To mark a decade of bringing quality surfing films to Durban, the Wavescape Surf Film Festival has announced a record line-up of 23 movies over one week at the 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place from 16 to 26 July.
Almost every conceivable film technique and technology is represented in an extraordinary selection of films, according to Spike from Wavescape, co-director of the Wavescape festival. “We have some excellent documentaries, including the hair-raising story of the Signal Hill Speed Run in California that started downhill skateboard racing,’ says Spike.
Wavescape 2015 boasts 12 short films and 11 medium or feature length films that reflect a unique diversity.
Included are films from the most remote wildernesses of Alaska (Arctic Swell) and the Arctic Circle (The Cradle of Storms), to the tropical waters and reefs of Indonesia in the Mentawai Drone Movie, a short shot entirely by aerial drone.
“Don’t miss the languidly beautiful pace of Bella Vita that takes us to Tuscany as an Italian surfer and activist retraces his ancient roots, or the hard-hitting feminist film Flux: Redefining Women’s Surfing that ask serious questions of the surf industry.
“One of my favourite shorts is Narcose, an artistically rendered account of world apnea free-diving champion Guillaume Nery’s hallucinations caused by ‘raptures of the deep’ during one of his dives,” says Spike.
There are films about skateboarding in the urban precincts of Cape Town, and keeping within themes of sustainability, two South African shorts about wooden surfboard craftsman. There’s world-class surfing to be seen in Attractive Distractions, while the beautifully shot Always on the Road traces the old surf routes of Europe along the Basque countryside, as well as France and Portugal.
There are obligatory soul surfing movies (I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night, Missing, Rail to Rail and Se7en Signs) as well as a heady mix of high-action surfing that can be found in Strange Rumblings in Shangri La and Pipeline and Kelly Slater.
And with any selection of surf films, there is the whacky wildcard: Expencive Porno Movie (sic) spoofs the “surf porn’ genre of endless shots of waves and wave-riding, with a cheesy 1960’s Austin Powers theme. The widest collection yet hails from locations such as Namibia, Cape Town, Hawaii, California, Indonesia, Portugal, Spain, Alaska, Patagonia, and Australia.
The free outdoor screening at the Bay of Plenty takes place Sunday, 19 July.
Ster Kinekor Musgrave screenings are from Monday, 20 July to Saturday, 25 July.