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LOS ANGELES In the middle of winter—even Los Angeles winter—a trip to Tahiti is hardly a tough sell. Such was the case even with a virtual trip to the island nation when a capacity crowd of about 500 came out for the world premiere of 3-D Imax surf film The Ultimate Wave Tahiti at the California Science Center. The film’s stars, Kelly Slater and Raimana Van Bastolaer, served as hosts for a guest list of surf industry executives, athletes, and media folks.
Tahiti Tourisme North America director of promotions and events Mari Masuda oversaw the event, with Tahiti Tourisme, Quiksilver, and K2 Communications all responsible for the program's development. Key players in the planning included Shana Frahm of Frahm & Brown PR and Catlin Rawlings of Quiksilver, which hired and worked with C3 Presents in the planning and funding of the party. Suzuki was the presenting sponsor for the film. Infinity Events produced and designed the event.
In the rotunda, guests encountered Tahitian dance troupe Nonosina and flower leis. Inside the Imax theater, they could mimic the experience of standing in the barrel of a Tahitian wave by way of “Small Day at Teahupo’o,” an interactive sculptural installation by artist Blakeney Sanford. Guests donned Quiksilver 3-D glasses to watch the film on the massive seven-story screen.
At the Tahitian-themed after-party inside the Science Center's Wallis Annenberg Building, musician Mason Jennings and DJ Chris Holmes entertained the black-tie crowd. An Catering served Tahiti-inspired menu items including breadfruit fries sprinkled with Tahitian pink sea salt, tuna tartar on taro chips with pineapple aioli, grilled sweet potato on sugarcane spears with hoisin-chili dipping sauce, grilled mahi mahi skewers marinated in soy and fresh ginger, and a pork carving station with pineapple miso glaze. Desserts included pineapple and banana fritters and mini coconut and Tahitian vanilla cakes. Tahiti’s own Hinano beer was on offer, along with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Redleaf water, and mai tais using Sailor Jerry rum.