USA 72 MIN
Given is the simple yet powerfully contemplative story of a unique family legacy come full circle. Told through the visceral experience of a 6 yr. old, Given follows legendary surfers Aamion and Daize Goodwin from their island home of Kauai through 15 different countries in the quest for surf and to fulfill a calling handed down through generations. Set in wave after wave of stunningly visual earthscapes, Given blooms into a tender yet stirring exploration of a young boy’s understanding of life through his familial bonds and their reverence for nature. Deeply moving, Given gives us the humbling contrast of a small voice voyaging through a big world as it finds its way home again.
As a first time director, Jess dove into Given perhaps as wide-eyed as the young protagonist of his film. Raised on the island of Kauai, Bianchi brings a sensuous visual aesthetic to the screen. After winning awards in film school and doing commercial work under Jeff Linnell, creator of the robotic camera system used in Gravity, Bianchi decided to leave his job as creative director of production company Avocados and Coconuts to refine his style of filmmaking through the direct experience of making a film traveling through 15 countries.
Given to me was as much about the passing of knowledge from father to son as it was about searching for a new way to tell a story. In a time of cinema that is over saturated with unnecessary sex, violence, and drama, Given was an exploration, a quest into positive film making. I purposefully choose to avoid any traditional drama arcs with the intent to engage and inspire the audience to view movies differently. My hope for this film is that the viewer will be able to see the wisdom that comes from the eyes of a child and the guidance of a loved one.
DOKer Kids 2018