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‘Surf Night’ benefit to be featured at FirstLight

By Staff | Dec 13, 2012

Maui shredder Matt Meola appears in “A Different Reason To Smile,” “Cowboys and Aerials” and “THE ISLE,” which will be screened on Friday at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. PHOTO BY TRACY KRAFT.

KAHULUI – Maui’s Matt Meola stars in two films premiering at Maui Film Festival’s FirstLight: Academy Screenings on Maui on Friday, Dec. 14, at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

“Surf Night” will feature “Cowboys and Aerials,” “A Different Reason to Smile” and “THE ISLE” in a benefit for Operation Smile and Restore the Shore.

The Maui surf community will come together for a fun night of adventure films, giving back and holiday celebration.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., two shorts and one feature film will excite guests, complemented by live acoustic music by Lukas Nelson and Lily Meola, food, libations and lots of giveaways.

Sanuk Footwear’s short film “A Different Reason To Smile” documents a team of Sanuk employees and surfers that traveled to Peru to participate in one of Operation Smile’s medical missions.

Sanuk surfers Meola, Torrey Meister and Alek Parker volunteered on the eight-day mission and managed to take a few days off to surf with local Sanuk team rider Tamil Martino, a world-renowned longboarder.

Meola said the trip to Peru was life-changing.

“This was the most memorable trip I’ll ever go on,” said Meola.

“I feel like surf trips are kinda selfish, but this was all about helping other people. That was an amazing experience.”

Meola spent several days working in the hospital with children and overseeing surgeries in the operating room.

In “Cowboys and Aerials,” waves are launch pads into other surfing universes for this bunch of board-slingers who flip, fly and spin high above the lip – not even gravity can stand in their way!

Set in and around the world’s best wave ranch and accompanied by a kickin’ soundtrack, “Cowboys and Aerials” features Meola, Ry Craike, Clay Marzo, Chippa Wilson, Mitch Parkinson and Martin Potter, along with music by Maui’s Lukas Nelson.

Finally, the much-anticipated Episode 8 of “THE ISLE,” Meola and Albee Layer’s web series, will premiere, profiling an epic trick that Layer landed and everyone in the surf world is talking about.

Giveaways include three surfboards and one complete skateboard from Hi Tech.

For full Maui Film Festival schedule, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com.