San Clemente-based pro surfer Dane Gudauskas and filmmaker Kevin Voegtlin to premier surf adventure film
By Andrea Swayne
For San Clemente’s Dane Gudauskas, professional surf competition and travel is more than just a career, it’s his passion. So when acquaintance Kepa Acero, from the Basque Country in northern Spain, proposed the idea of making an adventure surf film in the southern African country of Angola, Gudauskas couldn’t resist. And neither could Kevin Voegtlin, the San Clemente surfer, professional photographer and first-time filmmaker, chosen to capture all the action on the two-week journey.
Acero has made a name for himself as an adventurist at the forefront of surfing exploration. From Alaska’s outer reefs to Patagonia and Antarctica, he has tackled some of the most remote breaks on the planet.
The trio’s new film, Under Desert Sun, debuted in Spain earlier this week and is set to premier locally this Saturday, November 9 at Molly Bloom’s Irish Bar and Restaurant, 2391 S. El Camino Real in San Clemente. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and a photo exhibition from the trip will be on display. The movie starts at 9:30 p.m. followed by a live musical performance by Dustin Franks and the Traders. The band will perform music written and recorded for the film. Admission is free.
“I was attracted to the idea of exploring a part of the world off the map to most surfers, as well as most people in general. It seemed like a great adventure to me,” Voegtlin said of his directorial debut. “I have been a fan of Kepa’s work for some time and Dane’s a good friend so it sounded like a fun project to be a part of.”
“It turned out to be an amazing experience and we are very proud of the result and excited to share the movie with everyone,” Voegtlin said.
The movie documents the trio’s journey, from a death-defying, 14-hour ride aboard a janky, overcrowded bus and surviving on nothing but rice and mussels harvested from shoreline rocks, to meeting interesting people and, of course, surfing some truly great waves.
“We were openly embraced by the people, but having recently emerged from nearly 30 years of civil war, walking down the street you’re liable to see random guys with AK-47 assault rifles just hanging out,” Gudauskas said. “Whether traveling to the other side of the world or just taking a quick road trip down the coast, we want to inspire people to live with open minds, embrace adventure and enjoy the process of the journey.”
“It takes you places you never expected to go, but will thoroughly enjoy once you’re there,” Gudauskas said.
The movie will be featured in an upcoming issue of Surfer Magazine and will be made available as a free download at www.surfermag.com on November 20.