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Filmmaker Bios

Herbie Fletcher

HERBIE FLETCHER left his family home in Huntington Beach at 16, in 1965, with the clothes he was wearing, a surfboard, trunks, and a bedroll, headed for paradise, the North Shore of Oahu.Living in the back seat of Dewey Weber’s rusted out Cadillac parked at Val’s Reef, was anything but, then again, at first light when he could see the waves peeling at Sunset Point, he knew hisrash decision was perfect. He did odd jobs for a few bucks to keep eating, but in ‘66 when Greg MacGillvary hired him to star in his film Free and Easy, he figured he had it made. Wow, paid to surf...Since then, he’s directed, shot and produced more then 65 surf films. Taken at least a halfmillion stills. Shaped, glassed and painted 1000’s of fast flying, tube riding, aero dynamic surfboards. He’s used traditional surfboard building materials to paint and shape canvas and sculptures since those first early days on the North Shore. His art has garnered international acclaim over the last few decades. Never taking the traditional road, but the path of a wave warrior, his life and art have been touched by magic...

PC: Tozer

MARK JEREMIAS, has a successful track record of creating innovative lifestyle and youth culture based television and film topics that fuse his life-long love of surfing and skateboarding culture, with his passion for filmmaking.Jeremias launched Build Worldwide, as an outlet for developing, producing, and releasing compelling, story driven youth culture based content. The company’s releases include ONE CALIFORNIA DAY DAY, STYLEMASTERS 1 and 2, and SINGLEFIN: YELLOW, and the critically acclaimed documentary series DRIVE starring Mike Vallely.Prior to launching Build, Jeremias served as the Creative Director and Executive Producer of BLUETORCH, creating over 125 hours of action sports and lifestyle television programming, as well as overseeing the company's home video/DVD initiatives.

In a world of disposable media, Jeremias mission remains simple, to create content that inspires, leaving a positive mark that stands the test of time. The Tyler Warren Experiments continues that mission.

JOHN SMART, is a veteran filmmaker whose global adventures have centered around the world of wave riding. His collaborations with notable figures in both the film and surf industries have consistently earned acclaim for their compelling storytelling and beautiful cinematography. Currently residing in Santa Barbara, CA, John balances his passion for filmmaking with his commitment to family life.

Romain Juchereau

ROMAIN JUCHEREAU Born and raised in a farm surrounded by corn and wheat fields near La Rochelle, just a

mile off France’s Atlantic coast,  comes from a family of farmers who live simply off the local produce they grow.

Living closed to the coast and the local islands he started surfing as a teenager on a 8’Malibu model, watching surfers like Lance Carson, David Nuuhiwa and Phil Edwards in

Bruce Brown and MacGillivray Freeman Films.Having lived through the shortboard era, he tried all sorts of different board designs,but was always drawn to the golden age of longboarding in the 60s, with a preferencefor the grace, fluidity and style inspired by a traditional heavy single-fin longboard,which became his favorite surfboard design to ride.

His interest in hot dogging took on an important meaning as he comes from a placewhere the surf is not very big and ideal for long boarding with long point break and

several reef breaks as local spots.In the late 1990s, his father taught him how to use a VHS camera recorder, then he

bought his own and started filming surfing, skim boarding and skateboarding sequenceswith his closest friends.Although he tried, he never appreciated digital cameras as much as analog ones. So he bought a 1970s camera and took thousands of 35 mm photos.

At the age of 21, he began traveling the world with his camera, choosing surfing and photography as his life's purpose. He shot thousands of 35mm images over the next 10

years. 

In 2011, while living in Cornwall, he started making a surf documentary film entitled"Behind The Tide", a film that provides an insight into creative individuals who have

forged a living through their passion for surfing such as shapers, photographers andartists.A film which also took him to Australia and France.After distributing and selling "Behind The Tide", his wish to make a film in 16 mm finally

came true.

In 2015 He bought his first Bolex H16 camera and a few lenses, the same camera Brown, MacGillivray and Freeman used in the 1960’s, learned to shoot on film andbegan shooting in Biarritz.Fascinated by the 50s and 60s, Romain became interested in the board designs of that

era and decided to make a documentary film about the origin of « hot dogging », whichhe entitled "Some Like It Classic", in homage to the films he saw when he was younger,

such as "Some Like It Wet", and in relation to the designs of old boards.

In 2019 after contacting Lance Carson, he traveled to California to pick up a late '50s

pig model Lance had made for the film, and met some of California's finest hot doggers.

 

2 years after the start of Covid, Romain received a message from John Wade, a surfer from the 60s and friend of Jock Sutherland and Randy Rarick, inviting him to Pupukea to

share their knowledge and stories of their favorite era.

