It all started when good friends Hani Ovadia and Todd Morehead started talking about making a film about Israel. Hani, an Israeli surfboard shaper, convinced Todd that it could work and that he wanted to be involved. From that moment on, Todd lived and breathed the production of Promised Land, which wasn’t surprising given that he had been obsessed with Israel from a very young age. It wasn’t long before Todd approached Director of Photography Russell Brownley with the idea of the movie. Russell’s longtime friendship with Todd, his experience as a filmmaker and his enthusiasm for the project made it easy for him to jump at the opportunity. Jesse Schluntz came onboard as Editor and Second Camera. Russell’s gift for capturing the moment and making each shot look perfect, coupled with Jesse’s amazing editing ability and attention to detail and Co-producer Bryan Jennings’ ability to tell an amazing story, Promised Land had almost all the ingredients we needed to make a great documentary. We just needed one more thing: our pro surfer.
And along came Tom Curren…
Everyone was thinking the same thing. He said he was coming, but would he really exit the airplane onto Israeli soil? Would he really make it? The three-time world champion is not only known as one of the best surfers of all time, he is also widely known for his disappearing act. There are numerous stories of Tom showing up to the airport, checking into his flight, and yet somehow not making it to his destination. He is legendary.
But Tom did show up in Israel and the rest is surfing history. He surfed Israel’s waves like no other surfer ever—before or since. He graced the surfing community with his cool and calm demeanor and put a smile on every surfer who came in contact with him. At the end of his trip, Tom said that Israel was one of his favorite places he’d ever been. Thankfully, the incredible moments we captured will forever be a part of Promised Land: Israel Through the Eyes of Surfers.
Note: Please email [email protected] to host a screening.