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"Secrets of Desert Point" March 15th Premiere Benefit for Surfrider SB

 “Secrets of Desert Point” Premiere 

Opper Film’s documentary “Secrets of Desert Point” will premiere at the Center Stage Theatre (Paseo Nuevo) on March 15th at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. The screening is a benefit for the Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara. Tickets: $20.00 Visit:  Box Office: (805) 963-0408.

“No talk, no maps, no photos… we became really good liars.”
—Bill Heick, Desert Point pioneer.

In the early eighties, while sailing off remote Lombok Island in Indonesia, young California surfer Bill Heick and his friends dubbed the “Golden Beards” stumbled across the perfect wave, a pristine barreling left reeling endlessly and empty over a shallow, live-coral reef. As treacherous as it was beautiful, it was later dubbed “Desert Point” for its dry forbidding nature.

In the years that followed, a pioneer crew of hardcore surfers set up a makeshift beach outpost and kept their treasure off the surf-media map for most of a decade. Their mission: to surf uncrowded Desert Point at the highest level possible, no matter the cost. Life on the remote point was a constant balancing act between the surfing dream and the very real possibility of injury, armed robbery and life-threatening disease.

It’s also the legacy of California counterculture adventure…one spanning three generations of filmmakers beginning late 1940s San Francisco. Rare Indonesian surf footage shot by Bill Heick’s father William R. Heick, a renowned ethnographic filmmaker who came out of the 1950s San Francisco bohemian arts scene. This fragile 16mm footage, shot more than 40 years ago, has sat in obscurity until recently retrieved and restored.

“This project was a surf filmmaker's dream production says Secrets’ director Ira Opper, “It is one of the last great dirt-bag adventures of the 20th Century… with untold stories, never-seen exotic film imagery, and a perfect wave.

The seven-time Emmy Award winning Ira Opper began his directing career in 1971when he opened Santa Barbara’s first independent video production company in the El Presidio. In 1975 Cox Cable hired Ira to launch local originated community television. He created hundreds of community and sports television shows. Ira received the coveted National Cable Television’s Ace Award for his innovative Santa Barbara cable programming. He has been a card-caring member of the Surfrider Foundation since 1985 and will be attending the March 15 screenings.