A total of 16 films will be screened at the annual Wavescapes Surf Film Festival, presented by the Save Our Seas Foundation, which runs for 18 days in Cape Town between 2 and 20 December.
The opening film will be projected onto a large screen under the stars at tourist mecca Clifton Fourth Beach on Friday, 11 December. Last year, the screening attracted 3,000 people to what has been described as the most beautiful cinema in the world. A week of films will be on show at the Labia Cinema in the city and at a seaside surfer hangout, the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay.
The festival includes the Wavescapes Surf Art Exhibition, a special exhibition of decorated surfboards by acclaimed artists, such as Brett Murray, Konradski, Andre Trantaal and Sue Opperman, which will run from 2 to 8 December at the trendy Cape Town restaurant Depasco, followed by a gala art auction by comedian Mark Sampson on 9 December. Proceeds of the auction go to ocean charities, including the NSRI and Shark Spotters.
A broad mix of surfing films will be screened, from beautiful and poetic eulogies about waves and the heroes of the surfing sub-culture to the darker side of surfing. This year two gritty documentaries focus on how the surfing dream is partly built on contraband smuggling, in Sea of Darkness, and on the tragic tale of drug addiction and emotional meltdown that led to the tragic downfall of a professional surfer in Searching for Michael Petersen.
High Water, the feature film from the Bruce Brown family, is hot off the press from its editing room in California, while the star all-women cast of Dear and Yonder promises to thrill audiences with the sublime and skilful levels women are reaching as they carve new lines in the quest to find their own self-expression.
Black People Don’t Swim recounts the story of Kwezi Qika, a champion longboarder from Muizenberg who has overcome great odds to reach the pinnacle of his sport. Fly in the Champagne, a powerful and drama-filled action film, documents the fiercest rivalry in professional surfing: Andy Irons versus Kelly Slater. Footage in Inside Teahupoo at this world famous reef break in Tahiti marks another leap in the technology of filming waves from inside the curling tube.
The unusual documentary Glacier Project follows two big wave surfers from warmer climes to the frigid wastelands of Alaska, where they attempt to surf mini-tsunamis created by cliff-sized chunks of ice falling from a melting glacier.
The new retrospective trend in surfing is indicated by Tom’s Creation Plantation, which recounts the frugal life and design ethos of earthy Australian shaper Tom Wegener as we look into the making and style of the Alaia – a wood surfboard with no fins based on ancient Hawaiian craft.
A highlight is Musica Surfica, and award-winning and inspiring documentary that represents the intersection of art, music and surfing, starring Australian surf legend Derek Hynd and Richard Tognetti, leading violinist and Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra who plays his R65-million Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violin while Hynd shows the way with his finless surfboard .
A total of 16 films will be screened at the festival. The screening at Clifton Beach is free, and R25 at person at the Labia and Brass Bell. For details call the infoline 079 0260 669 or www.wavescape.co.za