Children of the Wind with special intro. by Nevin Sayre, Five-time U.S. Boardsailing Champion
Children of the Wind tells the story of the Bonaire windsurfers, a group of native kids, who under the remarkable mentorship of Elvis Martinus, founder of the Bonaire Aquaspeed windsurfing club, overcame insuperable odds to not only dominate an inherently elitist sport but to revolutionize it.
The film focuses on brothers Tonky and Taty Frans and their cousin Kiri who come from a poor fishing family and began windsurfing before the age of ten, using whatever broken or discarded equipment they could scrounge, and who are now, twenty years later, global superstars.
Tonky, Taty and Kiri burst onto the international scene in 2001 when, along with thirty or so other Bonaire sailors, they attended windsurfing’s North American Championship in Florida. Given the island’s economic status, just getting to Florida was an achievement in itself. Once there, they caused a sensation, taking home twenty trophies between them. Given that Bonaire has a population of under 15,000 and had, at the time, no way to fund formal training facilities, provide equipment or pay for travel to events, this accomplishment was simply astonishing.
The Frans brothers and Kiri are now among the top five freestyle windsurfers in the world and have become local heroes on their island.
More remarkable Bonaire continues to produce young champions at every age category of the ProKids World Championship, which started on the island. Set against the backdrop of the 2011 Freestyle Windsurfing World Cup on Bonaire, ‘Children of the Wind’ is an exciting tale of kids who refused to be defined by the limits of their circumstance, and consequently transformed a sport.
“It’s a terrific underdog story, and a gem of a film – exactly the thing you’re hoping to stumble across at a festival… And you don’t need to know the difference between windsurfing and couch-surfing to enjoy it. ”
–Simon Braund, Empire