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Film focuses on Long Beach surfing contest

Finalist at the Quiksilver tournament in Long Beach.

Finalist at the Quiksilver tournament in Long Beach. Photo Credit: Neil Sterrer, 2011

Organizers may have decided against returning their annual pro surfing tour to Long Beach this year.

But three filmmakers say that won't stop them from reliving the rush of last year's tournament.

After months of editing, the team of Patrick Cummings, E.J. McLeavey-Fisher and Veronica Balta is almost ready to release "Stacked," a short documentary about Long Beach native Balaram Stack -- a pro surfer and wild-card entry in last summer's contest -- and the two weeks in September when Quiksilver Pro New York turned Long Beach into an international surfing hot spot.

Cummings and McLeavey-Fisher regularly travel from New York City to surf in Long Beach, and when they found out about the contest, they were "stoked," said Cummings. "It's basically like the NFL coming to play in your hometown."

The announcement that Stack -- who turned 20 during the tourney -- would compete gave them an angle for their documentary.

They interviewed Stack, who was eliminated in Round 2, and surfing legend Sean Collins, the founder of surf-report website Surfline.com, who died in December from a heart attack at 59.

"The story we wanted to tell and ended up telling is about the town, and how this is such a big deal for this giant competition to come to Long Beach," Cummings said. "It's unfortunate they're not coming back." but it was "an overwhelmingly positive experience."

"Stacked" has been named an official selection for the 2012 Rincon International Film Festival and the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival.

Cummings said once the 15-minute film is completed, they plan to hold a public screening in Long Beach.

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