“Sorria” means smile in Portuguese, and is also the title that director Gabriel Novis chose for his film with a specific purpose in mind: to communicate the personality of a new generation of Brazilian surfers. Featuring performances from Filipe Toledo, Yago Dora, Jesse Mendes, Ian Gouveia, and Victor Bernardo, “Sorria” shows what these world-class talents can do outside the restraints of competitive surfing. Gabriel recently walked us through his favorite snapshots from “Sorria” and gave us an inside look into the making of his first full-length feature film.
"This was one of those epic days you travel around the world looking for: an empty lineup, offshore winds, clear water, and perfect barrels. Victor is such a talented kid. When I invite someone to film, I consider his style and how he can communicate something creative through surfing — Victor is one of those surfers. He has such a rad style and is super consistent, landing the craziest airs all day and making my job a lot easier. It was awesome to have him in my film."
"Cornelia wrote the script with me. I wanted someone to represent all the different ways to smile, and she was perfect for the part. The concept of this film came up during a period when all I saw was negativity on the news, like terrorism, the economic crisis in Brazil, and people losing respect for each other and the environment. 'Sorria' was a way to remind myself to keep going and remember to smile, and to not take myself so seriously."
"Yago and Cornelia are the main characters in the film. We are good friends and Yago was down since day one. He agreed to join me on all the trips we did for 'Sorria,' and the film turned out to be something like a 'Yago Movie' with his friends. He has so many different influences and is very creative. It's easy to work with him because he just doesn't show up to surf, and that's it — he contributed a lot to the whole project creatively. Besides, he is always frothing to surf, no matter what the waves look like. He just gets out there and rips."
"We filmed in Indonesia, Mexico, Hawaii, Mexico, and California. I think the people from Indonesia and Mexico were the warmest we met and really embraced our vibe for this journey. Sometimes, I would see a kid in the middle of nowhere in Indo, living in such difficult conditions, but wearing the most beautiful smile. That's what really matters. Good energy generates good energy."
"Filipe lands 100% of the airs he tries, every session. It only took us a few surfs out in Southern California to finish his part. We were always trying to go for a free surf trip between contests, but it didn't work out, so whenever he came back to California to prepare for his next ‘CT event, we would film. I am really stoked with his part in the film, and it was an honor to have him."
"Last winter in Hawaii, Ian Gouveia was always at the right place at the right time. The North Shore waves really suit his surfing. He’s had experience in Hawaii since he was young and feels very comfortable in conditions like this."
"Besides all the traveling, it was great to have Yago in Southern California for a year, and from time to time, we'd go on little surf trips up the coast. Every now and then he would land one a crazy air that you don't even how to name. He has such a natural talent; it is so exciting to watch him surf."