Greg MacGillivray’s new documentary “Hollywood Don’t Surf!” will make its world premiere next month on the Croisette, where it plays in the seventh annual Cannes Classics program.
Producer Lincoln Forrest Phipps said it is definitely the first time a surfing film has played in Cannes Classics.
Project returns MacGillivray, an Oscar-nominated director whose docus include Imax’s “Everest” and “The Living Sea,” to his roots. He began his career making surfing docus, including “The Performers” and cult classic “Five Summer Stories.” In 1977, Warner Bros. hired him to produce the second unit surfing sequences for “Big Wednesday.”
Filmmakers learned they were going to the festival as they were interviewing Quentin Tarantino — a devotee of surfing pic “Big Wednesday”– on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Others interviewed for the film include Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Stacy Peralta, Gary Busey and Jan Michael Vincent, as well as big wave legends Laird Hamilton and Greg Noll. Franky Avalon and Kathy Kohner, the surfer “Gidget” was based on, also appear.
“Surf” features rare footage, including surfing shots recorded by Thomas Edison in Hawaii in 1906. There’s also backstage footage from numerous surfing films, including “Point Break,” “Gidget,” Ride the Wild Surf,” “Big Wednesday,” “North Shore” and “Blue Crush.”
ICM is repping worldwide rights to “Surf,” which was produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films. Producers are MacGillivray, Phipps and Chris Kobin.