Wed, 4 August 2010

The gritty surf documentary Sea of Darkness won the Audience Choice Award at the Wavescapes Surf film Festival presented by the Save our Seas Foundation held here last week.

Directed by South African Michael Oblowitz, who now lives in Los Angeles, the film documents the sinister origins of the surf travel dream. It was screened at Musgrave as part of Wavescapes, which forms part of the Durban International Film Festival, the largest of its kind in Africa.

Drug peddling, addiction, and ruination seep through the cleverly juxtaposed grainy 16mm clips as you dig deep into the early stirrings of surf travel around the Indonesian archipelago.

As Spike wrote in the programme:

"You’ll jolt awake in a cold sweat as the two kilos of condomised China White squirm in your belly. At times macabre, this historically fascinating doccie follows Indies Trader owner Martin Daly and others as they bankroll the early exploration of Indo as drug smugglers. Some died. Others survived. The footage of two ous on one Uluwatu wave trading barrels is hoot-worthy."

Oblowitz, who orginally hails from Cape Town, said he was thrilled to win the award, which was accepted on his behalf by Spike at a glittering banquest held at Moyo in uShaka Marine World to mark the end of the Durban International Film Festival, of which Wavescapes has been part for five years.

This year, Quiksilver partnered with Wavescapes to inject some core surf stoke, providing the amping crowds with product and airing hot new ads. Several sellout shows had the crowds hooting with stoke at some of the crazy antics depicted on screen.

Almost 2,000 people attended the Wavescapes films in Durban. The soulful women's film Dear and Yonder attracted an estimated 1,050 on the beach at the Bay of Plenty, while 1,000 people passed through the doors of the Ster Kinekor in Musgrave to see the other 10 films: Sea of Darkness, Still Filthy, Modern Collective, Lives of the Artitsts, The Drifter, Gum for my Boat, Cancer to Capricorn, Quest for Fear, Fiberglass and Megapixels and the Present.

The film festival moves to Cape Town in December. Many thanks to our amazing curator in California Keiko Beatie and to all the directors and filmmakers who still believe that good art transcends crass commercial interest.



0 #2 wj 2010-08-06 12:42
where can we get a copy of this flick??
Jono J
0 #1 Jono J 2010-08-04 14:30
Wow, it was really good.

Generally the whole vibe was awesome, managed to watch every night from Sunday to Friday, and saw everything i Hadnt already seen or already had a copy of.

Shots O's

Rock on
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