Experimental Filmmaker Explores Surf Culture in Amagansett

Tin Ojeda Film Still
Still from Tin Ojeda's latest film.

A new surf shop is set to open in Amagansett Square next week with more than just wetsuits, they’ll also have an art gallery and film screenings.

Last summer Montauk artist/filmmaker Tin Ojeda screened his first film, Kook Paradise, outdoors to a rabid, enthusiastic audience in Montauk. Now his newest film, Daughter The Movie will have its East End premiere outside Chris Gentile’s Pilgrim Surf & Supply in Amagansett Square on August 17. Pilgrim is an offshoot of the Brooklyn location that carries top name boards, wetsuits and clothing.

“I began painting in the early 2000s, as well as screen printing and photography,” Ojeda says. “There were several films that I had planned to release, but never finished any of them until Kook Paradise last summer. But Daughter is the first film that I finished on my own and am really proud of.”

The film is actual film, not digital, and Ojeda, originally from Argentina, has been collecting vintage cameras, lenses and editing equipment for several years. He works out of his renovated garage in Ditch Plains, where he also makes T-shirts for his handmade DMA T-shirt line.

“I’m inspired by early experimental black and white films by artists like Man Ray, as well as the early pioneering surf films of the ’60s and ’70s by filmmakers like Bud Brown, Paul Witzig and George Greenough. And also by independent filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch.”

Artist Tim Ojeda
Artist Tim Ojeda

Ojeda’s Kook Paradise was filmed retro-style, like newsreels from the ’60s and ’70s. It showed weekend surf warriors doing bizarre warm-ups exercises, wearing odd surf outfits and having trouble even getting to the water.

“The movie was an immature satire on Ditch Plains,” says Ojeda. “Frustrated by the summer crowds, the attempt was to tease the surfers that take it too seriously and also to bring attention to certain characters who make Ditch what it is. It was in a couple film festivals and did really well. Most people thought it was funny, but others did not think it was so gentle. The new film is completely different. First off, it’s not all about surfing. It’s a mix of my video art installations and classic surfing. It doesn’t really have a plot. It features some of the best surfers and waves in the world. We traveled to California twice and filmed here in New York and New Jersey. I just screened it at SMASH Film Festival in New York, the turnout was really great and it seemed like people really enjoyed it. Pilgrim Surf Shop has a small gallery where I will be showing art with my friend Rob Kulisek for the month of August. My work will feature film stills as well as large format pictures that I made while filming Daughter.”

Having lived in Montauk for several years, Ojeda has watched the summer scene and crowds swell larger than the waves.

“It’s overgrown. Period,” he says with a sigh.

Despite the crowds, the popularity of surfing is undeniable for weekend warriors and locals alike. Pilgrim Surf & Supply is tapping into the East End’s surf mania after outfitting Brooklyn and city dudes and dudettes for a few years now. They’ve been named one of the top five surf shops in America by GQ magazine.

Pilgrim’s surf style lends itself to retro looks—clothes, hats and even boards that look like they’ve been in the water more than a few times and also echo prints and logos from the ’50s and ’60s. No one wants to look like they’re too new at the game, and “surfing” has become more of a lifestyle and look than just a sport.

Pilgrim Surf & Supply is located in Amagansett Square, Amagansett, 718-218-7456.

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