Presented by The St. Augustine Film Festival with the Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, a free showing of the recently-released film, “Andy Irons: Kissed by God,” will take place Saturday, Aug. 11 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.
Produced by Teton Gravity Research, the film focuses on the untold story of three-time world champion Hawaiian surfer Andy Irons and his struggle with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction.
The event will be the largest showing of the film on the East Coast of the United States, according to its distributors, and a professional surfer and close family friend of Andy Irons — Patrick “Tupat” Eichstaedt — will make a guest appearance at the event.
“This film is for everyone,” Eichstaedt said. “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.”
Data from the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics indicates that Florida has seen a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids, and Gov. Rick Scott has declared it a state emergency.
As awareness of the opioid crisis in the U.S. grows, the film focuses on “a person that lived life to its fullest at the top of his industry, but did so facing insurmountable internal challenges,” according to its producers.
Contributions from local businesses moved by the film’s message have made it possible for the film to be shown free to the public. Sponsors of the event include Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 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 for the event is free, and the doors will open at 7 p.m. Performances by two bands, Kelp and Oh Great Sea, will begin at 7:30 p.m., to be followed by the film at 8:30 p.m. A raffle will be held for a custom surfboard by Surf Station and there will be several giveaways. The film is rated R for language.
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 C A1A S.