photo: Tim & I

Tim and I spoke with a lot of Surfrider members, and handed out a lot of our Beach Cleanup Schedule Postcards, and got a lot of enthusiastic responses to our invitation to the October 15th Chapter surf film/music event at the Park Chalet. It was a great night!

Thanks to Beau, Jolyon, Rick, and Suzy for inviting us out to the event.