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The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (BBLIFF) is featuring Young Adventurers as this year’s Sidebar Showcase — a natur
al fit in this four-season resort town known for its outdoor recreation.
Helping us promote this theme and to present filmmaker awards are three well-known young adventurers: Abby Sunderland, Zac Sunderland and Big Bear’s own Jordan Romero.

Zac Sunderland was raised on a boat in Marina del Rey, California. As a born sailor and adventurer, he started making plans for a solo circumnavigation around the world soon after his 16th birthday.  Without sponsorship, he bought his

boat Intrepid with his life savings of $6500 he had earned from working on boats and buying, repairing and selling his boats. Three long months of work later, he was off on his 28000nm trip in 2009.

Over the next 13 months, Zac experienced rough storms, pirates, deserted islands, the loneliness of spending weeks alone at sea the adventure of learning new cultures and languages, making great friends and losing some to the sea. He set two world records: one as the youngest ever to sail

around the world and the other as the first under the age of 18.

Zac now speaks around the nation to

encourage youth to have their own adventures, and will be presenting his documentary, “Intrepid” at the Big Bear Lake Film Festival in September.

Zac’s younger sister was among the first to be inspired by him. In January 2010, Abby Sunderland set sail around the world on Wild Eyes, an Open 40-foot sailboat. The voyage received global press coverage on June 10, 2010, when Wild Eyes was rolled 360 degrees by a massive rogue wave that tore the vessel’s mast. While the complete disabling of Wild Eyes ended her trip with a dramatic rescue in the Indian Ocean, Abby learned much about overcoming difficulties and what constitutes a true spirit of adventure. Since then, she has chronicled her experiences in a book, “Unsinkable: A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas” and a DVD documentary called “Wild Eyes: The Abby Sunderland Story.” Abby will present her documentary at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, and be available to autograph her book.

Abby’s ambition and tenacity is an example of what can happen when we choose to exceed our own limits, embrace faith, and strive after what all the naysayers say is impossible — even if you happen to be a teenager.

Also on board to encourage fellow young people is fourteen-year-old Jordan Romero, a native of Big Bear Lake, California, who holds a world record for the youngest person ever to stand on the summit of Mt. Everest. Following a dream that started when he was just nine, Jordan has now ascended seven out of the eight tallest peaks in the world. Since 2006, Team Romer

o has successfully tackled Kilimanjaro (Africa), Kosciuszko (Australia), Elbrus (Europe/Russia), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), the Carstensz Pyramid (Oceana) and Mt. Everest (Asia)…..with Mt. Vinso in Antarctica up next!

In an effort to share his experience with other youth, Jordan wrote “The Boy Who Conquered Mount Everest: The Jordan Romero Story” with Katherine Blanc (which he’ll be autographing at the Festival) and created the 7 Summits of Big Bear Youth Challenge, where kids are encouraged to get outdoors and conquer local peaks  — see www.sevensummitsofbigbear.org

Come see why MovieMaker magazine named BBLIFF “One of 25 film festivals worth the entry fee!”
The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival attracts an average of 5,000 attendees to its scenic location yearly and will be celebrating its 12th anniversary at this year’s event; September 15th – 18th, 2011. Tickets can be purchased online at bigbearlakefilmfestival.com; at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center Box Office (39707 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315); or by phone: 909-866-4970. For more information about the festival call 909-866-3433 or email bigbearfilmfest@aol.com.
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