An opportunity Romain couldn't miss...Considering himself first and foremost a filmmaker, Romain decided to produce Somelike It Classic on his own, without any sponsorship, and to delegate part of the shootingto other filmmakers, as he became the father of two children during the making of the

film

Over 6,000 feet of film were shot over 5 years, culminating in an entertaining 74-minute

feature narrated by Robert "Wingnut" Weaver.

Here's "Some Like It Classic"

 

My words for the festival:

« It is a privilege to show you Some Like It Classic in this beautiful theatre tonight »

A few years ago I heard renowned 1970’s surf film maker Hal Jepsen saying

« I wish a young producer have enough money to make a beautiful 16mm film and show

it at the Cinema with the same vibe and positive atmosphere there was when surf movie

were shown back in the days », that inspired me.

Back then, I would never have imagined that today AI would change the future of

cinema, acting, music, etc.... So tonight, I'd like to encourage everyone of you in the film

and music industry to keep making movies and music the way we always have.

For the love of film

I hope you enjoy this movie

Mikey February

MIKEY FEBRUARY  The subject of many films as a professional free-surfer and this is his debut directing role.Born and raised in South Africa, he has been a professional surfer since the age of nine years old.His surf style and creative approach to waves translates effortlessly to this film; thefirst of many more to come.

Tao Ferren-Hefer

TAO FERREN-HEFER also from Cape Town, South Africa, is a documentary filmmaker with over twelve years of experience.

His passion lies in collaborations such as this, and story-telling with positive purpose.

ZACHARY EICHERT born in Santa Barbara, California. His father operated heavy equipment and his mother worked for various schools and non-profits, while raising four sons. His earliest artistic interest was drawing, later eclipsed by music and manual crafts. He studied ethnomusicology at UCLA and education at UCSB. After teaching for almost 20 years, he decided to find a new path and currently works in habitat restoration.

Sophie Simon

SOPHIE SIMON  an aspiring documentary  

filmmaker discovered filmmaking  just over a year ago when she was hired as  a real estate agent assistant, where she  made real estate tour videos. She attends  SBCC studying film production and hopes  

to transfer to a 4-year university for documentary film next year. She grew up  competitively surfing and hopes to make  more ocean/ surfing/ female films

Drew Rasmus

DREW RASMUS the director behind the "Beyond the Streets", crafted this project with the intention of inspiring younger generations how to harness the power of self-resilience. As a recent graduate of UCSB, Drew seeks to cultivate his unexplainable draw toward authentic storytelling. When a close friend of his reached out to him for help regarding mental health, Drew understood the leverage his filmmaking could have on his audience. Drew's unwavering attachment with the ocean and its restorative nature has fueled his desire to push his own creative boundaries. From the oil-slicked expanses of the Pacific to the cavernous coral pits of Hawaii, he remains on the hunt for his next compelling story to share with the world.

Granny Grommets Crew

LEAH RUSTOMJEE  a London based documentary filmmaker who aims to make films that speak to the multiplicity of the human experience, crossing cultural and generational divides in the hope of inspiring curiosity and empathy amongst audiences. She was nominated for the New Talent award at the BFI Future Film Festival in 2018 and recently received BFI Network funding for her first narrative short, ‘Same, Same?’. She was inspired by her close relationship with her own grandmas growing up to make this film.

RICK RIFICI An award-winning director of photography,  has over 30 years experience in the film, television and advertising industry. Based in Australia, Rick has been a leading cinematographer on a variety of critically acclaimed projects over the past decade. His passion for ocean and water based filming has seen him recognised by The Film Critics Circle of Australia and The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (ACCTA). Rick’s most recent productions, include Robert Connolly's Blueback, Netflix Series Surviving Summer - S1 & S2, Simon Baker’s feature film Breath, and has most recently been awarded an ACCTA for Best Cinematography in the Feature Documentary, Facing Monsters. 

SANDRA SHAKESPEARE  Coordinator (or Brown Owl) of the Granny Grommets. She has been attending the group since she moved down to Albany from Perth for her retirement. Sandra assisted with the film’s development and coordinated the shoots logistics with the 90 strong team of women! 

Michael Oblowitz

MICHAEL OBLOWITZ is a South African filmmaker who has directed and produced a number of critically acclaimed movies and videos through his company Minus Zero Films. Born in Cape Town, he is a Fine Arts and Philosophy graduate of the University of Cape Town and holds an M.A. in Film from Columbia University. He was involved in New York's No Wave subculture. His early fine arts films have been shown in the Whitney Museum's No Wave Cinema series, as part of a tribute to the innovative work of filmmakers and artists in Manhattan's Lower East Village. 

