Time Well Spent, is an inspiring documentary about four young men from different challenging backgrounds of pain and hardships that have found refuge in the ocean. They embark on a life-changing journey together through Panama riding some of the best surf of their lives, but more importantly learning that they can give back to others and make a difference.
'I believe that your past does not define your future and for these four boys it is so true. They have written their own stories and came out on top from very difficult odds.' -James Fazio (director/producer)
We managed to catch James Fazio, the director and producer of Time Well Spent to ask him a few questions.
So James, what was the main motivation behind the project?
Well, when I was 13-years-old I had a rare blood disease that almost took my life. It changed the way I viewed things and I realized that I wanted to make a difference in this world and give back to others. As my wife and I traveled and worked in different countries, we began to meet some amazing boys who came from very difficult pasts that found their healing in the ocean through surfing. Not only did they find their healing, but they killed it in the water, too. [laughs] They ripped. We wanted to give them a trip they’ve always dreamt of and our hope was to also give them a life-changing experience that showed them how much worth they truly have.
Tell me a little bit more about the four young surfers?
Kross Brodersen is 18-years-old and from the Big Island of Hawaii. Kross and his family had some tough times growing up. They lived out of their car and couch-hopped for most of his younger life. His dad did his best to raise and take care of the family, but certain unfortunate events kept making things not work out. Kross began surfing and found that he could put all his energy and thoughts into the ocean and he’s found a new heart from this trip, wanting to spend the rest of his life helping and inspiring others that they are worth more then they can imagine.
Declan Bradley is 17-years-old and from Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia. Declan had a fairly normal childhood growing up near the coast and surfing with his dad, until his life was turned upside down when his father committed suicide. For a long time Declan couldn’t really find his way back to the ocean to surf, but he finally did. Since then, he has been surfing, skating and learning how to move forward after such a difficult event.
Yeferson Bellido, 24-years-old from San Bartolo, Lima, Peru. Yeferson ran away from his home at the age of 10. His mother and father had split at a young age and his father worked away often, which left Yeferson home alone to fend and provide for himself. When his father was home he would beat him. Yeferson had enough and he ran away to Lima in search of his mother. He was forced to live on the streets of Lima making ends meet by singing on buses and getting hand-outs while sleeping in the slides of playgrounds. Later Yeferson found his way into an orphanage ran by an amazing woman that became like a mother to Yeferson and many other children. There, Yeferson learned to surf and since then you couldn’t get him out of the water. Yeferson has ambitions as a competitive surfer, but even more so he has ambitions for his education, which he is currently studying to become an architect while helping things run at his old children’s home.
Henry Mcalvany is 17-years-old from Bali, Indonesia. Henry currently lives in a Children’s Home in Bali, where he moved to when he was 7-years-old after some traumatic events that left him on the streets with no food or education. After fending for himself on the streets, Henry was placed into the children’s home he currently resides in. It was there that Henry discovered his passion for surfing and sports, and eventually, he wants to become a businessman.
You managed to do some pretty amazing work during the trip, overall, what was your favourite part of the project?
I think one of our favorite parts to the trip was seeing the joy on the boys faces. Whether that be after pulling out of one of the best barrels of their lives or giving clean water to families after living with out it. It was so awesome to see them smile from cheek to cheek and feel honored to be a part of it.
Did you have any worries or difficulties during your trip?
I think it was a little stressing for us in general. Promising a life changing trip for these boys and then figuring out how to deliver that. A little pressure there for sure, but all in all in the end, everything worked out great and even when things were out of my control, I knew they would all work out to benefit the boys.
Any funny or unexpected experiences during the trip?
One classic moment was when the boys got to meet Taj Burrow and Dion Angus. There was a delivery truck stuck in the sand out where we had just finished surfing. So, we pulled over to try and help them push it out. We gave it a good four tries, but the thing wasn't budging. Right when we were going to give it one last try, a black truck pulled up to us and a group of guys started jumping out to start pushing. Then I realized on the left side of me pushing was Taj Burrow. So I tapped Yeferson on the shoulder and told him and he didn't understand what I said. Right then he looked over my should and started to freak out. All the groms started amping and Taj was super cool about it, asking the boys how the surf was today and how they're doing. It was an epic moment and everyone, including myself, were fully frothing on seeing the boys and pusing a truck out of the sand with them. Legends!
Now for the big question…who ripped the most?
I know it sound like a cop out, but each one of the boys were the best in each area. Declan by far had the best barrels of the trip. Kross was through down the best airs of the trip and Yeferson was smooth as butter and always consistently ripping. We need to get the guy on tour. He's a machine!
Instagram - @timewellspentdoc