SAN SEBASTIAN — Patrick Trefz’s “Surfer’s Blood” world premieres at the San Sebastian Festival in Savage Cinema, the fest sidebar devoted to adventure and action sports, organized in co-operation with Red Bull Media House.
“Blood” is co-produced by Trefz’s Solid Publishing and RBMH which handles world sales for home entertainment and TV. Theatrical and tour rights are still in talks.
Mixing adrenaline, culture and a near anthropological explanation for the call of the waves for highly disparate individuals, “Blood” offers portraits of people and events turning on surfing: Surfboard builder Patxi Oliden, now 93, in the Basque Country, whose fascination with the sea is traced back to centuries-old Basque whaling; the modern surfboard designs by Swedish designer Thomas Meyerhoffer, made at his avant-garde company in San Francisco; a surfboard exhibition in the Sonoma Valley Art Museum; and three-times Mavericks big wave champion Darryl “Flea” Virostko’s struggle to overcome a meths addiction.
“The purpose is to create a connection to the sea that you may not get from your everyday action-oriented surf film. The approach in ‘Blood’ is different in the way it is focused on the mindset and environment of the characters as opposed to their athletic abilities,” Trefz told Variety.
“The common feature is being able to have the freedom that surfing gives. Keep in mind, every wave is different, it will never break like the previous one again,” he added.
German-born, but California-based, Trefz works as a photographer, director and producer. His two first features were “Thread” (2007) and “Idiosyncrasies” (2010). As a photographer, his works have been published in The New York Times, Surfer, Big or Geo, among others.
2016’s third edition of Savage Cinema also feature as a world premiere Tajudi Masuda’s “Bunker 77,” a portrait of the extraordinary Bunker Spreckels, a surfing fanatic, as well as heir to the Spreckles sugar empire stepson of Clark Gable, martial arts practioner, big game hunter, self-styled player and heroine addict whose life burnt fiercely and briefly.
Surfing is also featured in William A. Kirkley’s “Orange Sunshine,” and Peter Hamblin’s “Let’s Be Frank.”
Trefz told Variety that he has just finished “Outstanding in the Field,” a culinary road show crossing the United States, about Santa Cruz-born chef-artist-surfer Jim Denevan. Denevan builds giant tables in farms and gardens, on mountaintops, at ranches, and in sea coves to re-connect people with the source of food. A land artist, Denevan is also known for his colossal drawings featuring beaches, deserts and snow landscapes.