An upcoming evening of free entertainment on August 11 combines the joy, excitement, and incredible skills of surfing while highlighting that legendary public figures often have untold struggles beneath the surface. Presented by The Saint Augustine Film Festival with the Friends of the Saint Augustine Amphitheater, the recently-released film Andy Irons: Kissed by God, by Teton Gravity Research focuses on the untold story of three-time world champion Hawaiian surfer Andy Irons and his struggle with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction. This will be the largest showing of this film on the East Coast of the United States according to its distributors.
There will be a guest appearance by one of the surfers in the film, a close family friend of Andy Irons, Patrick “Tupat” Eichstaedt, who has been called one of the most interesting men in surfing. “This film is for everyone,” said Tupat. “As we all have struggles, this story will lift your spirits and inspire us to all become better versions of ourselves. You will see the rise, fall and what I like to call the Resurrection of Andy Irons!” The doors open at 7pm at the Saint Augustine Amphitheater and include two bands that will begin at 7:30pm – Kelp and Oh Great Sea – followed by the film at 8:30pm. A raffle will be held for a custom surfboard by Surf Station, and there will be lots of giveaways.
As awareness of the opioid crisis in the U.S. grows, this film is about “a person that lived life to its fullest at the top of his industry but did so facing insurmountable internal challenges,” says the film’s producers. Data from the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics indicates that Florida has seen a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids, and the Governor has declared it a state emergency.
Local businesses were so moved by the film’s powerful message that they contributed for the film to be shown free to the public. Special thanks to Friends of Saint Augustine Amphitheater, Surf Station, Aqua East Surf Shop, Pit Surf Shop, Funkytown Fitness, The Bailey Group, Christian Surfers, The St. Augustine Recovery Center, and The Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens. Parking is also free. The film is rated R for language.
For more information on the event, visit www.staugamphitheatre.com/e12494-andy-irons-kissed-by-god-a-film-by-teton-gravity-research.
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