Critical Acclaim for… David L. Brown Productions


G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle:  “Powerfully moving.

Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner:  “Sometimes thrilling, often inspirational…the highly satisfying tale of a man whose dedication to nature, simplicity, freedom and fun provide inspiration for all.

Michael Fox, San Francisco Weekly:  “This endearing one-hour profile of big-wave legend and nonagenarian free spirit, Woody Brown, succeeds in transcending the sports-doc genre by tapping into its subject’s knack for aging joyfully… His generosity of spirit is impossible to resist.”

The Onion:  “A captivating story abut a man whose outlook on life is infectious and inspiring…the best kick-in-the-pants since Lester Burnham quit his job in American Beauty.”

Santa Barbara Independent:  Of Wind and Waves presents the truly inspirational tale of the 94-years-young surfing, gliding and sailing legend, Woody Brown.  Full of timeless advice and captivating stories, this bio-documentary from San Francisco’s David L. Brown tells the story of one of surfing’s most overlooked legends.  There are true gems of wisdom hidden in this movie that are rewarding for all.

Stuart Coleman,  Honolulu Weekly:“It would be hard to imagine a more epic, thrilling life, and it’s a good thing that award-winning filmmaker David Brown was there to put the pieces together in a new one-hour documentary.”

Burt Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Bulletin:  “A lot of fun – joie du vivre – colors Woody Brown’s life, and this is reflected in the film by David Brown….A rich and resonant story for surfers and non-surfers alike.  Woody’s is a life that transcends categories.  A memorable and often heartbreaking documentary.”

Michael Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser:  “ A satisfying one hour film that somehow manages to document the long litany of Woody’s accomplishments while constructing an emotionally powerful story of loss and redemption.”

Krista Walton, The Maui News: “ Woody Brown’s story is indeed remarkable – and remarkably fit for cinema.  Filmmaker David Brown tapped into an impressive archive of film and photography to complement Woody’s story.  Most laudable is that Brown extends the film’s perspective beyond the typical life-of-a-legend narrative.  Woody Brown’s story is most of all an honest telling of an extraordinary life – wipeouts included.”


Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Contra Costa Times: “ A great and funny film that offers a whole new perspective on the saga of the Bay Bridge project. “

Erik Nelson, Oakland Tribune:  “It should come as no surprise that in an era where “The Daily Show” is the main source of news for a plurality of Americans, that I should get my best lesson yet on the history of the new Bay Bridge from a comedic documentary commissioned by engineers.  “The Bridge So Far:  A Suspense Story” milks the ongoing earthquake retrofit-reconstruction saga for every possible laugh it can sqeeze into 55 minutes.  I watched the movie on my laptop while riding the train home, and I nearly embarrassed myself from laughing in front of my unknowing fellow commuters.  Filmmaker David L. Brown is the Scorsese of public works cinema.”

Sam McManis, The Sacramento Bee:  “The documentary is very funny.  And as a bonus,  you’ll find yourself learning something – almost against your will.  Producer-director, David L. Brown was able to create a snarky and compelling documentary – leaning more toward Michael Moore filmmaking territory than Ken Burns.  As Moore did in “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Brown makes the viewer feel both outraged and amused.


“SENIORS FOR PEACE is a wonderful project. May it inspire similar projects around the country.”
– Pete Seeger, folksinger

“SENIORS FOR PEACE is a gem, a beautifully-crafted filmboth sobering and inspiringon the tragic, unilateral rush to preemptive war in Iraq. It carries a very important and encouraging message from some bright, articulate and committed senior activists who know what war means.”
– Michael Lyons, S.F. Gray Panthers

“I enthusiastically endorse this well made, timely, thoughtful and important film. SENIORS FOR PEACE is the most uplifting and empowering media production I’ve seen on the recent war in Iraq and its grassroots opposition. I was especially moved by the articulate intelligence and passion of the SENIORS FOR PEACE and their first-hand accounts of war. I am delighted that this film will be broadcast nationally on PBS, and I am eager to recommend it to my colleagues in Congress.”
– Hon. Jan Schakowsky, Member of Congress (D., Illinois)

“ An incredible film… the images of war in Iraq juxtaposed with the images and stories of past wars, provide a perspective that is often ignored. These people have lived through wars and powerfully convey how destructive they can be. The Seniors for Peace are a model of civic activism and are an inspiration to people of all ages. I would be honored to share this video with my colleagues in Congress.”
– Hon. Lynn Woolsey, Member of Congress (D., California)

