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This Is Northern New South Wales

EL MAR, MI ALMA this weekend!

Local Lennox Head filmmakers Stephen Jones and Chilean born Tatiana Velasco will launch show El Mar, Mi Almathis weekend at the Pighouse Flicks on Saturday 14th April (7pm) and Monday 16th (4:30pm). Tickets are $12.50 and can be bought HERE.

Shot entirely on 16mm, the film captures the essence of coastal Chile via a surfing journey led by Dave Rastovich joined by some of the worlds top surfers including Joel Parkinson, Dane Ward, Chris Del Moro, Crystal Thornburg and Chile’s very own Ramon Navarro, Diego medina and Cristian Merello.

Director Stephen Jones describes the film as a visual tone poem, a blend of image and music, featuring cinematic surfing sequences interwoven with incredible landscapes, insightful commentary, and the movements of the cast on a unique surfing journey.

The film contains a largely original soundtrack composed primarily by Chilean trova style folk artist Manuel Garcia featuring the musicalisation of Pablo Neruda’s poetry, including a bilingual musical version of the poem “Farewell” performed with Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga and Silvia Thomás

Garcia recently accompanied the films World Premiere in Chile last month with a special live performance in the seaside garden of the Pablo Neruda home/museum at Isla Negra. “In the midst of tragedy, as Chile continues to recover from the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged parts of its coast, comes a beacon of hope, poetry and beauty, something unimaginable and full of emotion that has moved us” said the Pablo Neruda Foundation. More than 400 people gathered to view the film and hear Manuel play at the outdoor ampitheatre by the sea. “The sea was always a source of inspiration for his prolific poetic work, and ‘El Mar, Mi Alma’ is an ode to the” said Manuel of Neruda and the film.

Back in Lennox  gearing up for the Australian Tour after accompanying the film to Chile, Producer Tatiana Velasco explains that the whole project has been a prodigious task. It all began with a ground-breaking environmental campaign through Chile with Surfers For Cetaceans. Together with founders Dave Rastovich, Howie Cooke and other S4C members, Tatiana and Steve put together a tour/campaign traveling 3000 kilometres of Chilean coastline in lead up to the International Whaling Commission Conference-60 in Santiago. Along the way the group met and held community forums with school children, marine biologists, mayors, ministers, artists, fisherman and surfers to promote and share ideas on marine mammal conservation and to discuss and bring awareness to the environmental issues impacting the coast and lives of seaside communities in Chile. During this time the crusading surfers witnessed the Chilean government announce a ‘Sanctuary of Nature’ for whales within its territorial sea.

Photo By: Hilton Dawe

From that original journey comes two films. Part one- the art piece, a cultural surf film premiering next Friday at the Dendy. Part two- the documentary, following the environmental campaign/tour, currently in post production for a 2012 release.

“It fills me with immense pride that the Chilean people have given us their blessing to share their coastline with the world through this project, especially knowing how precious surfers are of their home breaks, of which Chile has many along its diverse and beautiful coastline, a coastline open to so much ocean and swell ” explains Tatiana “Aside from the wonderful surfing imagery and soundtrack, this film is a desperate cry, heartbreaking and yet beautiful, to arise our consciousness to protect all”, “All of the environmental and social issues we learned about during the campaign, are still as relevant today”.

Accompanying the film on tour is a seldom seen short animation by Lennox Head local Tony Gooley called ‘The Great Wave’. A timeless piece, as relevant today if not more so as it was when it was made almost 30 years ago. A must see.

Film is on atthe Pighouse Flicks on Saturday 14th April (7pm) and Monday 16th (4:30pm). Tickets are $12.50 and can be bought HERE.

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Photo By: Jeff Flindt

Photo By: Hilton Dawe

Photo By: Hilton Dawe

Photo By: Hilton Dawe

Photo By: Hilton Dawe