SURF CHAMP ROB MACHADO’S SOUL-SEARCHING DOCUMENTARY — THE DRIFTER — TO HAVE U.S. PREMIERE AT THE NEW YORK SURF FILM FESTIVAL ON SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2009

International surf champion Rob Machado’s autobiographical film The Drifter will have its U.S. premiere at the New York Surf Film Festival on Friday, September 25th at 8:15 p.m. at Tribeca Cinemas in Lower Manhattan. The festival, presented by JetBlue Airways and The Dominican Republic, will showcase 16 feature-length surf films from across the globe from September 25th through the 27th.

Directed by Poor Specimen’s Taylor Steele, The Drifter is a beautifully shot, emotionally resonant film that documents Machado’s trip to Indonesia to experience a different kind of surf trip — a journey that would take him way beyond his comfort zone to a place where he could finally be alone with his thoughts. In the film, Machado wanders into the outskirts of the South East Asian surf paradise and winds up discovering that you can’t escape yourself. Coming full circle, Machado returns home ready to take on the next phase in a career in which he’s blazed a path and sealed his legacy as not only one of the world’s most stylish surfing ambassadors, but as a true humanitarian.

The Drifter had its world premiere on August 19th in Bali, Indonesia, at the Ombak International Surf Film Festival, where it was chosen Best Film. The festival’s program director Jolinde den Hass had this to say: “There has never been a more beautiful portrait of the diversity of the people, the surf and the islands of Indonesia. It’s a very genuine road movie that shows a personal side of Rob Machado and the warmth and sincerity of the Indonesian people.” The Jakarta Post remarked: “Capturing the journey of the surfer through a different land, culture and waves, The Drifter is a visual metaphor for a free spirit’s conscious abandonment of the worldly traps of modern life as he searches for the inner freedom and spiritual joy offered by a life of renunciation.”

Much of the dialogue in The Drifter is taken from Machado’s own personal journals. According to respected surf journalist Nathan Myers, who co-wrote the movie, there is nothing embellished in Machado’s candid, heart-felt passages. It is these passages, in fact, that drive the movie, from Machado’s epiphany in Bali, to his ill-fated motorcycle purchase, to his decision to delay his return to California, blindly pick a new island on the map, and just go.

The result is a tender, honest film that will enlighten as much as it will inspire. As Machado says, “Sometimes when you’re most alone, you’re not alone at all.”

For more about The Drifter and Rob Machado, please visit http://www.robmachado.com/.

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