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Local SHORE Skateboard Park Subject of Cannes-winning Film

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The local SHORE Skate Park in Punta de Mita is the subject of the short film “Build Ramps Not Walls”, which was awarded the top prize for Best Student Documentary in the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

The film, by Long Beach native Brian Adamkiewicz, was inspired by Nat, an 8-year-old Mexican-American boy who lives in Puerto Vallarta, and who Adamkiewicz taught surfing and skateboarding to at Long Beach’s Skudin Surf camp in 2016.

According to the article on the film which appeared in the Long Island Herald, Brian said Nat had asked his mother, Rebecca Scotti, whether he would be able to return to New York the following year for more lessons, after hearing of President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the border between the US and Mexico.

Rebecca, who is active in our community, with the local American School, and in supporting area non-profit initiatives, came up with the idea for the film and became the film’s executive producer once Brian agreed to make it. Both were looking to create something positive in the face of the negative conversation surrounding immigration.

And so, Rebecca enlisted the support of Emilio Fernandez and his family, Punta Mita residents and pillars in the local skate/surf community.  They brought together a group of volunteers from the U.S. and Mexico two years ago to build a DIY skate ramp in Shore Skatepark. They used the same materials that would be used to build a wall, and filmed the process and the outcome.

The result is a 13-minute film that follows these local residents and their volunteer team as they built not only the skateboard ramp but also a skate community without borders.

We are so proud that our community has been showcased in this way — as an example of unity and an alternative solution to how to respond to divisive rhetoric. We congratulate Rebecca and Brian and bringing the Build Ramps Not Walls project to light, and which continues to grow. Read more about it, here.