Kepa Acero’s new short film, “En Ningún Sitio,” or “Nowhere” in English, is not only an homage to the vagabond surfer, but also a thank you letter to the primary inspiration that caused Acero to forsake the jersey and set off on an endless solitary surf hunt.
Just over a decade ago, the Basque surfer was a ‘QS warrior who’d grown dissatisfied with the contest grind. He was plagued with injuries and trying to figure out what to do with his life when some friends, with absolutely impeccable timing, gave Acero a copy of Spanish author Julio Villar’s 1974 book, “Eh Petrel.”
Villar’s book poetically tells his personal, Alexander Supertramp-esque, adventures of mountaineering and sailing completely solo. “The influence of that book was crucial, it changed my mind,” Acero told SURFER. “It was like it[Eh Petrel] kicked me in the face. It provoked me to such an extent that I lost interest in what I was doing and seeing in the surf industry. I began to document myself in the world of independent adventure.”
Since then, through video edits, Acero has been telling the stories of his solitary surf hunts in a way that focuses on the beauty of the journey itself. His stories document surfing as a personal and human experience rather than just, in Acero’s words, “a sporting challenge.”
“Eh Petrel,” had a similar impact on Acero’s friend and filmmaker, Bernat Sampol, and the two decided to make a short film that pays homage to Villar and his book. They contacted Villar and were able to enlist him to recite prose of his own penning for the narration of the film.
“We are deeply grateful for the influence that ‘Eh Petrel’ has had on our lives,” Acero told SURFER. “And this movie is a tribute, and made in gratitude to author Julio Villar. But above all, the intention is to expand a way of seeing life. We have wanted to use ‘Eh Petrel’ to provoke in people a reaction that makes them think and even change something in their lives, even if it’s something small. In the end, that’s what art is for, to provoke a change inside ourselves.”
Check out the trailer for “En Ningún Sitio” above. The film will premiere at the Mendi Film Festival on December 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the BBK hall in Bilbao, Basque County and continue to be screened at festivals throughout 2019.
To re-visit Acero’s previous surf wanderings, click here.