Monday, April 27, 2009

Waveriders and George Freeth

George Freeth, the guy who brought surfing to Southern California (and organized the first life guard service too) hung out around Redondo Beach a lot. That's why a bronze bust of Freeth was mounted at the entrance of the Redondo Beach pier. As I wrote in a post over six months ago, the bust was stolen August 7th. It's still not been recovered.

Now, as the Daily Breeze reports, a prize winning documentary called Waveriders is making the rounds at film festivals--including Santa Barbara's in January, and Newport Beach just last week. The film's become the highest-grossing Irish documentary of all time.

That's right--Irish. George Freeth brought surfing from his native Hawaii to California, but Freeth's father was Irish. Filmmaker Joel Conroy combined Freeth's story with modern day surfers in Ireland riding waves over 50 feet high, showing the full history of Ireland's participation in the sport. And just to be nice, Conroy also had the cast autograph a poster that was auctioned off for $600. The money went into the fund to replace the Freeth bronze in Redondo Beach.

Waveriders Trailer from Waveriders on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, although Waveriders has technically been released just this month, it's not playing anywhere. The official site shows only Ireland locations, and Moviefone doesn't even list the movie. Sorry. Hopefully that will change soon, because I want to see it!

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