Made In Venice: Documentary Tells True Story Of Skate Community’s 20-Year Battle To Build The Park

Venice Beach has some of the deepest skate history, but not always had a skate park. There are 40-plus years of skateboarding history in Venice, going all the way back to the Z-Boys. What many don’t know and often most [especially tourists] take for granted is that the park wasn’t built without a 20-year battle culminating in 2009 after a 10-month build. The dream was to give Dogtown the iconic park we all see today. Shocking to some of the younger generations, but also kind of typically of the battle between skateboarding’s no-comply and never give up attitude vs. civilian moral authority and the nanny state. Despite the roots and and very deserving placement of the park, putting one in such a premium location, now coveted and costly from its popularity, was near impossible to break through the political boundaries. Pump iron sure. Pump tranny, no way!

Check out the tailer and read up on the press release. Definitely read / watch more about Jesse Martinez and check out Juice Magazine for more posts and interviews deeply relevant to the story and the history of skating in the area as a whole. This is one documentary to see this summer for sure!

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Los Angeles, CA (August 17, 2016) – Made In Venice, a documentary, directed and produced by Jonathan Penson, featuring the inside story of the skateboarders of Venice, California, and their struggle to make the dream of a skatepark come true, will be released nationwide on August 25, 2016, via Abramorama.

The feature-length documentary carries the viewer through the history of Venice to present day, as it tells the story of the decades it took a relentless crew of skateboarders, surfers and civic activists to convince the City of Los Angeles to build a skatepark in the area that gave birth to modern skateboarding.

Made In Venice is not just a skate movie. It’s a tale of audacity, guts and hope filled with counterculture characters that overcame all obstacles to claim victory for the masses. Anyone that has fought for what they want can identify with this film. This is the story of visionaries that refused to give up the goal to build concrete terrain for future generations.

The film captures the firsthand stories and recollections of 40-plus years of skateboarding in Venice that started with the Z-Boys, and continued with its legendary street skaters and the iconic Venice Skatepark. Never-before-seen Super-8 and early video footage, along with rare black and white stills, take you back to innovative demos on the Boardwalk and skating the walls of the Pavilion, as the Venice skaters pushed the boundaries of street skating and put it on the global map.

Made In Venice features appearances by skateboarding legends, professionals, heroes, skatepark activists and skate icons:  Jesse Martinez, Geri Lewis, Christian Hosoi, C.R. Stecyk III, Skip Engblom, Jay Adams, Jeff Ho, Aaron Murray, Scott Oster, Cesario “Block” Montano, Jim Muir, Tim Jackson, Ray Flores, Eddie Reategui, Eric Britton, Dave Duncan, David Hackett, Joey Tran, Pat Ngoho, Wally Hollyday, Jimbo Quaintance, Joff Drinkwater, Nathan Pratt, Solo Scott, Jamie Quaintance, Asher Bradshaw, Kiko Francisco, Bart Saric, Heidi Lemmon, Anthony “Tonan” Ruiz, Lance Lemond, Susanne Melanie Berry, Jereme Schadler, Dennis Ogden, Steve Mayorga, Julien Martinez, Victor Blue, Steve “Primo” Primeau, Mary Prideaux, Lauren Seagrave, Katie Sullivan, Adam Hamilton, Karington Smith, Mike Sherrod, Pauline Bronon, Mario Narango and Zack Wormhoudt.


Made In Venice will be showing Aug 25-Sept 1 at the Laemmle Monica in Santa Monica, California. Following its Los Angeles openings, the film will roll out in theaters across the country, including skateboarding hotspots such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, New York City and more.

WHEN:  Screening Dates and Locations
August 25 – September 1, 2016 – Laemmle Monica – Santa Monica, CA
August 30, 2016 – Laemmle Playhouse 7 – Pasadena, CA
August 31, 2016 – Laemmle NoHo 7 – North Hollywood, CA
August 31, 2016 – Megaplex Gateway Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT
September 1, 2016 – NorthWest Film Forum – Seattle, WA
September 5, 2016 – Gateway Film Center – Columbus, OH
September 7, 2016 – SIE Film Center – Denver, CO
September 8, 2016 – Krikorian Buena Park, Buena Park, CA
September 8, 2016 – Kirkorian Downey Cinema 10, Downey, CA
September 8, 2016 – Krikorian Monrovia Cinema 12 – Monrovia, CA
September 8, 2016 – Krikorian Redlands Cinema – Redlands, CA
September 8, 2016 – Krikorian San Clemente Cinema 6 – San Clemente, CA
September 11, 2016 – Hollywood Theatre – Portland, OR

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Tag #madeinvenicemovie for all social media.

For more information and upcoming screening dates go to

What people are saying about Made In Venice!

