FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        

Contact:  David L. Brown, (415)468-7469                    November 16, 2006    

                                                                     

 

Of Wind and Waves:  The Life of Woody Brown

Premieres throughout the Bay Area beginning Nov. 30

                             

Of Wind and Waves:  The Life of Woody Brown, an award-winning hour-long documentary on a 94-year-old legend in the worlds of surfing, sailing and soaring, will receive its Bay Area premiere at the Red Vic Movie House (1727 Haight Street in S.F.) on Thursday, November 30, 2006. The film will play at the Red Vic through Sunday, December 3rd, then will move to the Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth St. in San Rafael) for screening December 5th - 7th.  Brisbane filmmaker, David L. Brown (Surfing for Life), will attend all screenings for Q and A.  His subject, Woody Brown, has not only lived a life full of remarkable adventure and accomplishment - including inventing the modern catamaran, setting world gliding records, and surfing Hawai'i's 25-foot surf in the early 1940s - but he has also done so with a kind of selflessness and generosity that have made him a role model for three generations of Hawaiians and virtually everyone who has met him.  

 

Filmmaker Brown states, “Woody is like a modern Thoreau on a surfboard, living in harmony with the world around him, alive to the possibilities of each new day, and following his own singular vision of how to be in the world.”  The documentary captures his unique blend of enthusiasm, wisdom, humor and spirituality that have made him a truly inspirational figure. Born to great wealth in New York City, Woody ran away from the life of privilege to become a protégé of Lindbergh at age 16.  The film portrays his journey to become a world record glider pilot, surfing pioneer and inventor.  It also depicts the tragic death of Woody's first wife in childbirth which led to the painful decision to let relatives adopt his two children. 

 

Of Wind and Waves explores Woody's life in his own words and from the perspectives of his family and friends who have shared his journey.  Family members adding their perspective include Woody's daughters, Mary Sue and Jennifer, his sons, William and Jeffrey, and big wave surfing friends Wally Froiseth, Joe Quigg, Peter Cole and Fred Van Dyke. Surfing superstars, Laird Hamilton and David Kalama, are shown bonding with Woody and comparing Maui's big waves from the '40s with the present. The film also features a remarkably rich archive of film and photography from every stage of Woody's long life to complement coverage of his contemporary life as an amazingly lively elder whose days are filled with service, friendship, humor, compassion, spirituality, and, up to his 90th birthday, frequent surfing.

 

Among the high points of the film are Woody piloting a glider and skippering a catamaran at age 92, his volunteering at Hale Makua Adult Day Health Center on Maui, his tales of early big wave surfing, his story about his first experience sailing on a double-hulled canoe and then deciding to build the first modern one, and his poignant 2002 reunion with his 67-year-old son, Jeffrey and 75 year-old step-daughter, Jenny, whom he left in the care of relatives in 1939 to embark for the South Pacific.  There are also very humorous recollections about Woody and “Ma” Brown from Woody's daughter, Mary Sue, and granddaughter, Nicole Bastian.

 

Of Wind and Waves provides a valuable cross-cultural portrait of the land, people and culture of Hawai'i over the six and a half decade span of Woody's life there. While the explosive economic growth of the islands has unquestionably undermined and obscured many Hawaiian

traditions, Woody Brown's story shows that the spirit of aloha remains very much alive. Of Wind and Waves won the “Inspiration Award” at Mountainfilm in Telluride in May of 2006.  The 35-minute version won the “Audience Award for Best Short” at the 2004 Maui Film Festival.

 

Producer/ Director/ Co-Writer

David L. Brown is an Emmy-nominated San Francisco documentary filmmaker who -- over a 35-year career -- has produced, written and directed over 80 productions and nine broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, health, environmental, aging, peace and technology issues.  His documentaries have received over 75 international awards (including two Emmy nominations) and have been broadcast on PBS and in sixteen countries.   They include:

Š        The Bridge So Far- A Suspense Story, an hour-long documentary on the wild and troubled history of the new east span of the S.F. Oakland Bridge;

Š        Surfing for Life, a 56- and 68-minute documentary (featuring Woody Brown) on older surfers as models of healthy aging, that won Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the 1999 Hawaii International Film Festival, among 20 other awards, and has been broadcast on 150 PBS stations;  

Š        Seniors for Peace, a 27-minute portrait of a remarkable group of senior peace activists that aired on national PBS in 2004-2005;

Š        Computer Classes, the 56-minute PBS documentary on teens and technology, the first episode in the 2-part Digital Divide series (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting); 

Š        Bound by the Wind, an 58- and 88-minute documentary on the nuclear legacy which has won 18 international awards and has been broadcast on PBS, in Canada, England, France, Spain and several other countries; 

Š        A Question of Power, a 58-minute documentary on the nuclear power controversy, narrated by Peter Coyote, which received 16 awards and was broadcast twice on public television; and

Š        Free Zone: Democracy Meets the Nuclear Threat, a 58-minute documentary on the international nuclear free zone movement which received 13 awards and was broadcast on public television and in several countries. 

 

Brown has produced three film festivals on nuclear and environmental issues and works in the film industry as a producer, director, editor, cameraman, assistant director and production manager.  He has produced several films on the elderly and his recent credits include work as producer/ director or cameraman for Greenpeace USA, the BBC, NBC and CBS News and for several non-profit organizations.  He teaches documentary filmmaking at U.C. Berkeley Extension and City College of San Francisco and History of Documentary at Film Arts Foundation.  His web site is www.DLBfilms.com.  The Woody Brown film site is www.ofwindandwaves.com.

 

Of Wind and Waves Credits:

Produced, written and directed by David L. Brown

Videography by Steven Baigel, David L. Brown, Vicente Franco and Judy Irving.

Edited by David L. Brown, Steven Baigel, and Gina Librecht

Sound recording by Jaime Kibben, Randy Mills

Narration by Steve Pezman

Music by Tom Disher, Sons of Hawai'i, Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Ray Kane.