“A remarkable and touching story…SENIORS FOR PEACE is only 26 minutes long, but that will be enough for you to fall in love with its cast of characters and be inspired and engergized by their commitment. They are not only wise, but extremely articulate and well-informed. Television doesn’t offer many opportunities to feel good about yourself and the prospect of growing old. SENIORS FOR PEACE is a welcome tonic that will make you want to grab a flag and head up to Mill Valley to join the group.”
-Jerry Graham, Santa Cruz Sentinel

“SENIORS FOR PEACE is an inspiring look at the power of grassroots organizing, community involvement and successful aging…an extremely empowering message.”
-Katie Smith Sloan, COO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA)

“SENIORS FOR PEACE beautifully portrays an engaging senior peace group whose intelligence, commitment, passion and dedication are truly inspirational. The film should be seen by Americans of all ages.”
-Avon Mattison, President, Pathways to Peace

“SENIORS FOR PEACE is a well-crafted and timely program about engaging senior activists. It is refreshing to see a program about very vital, articulate and passionate seniors trying to make a difference in the world. I am pleased to schedule this fine documentary for broadcast on KQED in April of 2004, and I encourage the widest carriage from all other PBS stations.”
-Scott Dwyer, Program Director, KQED, PBS in San Francisco

“On behalf of the staff, board and residents of The Redwoods, I want to thank you for creating such an excellent and inspiring video on our SENIORS FOR PEACE. It has become a great source of pride and excitement for all of us. The video is so beautifully crafted, so moving and so much more than a simple anti-war statement. It conveys the amazing power of community and passionate involvement so important to successful aging, and the absolutely transformative experience these seniors have gone through in their involvement with the peace group. The video should be screened wherever students and gerontologists study healthy aging or the empowerment of seniors.” -Barbara Solomon, Executive Director, The Redwoods

“SENIORS FOR PEACE is a beautiful film, inspiring and powerful. I was particularly inspired by the eloquence and depth of feeling expressed by the seniors. It was really quite poignant to witness their sorrow about our government’s decisions, and yet their empowerment from their own activism for peace and justice. I am very pleased that this film will be aired on national PBS. The wisdom and passion of these senior activists will make a difference.” -Sandra Schwartz, Peace Education Program, American Friends Service Committee


“This inspirational movie is also a fascinating glimpse at the history of surfing, with archival footage that provides a rare look back, especially in California, at how the surfing culture evolved. You don’t have to love surfing to groove to this highly entertaining film.”
-Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

“A wise, witty and refreshing perspective on growing old told with artistry and celebratory spirit.”
-David Ansen, Newsweek Magazine

“Enjoyable and engaging…numerous ingratiating elements make it fun, upbeat fare of interest to general audiences as well as surfing aficionados.”
-Dennis Harvey, Variety

“SURFING FOR LIFE is a treasure, perhaps the most intelligent treatment of surfing ever captured on film.”
-Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle

“The portraits of these inspirational elders challenge the images of aging presented in the media and commonly held among American youth. SURFING FOR LIFE makes an eloquent and important statement about the human potential of later life.”
-Dan Young, Metro Santa Cruz

“An upbeat, fun, inspiring look at a great sport and some passionate seniors.” Four hats (highest rating).

-Jan Wahl, Movie Critic,KRON-TV, “Moving Pictures.”

“David L. Brown’s engaging documentary, SURFING FOR LIFE is a fun, fascinating and inspiring ride.”
-Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“An exhilarating, insightful profile of an enclave of lifelong surfers in Southern California and Hawaii, a history of the sport and its lifestyle.” (three and a half stars)
-Wesley Morris, San Francisco Examiner

“SURFING FOR LIFE is every senior surfer’s Oscar trophy, a brilliant film that salutes its extraordinary characters and challenges anyone’s definition of the golden years.”
-Bernie Baker, Surfer Magazine

“In the spirit of the best documentary filmmaking, SURFING FOR LIFE is simply a good movie: well-crafted, elegantly paced, fun to watch and interesting on a human level that appeals to everyone. It’s a film that celebrates life and encourages the viewer to pursue whatever hopes and dreams inspire passion.”
-Catherine Graham, Santa Cruz Sentinel

