Realizing that the sport of surfing is less accessible, Tom Morey invented bodyboarding with a mission: to allow anyone — regardless of age or physical or social condition — to have the experience of riding the waves. Through her humanitarian initiatives, Luz “Loly” Grande has carried on this endeavor, which is documented in the film “Luz in Latin America.”
The first priority of director Amanda Nemcik and the Moviola Productions group, which produced the documentary, was to show the course of Luz’s social mission. They proposed to trace the footprints of the many people who have helped Loly’s work and shared her dream for a better world.
The documentary, which is sponsored by the Puerto Rican Endowment for the Humanities, tells the stories of bodyboarding and of Luz, alternating between interviews and scenes of her among children on the beach. The film tells the origins of the sport and its development as an extreme sport with a multicultural profile. But it is aimed more at telling the story of the rise of the young Puerto Rican, as told by friends and family members, to the peak of the sport worldwide.
It also shows her efforts to use her athletic abilities to improve the lives of socially or physically disadvantaged children in Puerto Rico and in Latin American countries on whose beaches she made her commitment to the children. The idea is based on the Eco-Sports Days held in Puerto Rico, which began with activities such as bodyboarding workshops and coastal clean-ups, which promote an attitude of harmony with nature. However, workshops are now offered on values, painting, self-defense, capoeira, dance, skateboarding and other activities that also contribute to the development of the youths as individuals and as a group.
Demonstrating unity and commitment, pioneers and champions of bodyboarding in Puerto Rico such as Carlo Rivera, Babby Quiñones, Evaristo Merced, Aníbal Santiago, Alfredo Riollanos, Cano Ruiz and Robert Vega, among others, have added their voices to the story.The documentary also includes world bodyboarding stars such as Neymara Carvahlo of Brazil, César Bauer of Peru, Facundo Ciapina of Argentina and Ruth Parra of Venezuela. Luz’s ultimate goal is to bring these athletes together to take the Eco-Sports Day model to their social initiatives in their respective countries.
by: Pedro Molina