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Alta Outdoor Screening: Big Wave Guardians (Rescheduled to 8/18)

Directed by: Luke Stirtz

Runtime: 91 min

Year: 2022

Country: USA

Rated: Not Rated

Language: English

Film Type: Documentary

Big Wave Guardians is a feature-length documentary that tells the dramatic stories of Hawaii’s big wave guardians – the lifeguards who risk their lives in the world’s most dangerous waves. The 90-minute movie traces the history of lifeguarding in Hawaii from Duke Kahanamoku and the Waikiki Beach Boys in the 20s to Eddie Aikau on Oahu’s North Shore in the 70s, to Brian Kealana and Terry Ahue pioneering the use of personal watercraft (jet skis) with the Hawaiian lifeguards in the 90s, to the death of big-wave surfer Sion Milosky and the formation of the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group in 2011.

Intertwined with the history of lifeguards is the growth of surfing, from the early days of Waikiki to the big-wave discoveries on Oahu’s North Shore. Throughout the documentary, a cast of some of the world’s best watermen and women, such as 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, discuss the risks of surfing these life-threatening waves and the role of these lifeguards. Along the way, hear the true life-saving stories from top surfers who wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for these selfless big wave guardians.



7:30 pm Gates | 8:30 pm Movie Begins
$5 per person. Ticket sales and donations support Utah Film Center & Alta Community Enrichment.

Wildcat Parking Lot at Alta Ski Area

10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092

In collaboration with Utah Film Center, Alta Community Enrichment is ecstatic to host two days of films under the stars in the mountains of Alta. This year’s films will be United Skates and Big Wave Guardians.

Event notes

  • Each attendee needs a ticket
  • Please note, this year attendees will be viewing via low back lawn chairs, not from your car. You must bring your own LOW chairs and they must be 31.5” height or less. 
  • If two separate households would like to be near each other we recommend arriving at the same time.
  • No dogs, unless tagged by the Town of Alta or a ADA service dog.
  • Prepare for chilly mountain evenings, bring blankets and layers.
  • If you have questions regarding accessibility to our events, please contact Sara Gibbs <director@altaarts.org>, Alta Community Enrichment’s Executive Director.
  • This event could not have happened without the support of the US Forest Service, Alta Ski Area, Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge, Alta Chamber & Visitors Bureau, and Utah Film Center.


  • Picnic dinners are allowed. NO GRILLS.
  • Food and beverages can be purchased at the Goldminer’s Daughter Patio. They will take food orders until 8:15 pm. The movie begins at 8:30 pm.


  • Bathrooms are located at the Goldminer’s Daughter through the far east patio door.


Presented in collaboration by

Thursday, August 18 @ 8:30 PM

In Person |

Wildcat Parking Lot at Alta Ski Area

ADA accommodations are available. If you have additional needs, please visit our Accessibility page to connect with an ADA coordinator.

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