The surfer’s life in New Jersey can be pretty tough. So tough — and interesting — that a pair of locals decided to make a movie about it.
Margate’s Alex DePhillipo, 24, produced and directed “Dark Fall,” which he co-wrote with Ocean City’s Andrew Gesler, 26, who also serves as the star and narrator of the 75-minute documentary.
“Dark Fall” showcases a roster of New Jersey surfers filmed over the course of a year, beginning with the harsh ocean and weather conditions of winter, leading to the summer tourist season and eventually to the fun, less-crowded fall. The film also takes side excursions to Hawaii and Tahiti, where the filmmakers luckily ran into surf legend Kelly Slater, who appears in the movie.
Although this is the first film DePhillipo has directed and produced, he has worked on other surfing films while he lived in Hawaii. The film also features former Somers Point resident Dean Randazzo, the area’s most popular professional surfer, and depicts Randazzo’s willpower to overcome the odds as a Jersey surfer as well as his fight against cancer.
“Dark Fall” will premiere 8 p.m. Friday at the House of Blues at Showboat Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City. After the all-ages screening, a concert featuring some of the documentary’s musical performers — North Carolina’s ASG and local band Jumpship — will follow. Tickets are $20.
The film will be screened at various film festivals around the country, and the filmmakers are trying to strike a deal with HBO, Blockbuster and other companies. It will also be available in the fall on iTunes and in surf shops around the country.
“It shows how we have to struggle as surfers here, but yet there’s a unique brotherhood we have here,” said DePhillipo, an avid surfer. “It’s not just a film, but a story that hits home and shows how dedicated we are to the sport. A lot of these surfers don’t get the recognition they deserve.”
A local bartender’s career is taking a turn for the rockin’. Atlantic City’s Cherish Marolda, bartender and corporate trainer at Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City, has been selected from a national pool of Hard Rock employees to serve at Hard Rock Calling, a three-day concert event in Hyde Park, England. After serving the event, which features headliners Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Marolda can add “Ambassador of Rock” to the list of positions she’s held throughout her decade of employment at Hard Rock. … Seaville’s Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt and her two children, Lauren, 11, and Conrad, 8, recently opened a lemonade stand on behalf of charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for childhood cancer. Their story was chronicled in the June 9 edition of Everyone Has A Story, and the June 12 stand collected $330 in three hours for the charity.
— Short Stories compiled by Emily Brill
Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. To share your story, call Scott Cronick at 609-272-7017 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.