Wavescape Surf Film Festival at the DIFF
To mark a decade of bringing the best surfing films to Durban, the Wavescape Surf Film Festival has announced a record line-up of 23 movies over a week at the 36th Durban International Film Festival, which takes place from July 16 to 26.
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.”
Wavescape 2015 boasts 12 short films and 11 medium or feature length movies that reflect a unique diversity. A unique trilogy of poetic shorts form a beautiful rendition of surfing in the UK: Sea Fever – and Irish film set to a John Masefield poem and gritty black and white footage; Edges of Sanity – a uniquely powerful piece narrated by Charles Dance who plays Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones; and Chasing Rumours – moving from the clamour of a football match at Newcastle United to the nearby Tyne River where storm waves pound grimy shores.
Included are films from the most remote wildernesses of Alaska (Arctic Swell) and the Arctic Circle (The Cradle of Storms). But from these frozen wastelands and frigid waves we sweep to the translucent 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 Néry’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. From the epic surfing and slo-mo definition of worldclass surfing in Attractive Distractions, we move to Always on the Road, a beautifully shot film that 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) to a heady mix of high action surfing that can be found in Missing, Attractive Distractions, 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 from Monday, 20 July to Saturday, 25 July.