More than a thousand Dana Point Film Festival attendees gathered at Salt Creek Beach Park on Friday, May 5, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Endless Summer and enjoy a screening of the documentary overlooking the beach where the original photograph for the movie’s iconic poster was staged.
The film screening was the pinnacle event of the four-day festival, which kicked off on Thursday, May 4, with a screening of the feature-length documentary Coextinction and a Director’s Opening Cocktail Party at Station Craft Brewing.
“Film festivals have a way to unite a community and bring attention to missions that truly count,” festival co-founder Lloyd Bryan Molander said in a media release. “We love and cherish our Pacific Ocean and our neighboring whales and dolphins.”
“The tight, fun-loving, ocean-minded coastal community really came together over the course of the first annual Dana Point Film Festival,” Molander continued. “We couldn’t have done this without them.”
The City of Dana Point partnered with DPFF to ensure that the 60th-anniversary screening for The Endless Summer was free and accessible for everyone, Mayor Mike Frost said.
Fifth District Board Supervisor Katrina Foley spoke on the importance of protecting the coasts for future generations during her opening remarks ahead of The Endless Summer screening on Friday night.
Foley said the Board of Supervisors voted during its April 25 meeting to approve an application to the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program. The program would allocate $1 million in federal funding to support climate planning as Foley looks to create a Climate Action Plan for the county.
“As Supervisor, I remain committed to taking climate action, and this funding will grant us many more opportunities to do so,” Foley said in a media release. “The challenges presented by climate change threaten the health and security of our economy, our communities, and our children.”
“And they threaten our disadvantaged populations most of all,” Foley continued. “That said, we must utilize this grant to protect our community, and I look forward to working with the board and our community partners in order to do so.”
During her opening remarks, Foley emphasized that the grant funding is “the culmination of two years of work by my office to make sure that we are prepared for the future and as we see our coast eroding, the railroad tracks falling into the ocean, the bluffs falling in landslides, the time to act is now.”
Photographer Robert Bagley, who took the original photograph for The Endless Summer’s poster, also offered opening remarks.
“Bruce was a very humble person and he enjoyed sharing his passion for the sport of surfing,” Bagley said at the film screening, adding, “Bruce was probably the greatest storyteller ever. The Endless Summer was arguably the most watched documentary … in the world and a tribute to what Bruce did.”
Some festivalgoers reminisced on the impact The Endless Summer had on them when it was first released.
“The Endless Summer was a movie that just inspired us to travel more,” Laguna Niguel resident Rick Winans said. “Mexico was always available when we were kids, and when The Endless Summer came out, we were just like, travel, surf.”
“Isn’t it amazing how much surf discovery happened after this movie came out?” Winans asked.
Killer Dana Managing Partners Carrie and Mike Foster, who sold the surf shop’s merchandise at the screening, commented on Salt Creek’s surf history.
“As a youngster, you watch this film, and it was all of your idols. You wanted to surf like them,” Mike Foster said. “Then the fact that the history of it, that the picture was taken right here, Salt Creek has such a history in itself.”
“And Dana Point is the real Surf City, all the history and culture that’s right here,” Mike Foster continued. “So, we watched this movie over and over again as kids, wanting to be those guys.”
Carrie Foster added that the film festival had done a great job at celebrating the city’s surfing heritage.
“It’s our surfing heritage. It’s bringing it to Dana Point, all these things, this film festival, it’s just fantastic because Dana Point has such a rich surfing heritage,” Carrie Foster said.
At the close of the screening, DPFF co-founder Todd Wallin added that he couldn’t believe how many people came out in support of the festival.
“It was a very great community vibe,” Wallin said. “We really appreciate all the community support and all the sponsors that came out to support the Dana Point Film Festival.”
Over the weekend, the festival featured a packed schedule full of screenings, panels and discussions. In total, DPFF screened 40 hours of documentary films at the Dana Hills High School Porthole Theater, the Dana Point Woman’s Club Community House and the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach.
Molander noted that as a Dana Hills High School alumnus, it was “so cool to see the school’s Porthole Theater packed on Saturday and Sunday evening with Dana Point Film Festival goers.”
“I was extremely fortunate to experience a childhood in Dana Point filled with surfing, sailing Hobie Cats and diving,” Molander said.
Young student filmmakers had an opportunity to tell their stories through the Dana Point Film Festival Student Film Competition, with winners to be announced soon, according to a recent media release.
On the festival’s final day, DPFF screened Birth of Endless Summer, a feature film that documents the birth of the surf manufacturing and publishing industry, with director Richard Yelland and subject Dick Metz in attendance.
Reflecting on the inaugural Dana Point Film Festival weekend, Frost, in an email, said, “The Film Festival did a fantastic job in highlighting Dana Point and all the ocean-related activities, which are so important to our community.”
“Lloyd Molander the founder of the event, grew up here in Dana Point and captured the spirit and authenticity of the people in Dana Point, both past and present,” Frost continued.
Discussion about this post