“SURFING FOR LIFE combines two powerful films in one: it is an intriguing documentary about some of surfing’s pioneers and an inspirational tribute to those who have grown older with grace and style. The film is funny, charming and surprisingly moving in parts. It changed my outlook on growing older and rekindled my desire to surf for life.”
-Stuart Coleman, The Honolulu Advertiser

“A celebratory documentary…one of the most fascinating portraits of the sport on film.”
-Paul Malcolm, L.A. Weekly

“A stirring and uplifting documentary…that celebrates the human spirit. Each of the ten portraits in SURFING FOR LIFE offers a facet of surfing as a ritual for redemption and spiritual cleansing…As they tell their stories, they light up the screen. Even the most jaded viewer will find it hard not to be inspired.”
-Terry Rodgers San Diego Union-Tribune

“One of the most entertaining and inspirational surfing film since Endless Summer 1. I enjoyed it so much that I will be at the premiere even though I have seen the film five times. It is that worth it.”
-Tim Goodwin, Santa Cruz Good Times

“Charming…packed with heart-warming moments, personal insights, fascinating historical footage, private tragedy, humor and an inspirational message about accepting the aging process and making the most of it.”
-Pam Kragen, North County Times, San Diego County

“I can recommend no video more inspiring or motivating than SURFING FOR LIFE …a treasure chest of surfing history, as well as a study of lives fully lived and a myth-breaking document of “alternative” aging. This is a great film.”
-Joe Mozdzen, Editor, Making Waves, Surfrider Foundation

“Inspiring and uplifting, SURFING FOR LIFE demonstrates what the human body and spirit are capable of well after the “prime years.” The cinematography is beautiful and the film wonderfully conveys the awesome power of nature and the beauty of the ocean’s waves. SURFING FOR LIFE is an inspiring, honest and surprisingly enjoyable documentary.”
-Alana White, Daily Trojan, University of Southern California

“David L. Brown’s inspirational video should be mandatory viewing for everyone over 40.”
-Surfer Magazine


“BOUND BY THE WIND is far and away the best film on the nuclear legacy. The use of historical clips and survivor interviews is nothing short of brilliant. David L. Brown has a journalist’s clear mind, an artist’s feel, and an historian’s sense of the significance of events.” -Stan Grossfeld, The Boston Globe

“Powerful and moving….BOUND BY THE WIND explores with visceral force the deleterious effects of nuclear weapons testing on the health of citizens of the United States, the Marshall Isla nds and the former Soviet Union…The film’s production values arehigh, with effective use of archival footage, interviews and music…the editing is tight and Dave McQueen’s narration is dramatic.”
-David Armstrong, San Francisco Examiner

“BOUND BY THE WIND is much more than an excellent documentary on nuclear testing. It is a spirited manifesto delivered by citizens around the world who are standing their ground in the places they love, peacefully and forcefully, to bring an end to  nuclear testing for all time.”
-Terry Tempest Williams, Salt Lake City naturalist, author of Refuge

“It was my pleasure to play a part in BOUND BY THE WIND , David L. Brown’s first-rate documentary on the global impact of nuclear testing. I look forward to participating in the film’s Washington, D.C. premiere. This documentary is certain to play an important role in inspiring and informing public debate.”
-Paul Warnke, Former Chief U.S. Arms Control Negotiator, 1977-80

“BOUND BY THE WIND is a fascinating and somewhat shocking documentary exploring the global impact of nuclear weapons testing. Combining compelling personal stories of downwinders with a look at the history of the nuclear testing debate provides a number of highly emotional moments. This is a powerful and thought-provoking film.”
-Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City

“BOUND BY THE WIND is the video I have been waiting for during the thirty years I have been organizing to stop nuclear weapons testing. It will be an invaluable educational tool for the comprehensive test ban campaign to reach the vast population beyond the converted and committed. Now is the perfect time for this video to receive broad distribution to emphasize the folly of continuing U.S. nuclear testing after the Soviets have stopped.”
-David Hartsough, American Friends Service Committee, San Francisco

“BOUND BY THE WIND is a well-made and very powerful video on the global impact of nuclear weapons testing. It maintains a fine balance between the emotional stories of testing victims and an informative examination of the nuclear testing debate It is an important media resource on a timely and under-reported issue.”
-Geoffrey Sea,Health Physicist,In Vivo Radiation Project,Oakland

“BOUND BY THE WIND is documentary video at its best, an excellent tool for reaching and motivating a broader public on the issue of nuclear testing. Through the personal stories of those living downwind of nuclear test sites, it makes a powerful health and environmenal case for stopping nuclear testing. It should be seen by everyone who is concerned about world peace, social justice and the environment.”
-Carolyn Cottom, former Executive Director, U.S. Comprehensive Test Ban Coalition, Washington, D.C.