“Made In Venice is a step by step manifesto for skate/civic activism. It is a remarkable documentation of hard working visionary individuals transforming society.” – C.R. Stecyk III – Dogtown Chronicles

“Go and see the Made In Venice movie. It’s got a great story and you’ll learn a lot about skateboarding. Support skateboarding worldwide.” – Jesse Martinez – street skating pioneer

“Venice is a place where respect is earned! Jesse Martinez epitomizes that statement. Made in Venice documents the lives of those who fight for their community and the cause to make a way for future generations of skateboarders. Fight for your dreams and they will become a reality!!! – Christian Hosoi – skate legend

“Through sheer perseverance, anything is possible.” – Jake Phelps – Thrasher Magazine

“Made in Venice is a must-see documentary. Skateparks are a vital part of the evolution of skateboarding culture, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.” – Jeff Ho – founder of Zephyr, Z-Boys

“You should go see this movie if you’re trying to get a skatepark built in your town because it shows what a community can do when they really get together and work towards something they want that would also benefit the community as a whole, especially the kids. Isn’t that what it’s about?” – Eric “Tuma” Britton

“Going to see Made in Venice brings my generation of skaters full circle from the days when the Dogtown scene influenced us in the ’70’s! – Jim Murphy – Stronghold Society, Wounded Knee Skateboards

Made in Venice is an inspirational story for any skateboarder to never give up. People don’t understand what it takes to get a skatepark built and Made In Venice tells that story. – Dave Duncan – skate legend

“Made In Venice tells you the history of Venice skating. I dug the movie. It had a lot of really cool history that I didn’t know before. I knew Jesse, but I didn’t know all the history that went down in the ‘80s in Venice. I used to watch those guys skate at the Pavilion. There was a lot more going on that was in the movie that I didn’t know that was cool. I was stoked to see all that.” – Wes Humpston – Dogtown skate art icon

“Being a ramp builder, I know the struggles of cutting through red tape to get a skatepark built. The Made in Venice movie was an amazing journey and I loved it.” – Eddie Reategui – skate legend, park builder

Made in Venice – the movie – a must see! This film is an essential piece of history, acknowledging and paying tribute to the ground soldiers whose tireless efforts brought to fruition a skatepark on the sand that millions now enjoy.” – Alex Stowell – Venice Paparazzi

An epic tale of what people will do for the love of skateboarding.” – Lou Metal – Metal Skateboards

“Made in Venice celebrates the hard work and countless hours that it takes to not just build a skatepark but to build a skate community.” – Derek Rinaldi –

“Made in Venice will help others prepare for all the bs surrounding government projects. Thanks for making this.” –

Wes Humpston Design Limited Edition T-Shirt For Made In Venice

Artist and Dogtown pioneer Wes Humpston designed a one of a kind t-shirt for the Made In Venice movie, which is available at All proceeds from the sales of the shirts go to the Venice Skatepark Foundation, the non-profit organization that Jesse Martinez is involved with that has been volunteering to keep the Venice Skatepark clean. Get a cool shirt and support a great cause at the same time.


ABOUT Made In Venice

Directed and Produced by Jonathan Penson

Executive Producers: Dianne E. Lerner

Written and Co-Produced by Diane Rozas

Creative Consultants: Kevin Hynes, Christian L. Rehr

Editors: Kenn Bartlett, Jonathan Penson

Co-Producers: Jesse Martinez, Joel Klug, Masao Miyashiro, Todd Gessel

Cinematography: Jonathan Penson, Ian Congdon

Production Company: Racing the Sun Pictures

TRT: 77 minutes


Abramorama is an independent distribution and marketing company. An industry leader in the focused, personalized form of film distribution, Abramorama provides invaluable alternatives to filmmakers and content owners.  Coming off the successful releases of Laurie Anderson’s astonishing New York Times critics’ pick, HEART OF A DOG, and Dawn Porter’s Sundance Award-winner TRAPPED, Abramorama’s recent multiple-nominated and award-winning titles also include Showtime’s LISTEN TO ME MARLON (National Board of Review Winner) and Drafthouse’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2016 Documentary Academy Award® Nominee and 2015 IDA Best Documentary Winner).

Over the course of more than 20 years, Abramorama has successfully distributed and marketed hundreds of films, including Asif Kapadia’s SENNA, Robert Stone’s PANDORA’S PROMISE, Cameron Crowe’s PEARL JAM TWENTY, Sacha Gervasi’s ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, Banksy’s Academy Award®-nominated, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, the surprise indie hit AWAKE: THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA, and the critically acclaimed documentaries PARTICLE FEVER and AN HONEST LIAR.

Abramorama continues to lead in event cinema distribution, with current titles including HAMLET starring Maxine Peake from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Operas from La Scala, Roma, Fenice & Torino, and recent titles including the Royal Opera House Ballet and Opera Cinema Season, Green Day’s HEART LIKE A HAND GRENADE, Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, Charles Ferguson’s TIME TO CHOOSE, Barbara Kopple’s MISS SHARON JONES!, Luke Meyer’s BREAKING A MONSTER, and Ron Howard’s THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK- THE TOURING YEARS.

For more information visit:


The Venice Skatepark is a 16,000 square foot oceanfront concrete skatepark featuring a world-renowned skate plaza with two bowls, a unique old school style snake run, designed by Jesse Martinez, and a street-inspired area with stairs, ledges & rails. It took over 20 years for this skatepark to come to fruition, and 10 months to build. It opened to the public on October 3, 2009, at a cost of $3,500,000. This iconic site attracts visitors from all over the world and it is estimated that approximately 30,000 people visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk on a daily basis. It is the second most-visited destination in Southern California, with an average of over ten million visitors per year.  It is known as one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions. Please do your part to keep it clean by donating to the Venice Skatepark Foundation.

For more information and to make donations, please visit:

For more information and upcoming screening dates go to