TOWN OF CHAMPIONS
El Yaque Town of Champions - Four windsurfers who dared to dream
It took a while before the four PWA Sailors and Champions of the tiny little village of El Yaque in Venezuela, five times Freestyle World Champion Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / North), three times Freestyle World Champion Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC), vice World Champion 2010 Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North) and Vice World champion, 2005, Cheo Diaz opened the doors into their lives, to make an amazing story for Javier Chuecos possible. Javier Chuecos is the director of the Movie El Yaque – Pueblo de Campeones (Village of Champions). It took him and the crew 4 years of filming, travelling, plus 2 more years of editing and the entire postproduction to finally present an awsome high quality product, in 5.1 Dolby surround sound and its own Soundtrack 4 velas (4 sails) by Javier Weyler, which started in 15 Cinemas in Venezuela the 8th of February. The pre premiere saw 1500 guests in 8 Cinema show rooms at a time and since then the positive hype around the movie in Venezuela seems to be unstoppable. The opening week has seen a massive 14,000 people view the new movie across fifteen cinemas in Venezuela.
The 75 minute documentary tells the rollercoster story of 4 totally different characters, coming from a small fishermen village on the Island of Margarita to achieve nothing more than the best in their sport. Four years of ups and downs, grief and glory, sadness and happiness, very intimate moments, laughter and tears, telling messages with major impact, holding the Venezuelan flag up, while it is exactly their country, where they are known and supported less.
Javier Chuecos, toegther with his cameramen and executive producers Manuel and Jose Manuel Diaz Casanova and Julio Miguel travelled the world, the PWA Events, with the four El Yaque characters, became friends, even kind of family or as Cheo Diaz said, they became Venezuela for us, to come up with an astonishing piece of art of Movie.
Cheo Diaz : How do you feel watching yourself on the big cinema screen and knowing that so many others will do the same?
“I feel really pleased knowing that finally our country Venezuela will get to know our stories and achievements.”
What are the reactions of people who have seen the movie towards you?
“The reaction is actually that they leave the cinema happy about our occurrences and thankful that during all the years we´ve held up high the venezuelan flag.”
How do you see your part in the movie, as it seems you´re the one people talk about most when they leave the cinema?
“Actually I don´t know if iIam or if I’m not the person people talk about, the things i always here is that people can´t believe there are four big talents, doing everything for their country, keeping on to bring trophies back home and the government same as private companies don´t even take notice and of course about the message of the movie which is really motivating.”
Did the Movie help you already in any direction?
“Well, I still haven´t signed any contracts, but there are already many people wanting to support us, but mostly, as we know from the past, there is lot of talking and never anything fixed.”
How was it working with this production crew?
“It has been really good all the time, everything was perfectly co-ordinated, just everyone put his part into the project and I am really grateful.”
How do you see your future in this sport?
“To be honest, I really don´t know?! It is my dedication but still without any sponsors it is too hard to travel and make my living.”
Yoli de Brendt : How do you feel watching yourself on the big cinema screen and knowing that so many others will do the same?
“I am really excited and happy that thousands of Venezuelans can finally see in the cinema what the sport of windsurfing is and especially what it means to each one of us and I’m really thankful to all those who made this great project possible and also for the huge acceptance the movie receives not only in Venezuela.”
What are the reactions of people who have seen the movie towards you?
“The reactions have been pretty much unbelievable so far, each day, hour, minute, we receive messages and tweets, people thanking us for this movie and congratulating not only about the movie, but about the value and admiration we achieved outside Venezuela and that we managed to send this huge message into the world.”
How do you see your part in the movie, the woman that left her secure job to follow her dreams ?
“Each time I had the chance to see the movie at festivals or now in the cinemas I repeat myself, saying that if I would be in the same situation again, I would do the same thing over and over again, for my sport, for windsurfing. The sport changed my life, and therefore I don´t only thank God but also the companies which have supported me from the beginning like FANATIC, NORTH SAILS, ION, CHOCOFINS DWARF8 AND WINDSURFLABOR, without them it would have been impossible to achieve what I have achieved so far and what is still coming ahead and of course without the help of my family and friends I would not be in the place I am right now.”
Who sends you more messages right now after the movie, men or women?
“Actually that´s pretty much equal. I´ve always had the support of men and women who love the sport and follow our careers and the PWA World Tour.”
How was the work with this production crew?
“One word, excellent. They are people with lots of patience and they always found the right touch when it came to the interviews during our most difficult moments in life, moments of sadness, frustration, anger, pain and grief, but also during the most happy moments, but they also became more than a crew filming us, they became kind of family with all the support towards us, being there with us all the time to tell our story now in El Yaque Pueblo de Campeones.”
How you see your future in the sport and the sport itself and what about the Kids of El Yaque?
“As long as God and the Virgen del Valle gave me the strength and power, and my sponsors that trust in me, I will be there, trying to get better but above all promoting and pushing our sport, to kids, teens, adults and to the whole world if possible, not only in competitions but also at events, festivals and clinics, or at the cinema like right now. I think this movie will open doors for the next generation in El Yaque and not only because they might receive a bit more support from the community or / and the government, but also that they can see they can achieve anything in life through dedication, constanct effort, work, responsibility and heart...”
El Yaque - Town of Champions was filmed during the best PWA events, allowing the PWA athletes to perform to their very highest standards, with the full support from the PWA themselves.
To see the incredible trailer for El Yaque Town of Champions click here.
To see a selection of photos of the stars of the show be sure to check out the PWAWorldTour on Instagram here.