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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 7 March 2019

The Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival has announced the winners of the film festival in Cape Town in December, with Best Surf Film going to Russian feature documentary Priboi.


CAPE TOWN CAPERS: The Labia Cinema was sold out for several screenings. Photo Supplied

The head of the judging panel, surfer and historian Dr Glen Thompson, said that the standard of films was exceptionally high in 2018, with increased emphasis on documentary narrative, a further leap in technical proficiencies brought on by POV cams and drones, and a particularly creative approach to cinematography.

The Best Surf Film went to Priboi, with Runner Up Big Wata, while Tidal won Best Ocean Film and Sand in the Sky won Best Short Film. The Audience Choice Award went to Satori.

"Priboi is a brilliant surf documentary that deconstructs and subverts the Endless Summer narrative. We embark on a visceral surf exploration of the new Russia in the wake of the break-up of the USSR. Unique Russian surfer stories are told during a vast project to map surf breaks across thousands of kilometres, with spectacular cinematography. This is surf stoke reloaded. Siberia shall no longer be remembered for Soviet gulags."

Best Ocean Film was awarded to the South African film Tidal. "This medium length documentary about the cathartic awakening of a young woman after a horrific BASE jumping accident refocuses energy and meaning. A deeply moving personal narrative brings life to an aquatic zone on the edge of the surf as she champions the health and future of tidal pools in Cape Town. The process brings her own healing in a symbolic, but also very physical way."

The dreamy short film Sand in the Sky, which follows a toddler's memory of an interaction with the ocean and waves and supported by alluring POV cinematography, was awarded Best Short Film.


FLAGSHIP EVENING: Another kiff (and calm) evening under the stars at popular Clifton 4th Beach.

Thompson said that Big Wata was an exceptional Runner Up to Priboi as Best Surf Film: "This is a unique documentary about grassroots surfing on the West African coast. It follows the personal struggles of an aspiring Sierra Leone surfer who navigates village social and power relations to select a surf club team to visit more established surf clubs in neighbouring Liberia. This encounter points the Sierra Leone club toward seeking inclusion in international organised surfing. A well thought out, poignant narrative that underscores the power of surfing.

The Audience Choice Award went to the big wave surfing film Satori, by Cape Town director Rick Wall, a captivating glimpse into the close-knit crew of Cape Town big wave surfers. Shot black in white, it breaks the convention of documentary filmmaking while delivering a eulogy to the huge waves of Sunset Reef and Dungeons off Cape Town.

See you later this year!


Edward Aschmann
0 #1 Dungeons CometitionEdward Aschmann 2019-03-31 21:37
I left SA in 2001 and now surf in Auckland. Just wondering if there is still an annual Dungeons Big Wave Competition?
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