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Time Well Spent

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"Time Well Spent" movie poster. Photo courtesy of James Fazio.

"Time Well Spent" movie poster. Photo courtesy of James Fazio.

Nikka Afshar, Online Editor

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Every year, the Newport Beach Film Festivals rolls out its red carpet for a week of movie screenings at theaters across Orange County.  This year, the festival is shining its bright lights on the documentary Time Well Spent, one of the films featured under the “action sports” category.  Time Well Spent is a film showcasing four young boys that embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Panama, where, through surfing and reaching out to those in need, they learn about the worth of their future.  The four boys featured in the film, Kross Brodersen, Declan Bradley, Henry McAlvany, and Yeferson Bellido, have all endured hardships throughout their lives, but, despite all, have persevered and found salvation through surfing.

Director and producer of Time Well Spent, James Fazio, has spent the past decade of his life traveling to different parts of the world and working with various nonprofits.  His experiences as a teenager and young adult allowed him to offer support and expertise on the value of self-worth to the teenagers he met.  Through his travels, Fazio met the boys he chose to highlight in his film.  

After hearing their stories, Fazio was inspired to make the film, and wanted to use it as a medium to pass its message along to others.  Fazio said, “Everywhere I worked at these orphanages, I would always talk to them about their worth.  That they’re worth so much more, and that they can do so much more than they think, and just try and support them.  A lot of them hadn’t had someone in their life who had supported them like that, and once I realized that with filmmaking you can tell these stories, not just one on one, maybe a thousand people could see it, or maybe a million people could see it or read it.  Then when we had the idea for the documentary, I thought this would be a great idea for the boys, and then hopefully a great thing for others, not just kids, but people struggling with their worth.”

Throughout the movie, there were several heart-warming moments filled with self-growth and realization for the boys.  One of the most memorable was when Kross Brodersen, the teenager chosen to go on the trip from Hawaii, got the opportunity to build a house for one of the locals in Panama. Fazio said, “My favorite moment was when we got to build a home for the family in Panama, that experience in general, for the boys and for us as a team.  I think overall just seeing the boys, from when we first met them, Declan for example didn’t talk at all and was really shy and timid about everything.  By the end of the trip, they had all completely opened up and became this new person.”

With Time Well Spent being his first movie, Fazio, for the first time, is experiencing the thrills and excitement of having his movie put in a festival.  He said that Newport Beach, being a surf town, is being exceptionally receptive to the movie, and that there seems to be a lot more excitement at this festival surrounding Time Well Spent than others. 

The Newport Beach Film Festival is taking place this week, from April 26 to May 3.  Time Well Spent is a must-see feature at the festival, and preaches its messages to movie-goers of all ages.  Be sure to bring your friends and family to watch Time Well Spent on Friday, April 27, at 5:30pm, at The Triangle.

Tom Lee
Kross Brodersen at home on the Big Island of Hawaii volunteering at a Local Non-profit DEEP&BEYOND by taking people with special needs to experience the ocean. Photo courtesy of James Fazio.

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