Searching for Michael Peterson: Indie Film About Legendary Surfer | Ventvox
“The story of Michael Peterson makes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look like Alice In Wonderland.” Describes Peterson biographer, Sean Doherty.
Director, Jolyon Hoff recalls when he first heard about the surfing enigma,
“As a teenager, my friends and I would drive our cars up the Australian coast to places like Seal Rocks or Angourie or Lennox Head and Byron Bay. The trips were all about growing up – there were girls, drunken nights, experiments with drugs, warm water and beautiful waves. We were after the surf but it was often the other unexpected things that happened along the way that became the highlight of the trip – stories to be endlessly recounted on our next trip.”
Hoff continues, “It was on these trips that I first heard, from the older surfers we met, the stories of Michael Peterson, this mysterious character and incredible surfer. We’d sit around the campfire and they would speak with reverence while we listened in awe. It was like a surfing ghost story in many ways.”
“Years later, I decided to throw the boards on the roof and the cameras in the boot and head out to the point breaks, beaches and carparks to capture all these wild, weird and mysterious stories.”
For five glorious years “MP” led Australia’s charge into the shortboard era and won virtually every event he contested, including three Bells Beach Pros back to back. His brilliant surfing provided the centerpiece for Albert Falzon’s "Morning of the Earth" film in 1972, and MP never looked back. His final tour victory, at the inaugural Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads in 1977, is regarded as the high point of the early professional era. Increased erratic behavior and paranoia led to an infamous car chase with police, which landed him in jail. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1982.
Thirty years on, MP is still vitally interested in the sport and culture of surfing and is a fixture at most Queensland events, enjoying the action with his mother, Joan. He is rightly regarded as an iconic figure in Australian surfing, and Jolyon Hoff’s film, while it pulls no punches, is an intensely moving tribute to the man.
Surfer Magazine ranks Michael as the #16 all-time greatest surfer in the world. Click here to view the article: http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusive/number_16_michael_peterson/
SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON features original footage of Peterson’s life as well as interviews with his friends and surfing rivals. The 55 minute documentary has already achieved success and stellar reviews...
Adding a special touch to the U.S. tour is Australian singer/songwriter Beau Young (2 x world champion surfer) in concert. Beau retired from professional surfing in 2003 to focus on a fulltime career in music. He has gone on to record 2 albums and performed at many of Australia’s most respected music festivals and toured through Japan and Europe. Beau has an obvious affinity with the film and story of Michael Peterson, being the son of one of the world’s most recognized and famous surfers (and Peterson’s predecessor), Nat Young. This will be Beau’s first official U.S. tour.