Thursday, March 3, 2005

Springtime is surfing time

Published in the Current

SCARBOROUGH (March 3, 2005): Scarborough surfer and filmmaker Ben Keller is showing two short works in a one-time-only event on Sunday, March 20, at 7 p.m. at the Stadium on Brown Street in Portland.

Keller, whose first major film, the documentary “Ishmael,” chronicled the lives of New England winter surfers, has been working on “Rubberman: A Northeast Surfer’s Journey” as a light-hearted approach to the subject.

“It’s more of a traditional surf movie,” Keller said. “It’s got some of the best surfing I’ve shot.”

“Rubberman” includes scenes of local surfers – Seth Balliett of Pine Point is the star of the 30-minute show – on local beaches like Higgins Beach, Scarborough Beach and “Doc Brown’s,” the section of Cape Elizabeth shoreline along Shore Road where the ocean comes in next to the road.

Keller said the short film also has footage of “a secret spot in Scarborough” that is beginning to become well known, but whose location he would not divulge. It also has shots of Scarborough surfer James Krans.

Calling the movie “a fun timeout for the community,” Keller said it has a “funny plot, horrific acting” and is designed to elicit audience participation such as booing and hissing at the screen.

The event will also include a showing of a 15-minute short film edited by Keller as a tribute to the early days of surfing films, including glimpses of Bob Denver (pre-Gilligan) and Nancy Sinatra, as well as a rare recording of the Supremes singing a surfing song.

The event officially begins at 6 p.m., with tickets costing $3. Proceeds will benefit Keller’s next movie. All ages are welcome. There will also be a raffle of surfing and surf-related gear, including a surfboard.