“BOUND BY THE WIND is a powerful and important video on the issues surrounding nuclear testing. I was deeply moved by its stories of downwinders throughout the planet who have suffered from the radiation from nuclear testing and who are now organizing to say “no more.” It is critical that the video receive broad exposure now when the world has a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive test ban.”
-Elise Lazar, Salt Lake City, former President, Women Concerned About Nuclear War.

“BOUND BY THE WIND should be be seen by anyone who doubts the tragic human legacy of nuclear weapons testing. But it is also a compelling portrait of hope embodied in a phenomenal international movement working to end nuclear testing.”
-Fred Allingham, Executive Director, National Association of Radiation Survivors, Oakland


“A QUESTION OF POWER is one of the best and most definitive media histories of the antinuclear movement…It should be seen by everyone who cares about the Earth, about our legacy to the future and about effective techniques of social change.”
-John Gofman, M.D., Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Medical Physics, U.C. Berkeley

“A QUESTION OF POWER is the best documentary on nuclear power and citizen activism that I have seen. It is a paean to the power of true American democratic action.”
-Philip Tymon, former Executive Director Nuclear Information and Resource Service

“In A QUESTION OF POWER , Brown gets his point of view over with bone-chilling efficiency…The documentary is an uplifting and spirited tribute to peaceful resistance.” -Kathy Baker, TV Editor, Associated Press

“The excellent documentary, A QUESTION OF POWER , provides a compelling portrait of people who, like Karen Silkwood, have faced the thr eat of nuclear technology and have shown the courage to act, to organize and to educate others. Made in the same spirit as our work at the Christic Institute, this film is a uniquely valuable educational tool for the safe energy movement.”
-Sara Nelson, Executive Director, The Christic Institute

“A QUESTION OF POWER is a powerful, informative and very well-made documentary on the antinuclear power movement. It is one of the most effective and inspirational documentaries I have seen on the power of grassroots organizing. It should be seen by as large an audience as possible.”
-Harvey Wasserman, Activist, Author, Killing Our Own

“A QUESTION OF POWER is the most definitive film history yet on the antinuclear movement.”
-Elizabeth Pincus, Video Networks

“A QUESTION OF POWER is a documentary that not only informs and frightens, but also excites and inspires. The film reminds us inescapably of what informed citizens can achieve together if they put their minds and bodies where their hearts are.”
-David Brower, Founder, Friends of the Earth, Earth Island Institute


“FREE ZONE is video that educates, enlightens and enrages… Fascinating and galvanizing.”
-Joy Zimmerman, Pacific Sun

“FREE ZONE is a powerful and moving film, a call to people all over the world to push their so-called leaders aside and build a peaceful world from the grassroots up. I heartily endorse it.”
-Peter DeFazio, U.S. Congressman, Nuclear Free Eugene, Oregon

“FREE ZONE offers a compelling portrait of the dynamic, rapidly growing international movement to create nuclear FREE ZONEs. For those new to the movement AND for long-time activists, it offers tremendous hope and inspiration.”
-Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

“FREE ZONE makes our international movement proudly visible, not only to the world, but to itself. This is an authoritative, empowering documentary that is also an invaluable resource for NFZ organizers.”
-Albert Donnay, Executive Director, Nuclear Free America

“This powerful video shows the deep truth that change starts with the individual heart.”
-Ram Dass, author Be Here Now

“A masterful blend of information, inspiration and art.. FREE ZONE touched me deeply. It should get an Academy Award.”
-Wilson Riles, Jr., Council Member, Oakland City Council (Nuclear FREE ZONE organizer)

“FREE ZONE provides an enlightening overview of the whole nuclear cycle and our opportunity to stop it. It is a great organizing tool.”
-Vivienne Verdon-Roe, Academy Award-winning filmmaker. Women for America, for the World