5th Annual Surf Nite in SLO to Honor Irish Big Wave Surfers

San Luis Obispo, CA (March 1, 2010) The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) is proud to present its 5th annual Surf Nite in SLO on Thursday, March 18 at 7:30pm with the exciting new Irish film, WAVERIDERS. Irish Director Joel Conroy, British professional surfer Gabe Davies and writer Lauren Davies will be on hand for the screening and Q & A. The Festival also plans to announce the attendance of several other professional surfers soon. Presented by Level, The Old Custom House Avila Beach, Ventana Grill, the City of Pismo Beach and the Boutique Hotel Collection, this event is also sponsored by Dolphin Bay Resort, One-Way Boardshop, Quality Suites San Luis Obispo, AmpSurf, Mo/Tav (Mother’s Tavern) and the Irish Film Institute.

The evening will begin with an introduction by Dana Cummings, the founder/director of AmpSurf, a local organization with the mission to “promote, inspire, educate, and rehabilitate those with disabilities, especially our veteran heroes, through adaptive surfing and other outdoor activities.” Dana will show a short video presentation that illustrates the great work this organization does which the SLOIFF is proud to support. A portion of Surf Nite’s box office earnings will go to AmpSurf this year.

The fifth annual Surf Nite in SLO is featuring a film from Ireland as part of this year’s focus on Irish films. WAVERIDERS is the critically acclaimed story of Ireland’s roots in modern day surfing and its most surprising legacy — the emergence of big wave surfing along its forbidding coastline. Paying homage to George Freeth, the father of modern surfing, the story follows the wave of surfing culture from west coast America to Ireland’s unforgiving waters. With stunning coastline, thumped year round by unmatched North Atlantic swells, Ireland is a preeminent destination for big-wave surfers. Featuring pro surfers Kelly Slater, Gabe Davies and the Malloy brothers, and narrated by actor Cillian Murphy, WAVERIDERS culminates in awe-inspiring and nail-biting footage of surfers conquering the largest waves ever surfed around Ireland.

After the film, special guests from Ireland and France, Joel Conroy, Gabe and Lauren Davies will talk about the film and take questions from the audience.
Director/writer, Joel Conroy is from Dublin and has worked in the film and television industry throughout Ireland, the UK, Australia and America as a producer and director since 1996. He has successfully completed large-scale production projects for leading entertainment companies such as iCandy TV, MTV and FOX Family Networks (USA). WAVERIDERS is his first feature-length documentary.

Gabe Davies is one of Europe’s top pro surfers. Currently British Senior Champion for the third year in succession, he has won eight National titles in his professional career. Since standing up on his first wave at the age of 11 at his home beach of Tynemouth, North East England, he has been chasing waves around the globe. Now based in SW France, he still loves nothing better than pioneering cold water waves in Ireland and the UK, as well as more exotic locales around the globe. Gabe’s also been a regular fixture on Hawaii’s North Shore, surfing’s big wave Mecca. Gabe is married to bestselling fictional novelist, Lauren Davies.

A former corporate attorney in England, Lauren Davies is an authority on surfing and wrote the script for WAVERIDERS. The film has won the coveted Dublin International Film Festival Audience Award 2008, the Celtic Film Festival 2009, an IFTA for best feature documentary 2009 and most recently the American SURFER POLL Award for best documentary 2009 — the first European winner of such an accolade. WAVERIDERS opened in theatres throughout Ireland and the UK and is being released on DVD right after the SLOIFF’s Surf Nite.

Laurenâ€TMs latest film CLOUD 9 written for Quiksilver about the 9-times world surfing champion, Kelly Slater, premiered in June and is currently touring Europe before its worldwide television release. Under the name Lauren McCrossan, she has published three bestselling novels and has just completed a fourth book, SWELL.

After the Q & A, there will be the much-anticipated SURF RAFFLE featuring several surfboards and a few other great surf-related items. There will also be a silent auction in the Fremont lobby.

A Irish-themed after-party will follow the Fremont event, at Mo/Tav (Mother’s Tavern), located conveniently in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo at 725 Higuera St. The entertaining Celtic band, MOLLY’S REVENGE will be playing from 9:30 past midnight, and there will be many great drink specials and the opportunity to meet visiting surfers and filmmakers. Cover charge is $10 at the door, with tickets available in the Fremont lobby at Surf Nite as well.

Tickets for Surf Nite in SLO are on sale now at www.slofilmfest.org and the SLOIFF HQ located at 1021 Higuera St, or by calling (805) 546-3456. Tickets cost $25 ($15 for students and SLOIFF Film Society members).

Photos available upon request.

Press credentials will be available for approved media representatives. Please contact: festivaldirector@slofilmfest.org for more information and a press packet.