Rockaway Surfing Movie Set For Film Festival
A documentary about the surf scene in Rockaway Beach, entitled “Our Hawaii,” will screen at 3:20 p.m. on November 5 at the Big Apple Film Festival, Theater 2, Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street in Manhattan.
The 58-minute documentary follows a group of neighborhood surfer buddies, now in their 40s and 50s, as they re-visit key moments of their lives spent riding the waves of Rockaway Beach. The beaches offered these locals a place of freedom, self expression and bonding. Against the backdrop of a once-vibrant seaside resort turned urban wasteland, “Our Hawaii” chronicles how – through the upheaval of the Vietnam War, the losses of 9/11 and all the changes in between – their connection to each other has been kept alive by a love of surfing.
The movie’s writer and director, Brooklyn resident Kryssa Schemmerling, teaches screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has written and directed two award-winning dramatic shorts. One, an adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s short story “The First Seven Years,” was screened nationally on PBS. The other, “Gold Mountain,” an original tale about a Chinese immigrant in early 20th-century New York, won a Student Academy Award and was screened around the U.S., winning prizes at the Chicago Film Festival and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
“Our Hawaii” is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 2010 recipient of a New York Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant.