The WESTSIDERS: an award winning documentary by Joshua Pomer

THE WESTSIDERS – official trailer

directed by Josh Pomer

narrated by Rosana Arquette

santa barbara international film festival. click for more info and to purchase tickets.

Arlington Theatre

Friday, February 4th at 7:30 pm

(Please note the schedule is subject to change)


SYNOPSIS: From surfing innovations to gritty localism, follow the rise and fall of The Westsiders surf tribe through the eyes of three best friends from the original ‘Surf City': Santa Cruz, California. Best friends Daryl “Flea” Virostko, Shawn “Barney” Barron, and Jason “Ratboy” Collins bonded by common tragedy and their love of surfing. They live through shattered homes, drug addiction, other psychological issues and hard-core localism to achieve their dream of becoming professional surfers before the age of 24. To surf the notorious Steamer Lane, they had to join ‘The Westsiders’ Surf Tribe and go face to face with Vince Collier, aka “The Godfather of The Westside”. Vince, a massive brute force, ran Steamer Lane with his own version of street justice. This film explores The Westsiders as the latest chapter in the fascinating history of Santa Cruz, California.

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Words of Wisdom by filmmaker Joshua Pomer

Q&A by Desiree East

I had an opportunity to ask Joshua some questions in regards to his award winning film, and he was kind enough to share some insights of his approach as an artist and the issues that one has to contend with behind the scenes and as a filmmaker and fellow waterman. Here is what he had to say.

DE: There have been a growing number of aspiring and very talented film students, many breaking into the indie scene. As an independent filmmaker, what advice would you give to the next generation of up and coming filmmakers?

JP: Start making movies, reading scripts. Take classes and go to film festivals!  Eat it all up like a starving kid at an all you can eat buffett.

DE: Interviews, Appointments, Communication…If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started (as a filmmaker), what is one piece of advice you would give yourself regarding the challenges of approaching people to be featured in your films?

JP: Get to know them, spend time with them, feel comfortable around them, so the exchange of ideas just flows. It makes it easier to understand each other. And that’s important because your going to be spending a lot of time together.

DE: As surfers, we all know that – just like life – there is always a dark side of the surfing culture, whether it be localism, substance abuse, or violence. While many filmmakers choose to inspire viewers with story-telling in the positive light, sometimes we get a glimpse of the raw honesty portrayed in documentaries that aren’t so sugar-coated, and we have a chance to appreciate it in a different light. What was the inspiration behind your film?

JP: Life is pain. Pain can be beautiful. I was inspired by “Labri di Biciclette,” also known as “The Bicycle Thief,” a 1948 Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. Great movies explore bad situations and hardships that must be overcome in real life.

DE: …indeed, pain can be beautiful. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Joshua for sharing your insights as an artist and filmmaker, and again, congrats on having your film selected for the Santa Barbra Int’l Film Festival. The trailer looks pretty dynamic and moving…can’t wait to see it.