His first feature, the avant-garde film noir King Blank (1983), starring Will Patton and Ron Vawter, was presented at numerous international film festivals. Oblowitz has collaborated on film and video projects with major New York artists including Joseph Kosuth, Vito Acconci, Lawrence Weiner, 'Joan Jonas' and Spalding Gray. His work has been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the Walker Art Center, as well as Paris' Cinemateque and Beaubourg Museum. His early films from the 1970's and early 1980's; X-Terminator, The Is/Land, Minus Zero and King Blank are in the permanent collection of the Museum Of Modern Art, New York City. 

Oblowitz's other notable work is as a director of photography for Germany's avant-garde filmmaker, 'Rosa Von Praunheim'; four short films that garnered various film festival awards;

documentaries on South Africa's prison island; The Is/Land, which won the Melbourne Film Festival in 1982 and a documentary on blues guitarist 'Buddy Guy'; and a retrospective look at Booker T. & the M.G.s. 

Oblowitz's mainstream break came in 1997 with This World, Then the Fireworks (1997), based on Jim Thompson's novel and starring Billy Zane and Gina Gershon. This was an official entry at both the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. His other mainstream work has been in action and genre cinema. He directed vampire police procedural The Breed (2001), starring Adrian Paul and Bokeem Woodbine, and the people-smuggling road-movie thriller On the Borderline (2001). He has made two films starring Steven Seagal, both in 2003: The Foreigner (2003) and Out for a Kill (2003). For the Sci-Fi Channel he directed SharkMan (2005), which starred William Forsythe. 

Oblowitz has also produced and directed hundreds of commercials and music videos with a variety of top stars including David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Corey Hart, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Carole King, Brooks and Dunn, Alan Jackson, Carlos Santana, Natalie Cole, Garth Brooks and John Lee Hooker. Oblowitz has also directednumerous television commercials for products as diverse as Heineken commercial campaigns, Chrysler cars, Adidas, Lucky Strike, Huffy Bicycles etc... 

Oblowitz's film, The Traveler (2010), starring Val Kilmer, was released in the United States in October 2010. It won the award for Best Thriller Feature at the 2011 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. 

His iconic surfing documentary, Sea Of Darkness, 2010, won many film festivals throughout the world, including Byron Bay International Film Festival, San Sebastien Surf Film Festival, X- Dance Festival at Sundance, New York Surf Film Festival etc... 

Oblowitz was featured in Blank City (2010), a documentary about the New York No Wave film movement that took place during late 1970s and early 1980s. The documentary features interviews with Oblowitz, along with Jim Jarmusch, Patti Smith, John Waters, Deborah Harry and other luminaries of that scene. It also includes many clips from his early films Minus Zero and King Blank. 

In 2013, the Hof Film Festival, Germany, organized a career retrospective of Oblowitz's films, documentaries and selected music videos. His Feature film, The Ganzfeld Experiment, starring Rumer Willis and Dominique Purcell, was released by Screen Media in 2014 and Premiered at The Hof Film Festival in Germany. 

In 2014, Oblowitz directed the feature film, The Ganzfeld Haunting, starring Rumor Willis, Taylor Cole, Holt McCalney and Dominic Purcell 

From 2015-2018 Oblowitz directed multiple versions of the film, Heavy Water- a surfing documentary about the life and times of extreme big wave and aerial surfer, Nathan Fletcher- the film was finished both as a Virtual Reality experience and a theatrical feature film documentary and eventually an Amazon Prime streaming film.

The film won multiple documentary and surfing film festival awards throughout the world and won Oblowitz his second prestigious Surfer Poll Award for Film of the Year 2019.. 

In 2018 Oblowitz directed Harry Dean Stanton’s final film, Frank and Ava -a feature bio pic about the relationship of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. 

In 2021 Oblowitz directed a multi-media experience riode-film, Soaring Over Hawaii . 

In 2023 he produced and directed Mel Gibson in the Lionsgate feature film, Confidential Informant 

Thomas Horig

THOMAS HORIG knows every single moment of our lives will never occur that same way again, well, that's reason to see beauty enough. I hope to use cameras to capture some of these moments and share them with the world. To live in the spirit of adventure always. For almost 20 years I have been a passionate bodyboarder and wave finder. Having completed a Bachelor of Marine Science and following up with careers in the Australian Navy, hydrographic survey and environmental conservation, I have dedicated much of my life to the ocean, travelling all over the globe in search of new and endearing moments. A love grew over these journey's for storytelling which in recent years has propelled me into the realm of cinematography, documenting adventures across the surf and mountaineering scenes in particular.

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