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HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will include footage from the upcoming documentary film "Ruffo", by filmmaker Rocky Romano and the Go Big Project, as part of the segment titled "Riding the High". Episode 173 begins airing on August 16, 2011 at 10PM.
"Ruffo" is a soon-to-be-completed documentary about professional surfing legend Anthony Ruffo, his struggles with methamphetamine addiction, and his ambitious efforts to lead his communities - both Santa Cruz and the professional surfing world - out of drug dependency and into a clearer and healthier future.
"I am excited to partner with HBO to analyze this devastating problem in surfing and in the world in general," said filmmaker Rocky Romano. "Between this coverage on HBO sports and the more in-depth story we are telling with Ruffo the film - following Anthony through addiction, rehab, and as he tries to help his community with the Anthony Ruffo Project - we hope the surfing community, and all communities, will begin to take a hard look at the problem. We (in the action sports industry) need to treat drug and alcohol addiction as a serious issue and offer help to those surfers and athletes who are struggling with addiction issues."
The film premiered in rough-cut form at The Santa Cruz Film Festival on May 14, 2011 to a packed house eager to learn more about the local surfing legend whose legal issues have been well-publicized in the local and national press.
48-year-old professional surfing legend Anthony Ruffo was born and raised on the west side of Santa Cruz, CA. He is regarded as one of the "Godfathers" of the infamous Westsiders surf brotherhood who put Santa Cruz on the pro surfing map. Ruffo rose to surfing fame as the first champion of the Coldwater Classic in 1985 and still surfs at a professional level. With success came partying, with partying came addiction, and with addiction came consequences. Anthony is currently facing a potential five-year prison term for distribution of methamphetamine. His court date is September 15th, 2011.
Anthony voluntarily checked himself into the Clear Mind Healthy Planet treatment center in New York on November 5th, 2010. After completing his treatment, and feeling a renewed sense of purpose, Anthony began to look for a way to give back to the community of Santa Cruz. He partnered with the Clear Mind Healthy Planet team and created his own treatment concept: The Anthony Ruffo Project. He requested that Genie O'Malley and the Clear Mind Healthy Planet team provide an opportunity for his friends in the Santa Cruz community to heal from their addictions. Anthony helped introduce Genie's program to the city of Santa Cruz on December 10th, 2010 with a weeklong open house. Over 40 people attended at least 4 hours a day for the entire week. Anthony is committed to repaying his community by volunteering his time with Clear Mind Healthy Planet, non-profits, and speaking about the consequences of drug use to local schools.
With his trial looming, the end of Anthony's story is yet to be determined, but the hope is that "Ruffo" will serve as a cautionary tale about life choices and as one of the most effective anti-drug use documentaries ever made. "Ruffo" includes some of the best surfers in the world candidly discussing Ruffo's rise to fame and his spiral into addiction, drug dealing, and criminal lifestyle. For the first time, they also break the code of silence in the surfing industry and open up about their own addiction issues, discuss the problem of drugs in the surfing industry, and include messages of hope for Anthony Ruffo and for others who suffer from addiction issues. "Ruffo" includes appearances from: Shawn "Barney" Barron, Dino Andino, Vince "The Godfather" Collier, Christian Fletcher, Peter Mel, Ken "Skindog" Collins, Darryl "Flea" Virostko, Peter Townend, Shawn Dollar, Tyler Fox, Nat Young, Jake Davi, Troy Rettig, and Shane Desmond.
According to co-producer Robert Martin, "Ruffo" is a groundbreaking behind the scenes look at the problem of drugs and addiction in the surfing industry. By taking an unflinching look at these issues, we hope to remove the stigma around this problem in the industry so that athletes can get the help that they need to turn their lives around."
The Filmmakers hope to do more than raise awareness, and have begun initial development on a non-profit organization called "Clean Up The Line Up". The non-profit will be dedicated to providing help to action sports athletes with drugs and alcohol problems, as well as providing a platform for continuing education for action sports athletes.
The film will premiere in 2012.
Director Rocky Romano
Producers Robert Martin & Rocky Romano
Executive Producers Sandy Bell & John Meindl
Director Of Photography Rocky Romano
Senior Editor Chris Renfer
Editors Jesseca Simmons, Thomas Hill & Chris Killen
Cinematographers Cori Hume, Brendan Daly, Chelsea Nelson, Chris Renfer, Kyle Buthman, Elijah Crowell, Brendan Daly & Skim Shady
Aerial Cinematograpy Hover Effect
Graphic Artist Brendan Daly
Still Photographer Rocky Romano
Writer Rocky Romano
Narration & Narration Writer Rocky Romano
Surfers Anthony Ruffo, Pete "PT" Townend, Pete "The Condor" Mel, Darryl "Flea" Virostko, Christian Fletcher, Dino Andino, Vince "The Godfather" Collier, Shawn "Barney" Barron, Shawn Dollar, Shane Desmond, Tyler Fox, Ken "Skindog" Collins
Talent The Community of Santa Cruz, Mike Rotkin, Ben Rice, Lars Shallberg, Manny Solano, Genie O'Malley, Andria Miller, Kim Keleki Antonson, Mary Conley, Genie's Kids (Sam Josh, Jasmine, Joyce & Rodger Jones), Susan Rettig, Danny Keith, Dr. Alan Hirsch, Michael Montgomery, Max Oleksiak,
A Sweaty Dynamite Film. the Go Big Project. All rights Reserved, 2011 Ruffo The Film, LLC[field_spw_articlevideo2]
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