A long awaited international surfing movie will have its world premiere in Auckland tomorrow night.

Proximity is the latest production from American-based Taylor Steele, who is considered the doyen of surfing movie-makers.

To use the expression favoured by the surfing community, the trailer for the movie and other sneak previews have had surfers "frothing".

The award-winning director and producer was named as one of world surfing's top 10 most influential identities last year and his creative abilities are legendary among the sport's followers.


Steele teamed up with another award-winning executive producer Michael Lawrence to promote the latest movie. Lawrence was behind cult Australian movies Bra Boys and Fighting Fear.

Proximity features 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, current No 1 John John Florence, big wave icon Shane Dorian, six-time women's world champion Stephanie Gilmore and radical Kiwi-born activist Dave Rastovich.

While it is set around surfing, the documentary does have wider appeal with a takeaway message that life is for living.

Steele and Lawrence pair up eight different surfers and follow them on unique and exotic surf trips.

Slater, 45, and Florence, 24 and winner of the 2016 world title, are one pair. Although still competitors on the international tour, the respect and friendship Slater and Florence develop through the movie - even though they had never travelled together previously - is one of the film's high points.

"Surfing has grown up a lot over the last decade," Steele said. "We wanted to create something that reflected that. Proximity features four legends and four rising stars who each bring their own athleticism, thoughts and experiences in this behind-the-scenes look at modern surfing."

Rastovich is the sole Kiwi in the movie. He is a former world junior champion who moved to Australia as a youngster and then eschewed the pro tour for a more rounded lifestyle as a crusader for environmentalism and respect for the ocean.

The promoters say the unusual decision to premiere the movie in New Zealand was made because of the strong Kiwi surfing community here.

"We love coming to New Zealand and are keen to film a production here when the time is right," Lawrence said.

"New Zealand has a huge surfing community, with Kiwis passionate about the lifestyle, and we know young and old will enjoy this visual surfing feast for your eyes."

Steele says Proximity is his most ambitious project to date.

Making the movie wasn't without its setbacks.

Steele lost a drone and an expensive camera into huge waves off Chile with the footage and drone never to be seen again.

Proximity will have its world premiere at 7pm at Events Cinema in Auckland's Queen St tomorrow.