PRESENTED BY The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and The San Luis Obispo Collection are excited to announce the 10th Annual Surf Nite in SLO featuring a double feature and filmmaker tribute. The California Premiere of HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF will kick off the evening, followed by the presentation of the Festival’s Spotlight Award to BIG WEDNESDAY writer/director, John Milius, and a screening of BIG WEDNESDAY, introduced by invited cast and crew. It all takes place on Thursday, March 12th at 6:00pm, at the historic Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo. Special guests include legendary surfers Ian Cairns, Peter Townend, Jay Riddle and BIG WEDNESDAY cast members, Gary Busey, William Katt, Lee Purcell, Denny Aaberg (also co-writer), Darrell Fetty and Rick Dano.
HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF is co-directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Greg MacGillivray (FIVE SUMMER STORIES, LIVING SEA, EVEREST, TO THE ARCTIC) and Emmy-winning director Sam George (HAWAIIAN: The Legend of Eddie Aikau), and is the ultimate celebration and dissection of surfing highlighted in Hollywood movies – raising the question for both surfers and non-surfers alike – “will Hollywood ever get it right?”
The feature-length documentary takes a comedic romp through the history of the most famous and recognizable surf films ever made. Through the lens and insights of various movie titans, A-list directors, stars and surf legends alike, the film features Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Stacy Peralta, Gary Busey, Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gerry Lopez, Laird Hamilton, Nia Peeples, Lee Purcell, Peter Townend, Ian Cairns, Greg Noll, Frankie Avalon, the real-life ‘Gidget’ Kathy Kohner and world record holder of the biggest wave ever surfed, Garrett McNamara. HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF features McNamara’s record-setting ride on the gargantuan wave seen for the first time ever in a feature film.
Covering over 50 years of often outlandish but hugely entertaining surfing in cinema, the film tracks the absurd and kitsch early years of surfer portrayals, the evolution of the ultimate surf film cult classic culminating in writer/director John Milius’ BIG WEDNESDAY and modern day attempts to capture the essence and thrill of big wave riding. The yet-to-be-released documentary is produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films, William S. Price III, Lincoln Forrest Phipps and Chris Kobin. Co-director/producer Greg MacGillivray was also intimately involved with BIG WEDNESDAY as the producer of the surfing sequences. The picture is also presented by Americas Film Conservancy, a non-profit founded by producer Oliver Kwon and dedicated to the preservation of film.
After the Festival’s screening of HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF, Greg MacGillivray will present the 4th Annual Spotlight Award to Writer/Director, John Milius. Best known as the screenwriter of iconic and often-quoted movie lines in box office hits APOCALYPSE NOW, DIRTY HARRY, and JAWS, Milius’s passion project was BIG WEDNESDAY. Himself a die-hard surfer, he had dreamed of writing and directing the first narrative surf film that surfers would relate to and embrace. In the process of making the ultimate, big budget surf film, Milius staked his career and reputation on a release that bombed at the box office only to be re-deemed years later as arguably the greatest surf film ever made. Milius also wrote and/or directed other notable films including CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED DAWN and CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. He has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most outrageous and “macho” personalities and was immortalized on screen as the inspiration for the Coen Brothers gun-toting character John Goodman played in THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
Following the award presentation, there will be an intermission and a screening of BIG WEDNESDAY, starring Gary Busey, Jan Michael-Vincent and William Katt. Portraying three young California surfers in the 1960s in this coming-of-age tale, their carefree lives of beaches, girls and waves are interrupted by the Vietnam war, leaving them to wonder if they will survive until “Big Wednesday,” the mythical day when the greatest, cleanest, most transcendent wave of all to appear and be ridden. This iconic film will be introduced by Greg MacGillivray, John Milius, and cast members Gary Busey, William Katt, Lee Purcell, Denny Aaberg, Darrell Fetty, Jay Riddle and Rick Dano.
Other special Surf Nite guests include legendary surfers, Peter Townend and Ian Cairns. Also in attendance: Sam George (HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF writer/ co-director), Randal Kleiser (NORTH SHORE producer), Bruce and Dana Brown, Steve and Beth Woods, Lincoln Phipps & Chris Coban (HDS producers) and more! A BIG WEDNESDAY REUNION After-Party will be hosted by Creeky Tiki in downtown SLO, featuring Saint Archer beer and Head High Wines. Show your festival pass or Surf Nite ticket for appetizers. Click here for tickets, call (805) 546-3456 or stop by our Festival HQ (click here for hours.)
Surf Nite in SLO / HOLLYWOOD DON’T SURF & BIG WEDNESDAY
Thursday, March 12, 6:00pm
Fremont Theatre, 1025 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo
Advance tickets: $25 general / $15 students & Film Society (purchased online or at HQ)
At the Door (if available): $30 general / $20 students & Film Society
Rush seats for BIG WEDNESDAY may also be available at the door at 8:30pm – $10
Only Movie Mogul passes can be used for this Red Carpet Event. All Festival passes are on sale now.