Last weekend, I camped on Indonesia’s most remote islands. I was embraced by a small village community. I built a well that provided them fresh water. The kicker? I did all this from Cocoa Beach, Florida, losing myself in what I thought was a surf movie. It starred waterman Rob Machado, though surfing wasn’t his primary focus. Below Rob, and the film’s director, Taylor Steele, offer a taste of why their movie The Drifter is different.
Eddy Patricelli: Is “The Drifter” a surf movie? Taylor Steele: No, I wouldn’t call it a surf movie. It’s a travel movie. Rob and I went in a different direction with this – steering well clear of what people might expect.
EP: Rob, you mention traveling with an open mind and a smile on your face. What is it about Indonesia that allows this mindset to open especially big doors? Rob Machado: That kind of mentality works everywhere – even at home. In Indonesia being friendly while getting gas or food puts everyone in a good place. It opened some doors with locals showing me some secret spots.
EP: Taylor, you’ve lived in Bali for 5 years, and have known Rob for decades. What is about Indonesia that aligns well with Rob’s personality and his journey in this film? TS: People in Indonesia are so friendly and honest. So is Rob. I figured through Rob we could show their great culture.
EP: Rob, with the help of Hurley and the Sumba Foundation, you built a well that provided a village with water. How did that experience change you? RM: It really made me appreciate everyday things – especially turning on the faucet and getting water. We take things for granted that others walk miles for.
EP: Do either of you have any hopes for what people take away from this movie? Inspiration to travel? Surf? Toss their phones? RM: Everyone should travel and get out of their hotel. Why travel if you’re going to sit in the hotel room and watch the same TV shows that you watch at home? What’s the point? Meet people. Learn about their cultures. Learn about their lifestyle. Get out there and experience it all.
TS: That pretty much sums it up.
Follow The Drifter’s release tour to find out when it hits a theater near you.__ Can’t wait that long? Purchase a your own copy.