Big wave surfer legend Andrew Cotton returned to Devon with a world premiere screening of his epic movie, ‘The Big Wave’. Featuring footage of his adventures big wave surfing in Portugal, Cotton was the guest of honour at the pub screening, where the West Country film event took place. More than one hundred thrill seeking movie goers packed into The Thatch in Croyde, next to the Museum of British Surfing, in early December, to get a chance to see the film.
One of the most famous surfers in the country, Cotton is filmed over a course of four years on a quest to track down and surf some of the largest waves on the planet. The 34-year-old daredevil gained a great deal of notoriety -even outside of the surfing fraternity -when he rode a wave at NazarÃ© in Portugal, estimated to be 80 feet high. For many, this potentially record breaking surf, which took place in October, puts Cotton at the top of his game.
Over the years, there have been plenty of movies that have featured surfing as a central part of the narrative, such as Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves, or Blue Crush which was directed by John Stockwell. However, increasingly popular are documentary films which follow actual surfing events, such as Step Into Liquid, made by Dana Brown or Riding Giants, narrated by Stacy Peralta. These films show dramatic footage and so are really best enjoyed on the big screen compared with a DVD format. Check for reruns of these powerful documentaries, and other sorts of movies, at Take 2 Thursdays which also come with discount cinema tickets at Cineworld. The majesty and scale of the waves are only really appreciated in true cinema conditions.
Wherever you might catch it, ‘The Big Wave’ definitely follows in the tradition of the largely American funded big screen surfing documentaries. It is the latest film to be produced by the Zon North Canyon team, as it follows the surfing adventures of Cotton as well as his team mate, Garrett McNamara.
Speaking ahead of the documentary’s first screening, Cotton said that the potentially record breaking wave did not linger in his memory. ‘That particular wave doesn’t really stand out,’ he said. ‘It was more about the whole day, really.’
Cotton went on to say that on the day of the big surf that everything was launched in the dark because his team did not want to miss a moment. ‘However when it turned to dawn, it was then that we realised that this was it and something big was about to happen,’ he added.
Peter Robinson, who organised of the Croyde film premiere, said that he was delighted by the welcome given to Cotton. ‘Support from the local and surfing communities for the film has been amazing,’ he said. Robinson, who is also the founder of the Museum of British Surfing, added that -in his view -Cotton has taken British surfing to the world stage, regardless of whether or not the wave ridden at NazarÃ© is a world record. Perhaps he is about to take it to the mainstream cinema stage, too?
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