Wavescape at DIFF

Wavescape, presented by the Durban International Film Festival, with principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, brings an ocean-conscious message through films that remind us of the aesthetic value and life-giving force our earth’s precious body of water. It kicks off with movies and music at the Wave House, Gateway Theatre of Shopping on July 21, followed by a beach clean up and an outdoor screening at the Bay of Plenty on July 22, and five days of surf films at Sterkinekor, Musgrave Centre from July 23 to 27.

There is a veritable feast of surfing cinema on offer and also includes snowboarding and shark stories. The diverse line-up includes the poetic El Mar, Mi Alma (The Sea, My Soul), for a unique Chilean experience, and the endless treasures of Pichilemu. The Africa Project documents an epic trip around Africa, including mad Namibian wave Skeleton Bay. Minds In The Water follows free surfer Dave Rastovich on his quest to save whales and dolphins, featuring Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd, the Oscar-winning The Cove, and epic waves.

Wave House is hosting two events featuring surfing films: On July 21 from 7pm there are Flowrider demos, followed by the film Year Zero, a post-apocalyptic burst of Mad Max mayhem as renegade surfers trip through dry lands to satiate a primordial thirst for surf – the evening culminates in performances by celebrated local bands Gangs of Ballet and Anti Retro Vinyls. On July 27 well-known surfing journalist and curator of the Wavescape Festival, Steve Pike aka Spike, will give a presentation on Weather & Waves at 6.30pm followed by two films Rebel Sessions, which focuses on the filthy slab they call the Dungeons down in the Cape, and Come Hell or High Water, a 16mm celebration of body-surfing, the first form of wave riding.

This year a large number of films and shorts in the DIFF are proudly South African: the short Go Pro film about a day in the life of a dog, who visits the ocean can be seen preceding The Africa Project, a quintessential surf trip around Africa. Another SA film Surfing and Sharks will be shown at the popular outdoor beach screening at Bay of Plenty on Sunday, July 22 at 7pm. This doccie explores the uneasy truce between surfers and sharks and examines the opinions of scientists, shark experts, shark bite survivors and surfers. This is a free screening and public are invited to bring their families, a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy the movie under the stars.

Staying with the adrenalin-pumping action of many of these films, the festival presents The Art of Flight, a high-tech film has jaw-dropping HD panoramas in what has been described as the best snowboarding film ever. The film pushes boundaries to music that includes the trippy Deadmau5 track Ghosts ‘n Stuff and promises a visceral, immersive experience.

Ocean-aware folk are invited to join the Wavescape team and the Durban Beach Cleanup Crew at the Bay of Plenty in Durban on Sunday, July 22 at 2pm for an afternoon of cleaning up the beach. “It’s up to all of us to start looking after our oceans and our environment.” Says Steve Pike. “The alarming amount of plastic and rubbish being tossed into the ocean is killing our sea life along with the ocean birds that are feeding their chicks plastic and killing them in the process.” For more about the clean up go to Facebook Durban Beach Cleanup.

Wavescape films take place at Sterkinekor at Musgrave Cinema from Monday 23 July to Friday 26 July. For details visit www.wavescapefilmfestival.co.za.

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