Dion Agius made a film for his friends. He called it The Smiling Bag and he released it by doing premiere parties and then he offered it to you, all you had to do was email him. In a world where everyone is inundated, this was refreshing. And we’ve now seen the film 10 times in person, usually with Dion and the entire vibe is perfect because of that. Easily our favorite film of the year. Hell, I think it was the only film of the year. Which is a whole other problem. But Dion’s Smiling Bag is a film you need, so call him up, he’d be happy to share. Below is Dion on the film:
“It feels like it’s been 10 years in the making, but really it’s just the last two or three. It’s funny because when we’re working on film projects but 90 percent of that footage never sees the light of day. The idea with The Smiling Bag was to take all this unused footage and make something interesting out of it.
At first, I was just going to make an edit to give to my friends that were on these trips, just for the memories, but then I just kept working on it and it kind of became a bigger thing.
I’ve loved editing since I was a kid and this felt like I was relearning that whole process. It’s been really fun experimenting and having that creative outlet while I’ve been on the road the last year.
So far you could only see it by coming to one of the premieres, but its available now just by emailing me, and then I’ll send you a download link to the movie or a USB drive with a zine, a poster, some shoelaces and some stickers. So you’ll get a nice little package that will be this fun thing you’ll hopefully want to keep.
I really wanted to try and give the movie a little bit more physicality as opposed to just throwing something up on the web, where people generally only have about a two-minute attention span — this fucker is pretty long.
Hopefully it will feels something more substantial than just blasting it out to be embedded everywhere, not that theres anything wrong with that i just feel like I’ve been doing that for ten years and need a change.
Emailing back and forth with people who have reached out and want to check out the movie and hearing all their stories, has probably been the most rewarding part. I’ve probably had close to a thousand emails so far.
Same goes for the premieres: I started showing the movie in Europe, stopping in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Hossegor San Sebastien trying to connect with these little surf communities that don’t normally get a lot of surf premieres. Just meeting all these people from different surf cultures has been the coolest thing ever, so many awesome people. That’s so much more rewarding than getting 50,000 views on Vimeo or something. But if someone couldn’t make it to any of the premiers, I’m happy to send them the film. I’m not trying to make it some exclusive thing. Just email me and I’ll be stoked to send it out.
I think I’ll include some viewing guidelines in the package, just to remind people that this stuff is way more fun when you immerse yourself in it, turn the lights off, put it on the biggest screen you can, get your friends over, have some beers and turn the volume up super fucking loud. It’s easy to forget to try and immerse yourself sometimes when you’re used to watching everything on your phone or your laptop.
The Smiling Bag was kind of pieced together from a bunch of clips that were already there, so there’s only so much you can do with the direction, but next time I’d want to really spend some time and workshop an idea and do it properly. I would love to work on another project and go a bit more experimental and freeform.
It’s nothing too serious and i just hope everyone enjoys it and it helps get them psyched to go surfing and have fun.” —Dion Agius