FEATURE FILMS 

CHURCH OF THE OPEN SKY – SA Premiere
Director: Nathan Oldfield
Info: 52 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 20h00

Independent Australian filmmaker Nathan Oldfield has made a beautifully shot visual love poem. Call it a sea-soaked celebration of the surfing experience. All participants are worthy and welcomed – to learn, play and grow together – in inclusive, sacred playgrounds beneath ‘The Church of the Open Sky’. Shot on location in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. It features Dave Rastovich, Lauren Lindsey Hill, Tom Wegener, Belinda Baggs, CJ Nelson, Alex Knost, Johnny Abegg, Neal Purchase Jr, Jasson Salisbury, Devon Howard and many others. Sweet.

BUNKER77 – SA Premiere
Director: Takuji Masuda
Info: 86min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Sat 9 Dec, 20h00

The true story of young American rebel Bunker Spreckels, Clark Gable’s stepson and heir to a giant sugar fortune. A bitter-sweet biographical account of one of surfing’s most flamboyant, and most controversial surf stars. He exuded authentic originality, like a cross between James Dean and Andy Warhol. He danced on the sea like no one else and soared across the night sky like a angry meteorite. Includes epic archival footage of charging Hawaii, and a wild reckless ride through South Africa in a Mercedes waving cash and a handgun. Of course, it didn’t end well. He died aged 27.

PROXIMITY  – SA Premiere
Director: Taylor Steele
Info: 52 min
Showing: Clifton 4th Beach, Sat 2 Dec, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 20h00

When Taylor Steele teams up with Teton Gravity Research and assembles arguably the best cast for a modern surfing movie, we’re in for a treat. We follow eight of the world’s best surfers – four legends and four rising stars – paired together in different exotic locations across the globe. Stars 11x world champion Kelly Slater, current champ John John Florence, big wave icon Shane Dorian, breakthrough performer Albee Layer, six-time women’s champ Stephanie Gilmore, radical activist Dave Rastovich and style masters Rob Machado and Craig Anderson. Shot in epic 4K.

PARADIGM LOST  – SA Premiere
Director: Poor Boyz Productions / Red Bull
Info: 60 min
Showing: Jack Black Brewery, Tues 5 Dec, 20h00

One of the most radically talented mult-disciplined waterman Kai Lenny goes with some of the best in the world for a unique wave-riding journey. See Kai paddle giant Jaws in the Hawaiian winter, or blasting across the ocean in summer on his kiteboard. On any other day catch him sailboarding, tow surfing or stand-up paddleboarding. He’s world champion in that one. And redefined the sport. An ultra HD study of a prodigious modern talent.

BIARRITZ SURF GANG
Director: Nathan Curren, Pierre Denoyel
Info: 65min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Sat 9 Dec, 18h00

Gritty no holds barred look at the sometime violent, usually wild history of the Biarritz surf scene as told through the eyes of the first real “gang”, a wild group of friends who tore up the 80s with some crazy shenanigans. Some cool animated sequences. Creative. Whacky. French. Not for children. With English subtitles.

GIVEN
Director: Jess Bianchi
Info: WORLD, 2016, 74min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 18h00

Told through the eyes of a six year old boy, Given, we follow surfers Aamion and Daize Goodwin from their island home of Kauai through 15 different countries in the quest for surf and to fulfill a calling handed down through generations. A stirring exploration of a young boy’s understanding of life through his familial bonds and their reverence for nature – a humbling contrast of a small voice voyaging through a big world.

OPTIMIST  
Director: Robert Whitehead
Info: 50 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

A little Optimist vs the Cape of Storms. Greg Bertish, a 2- time open heart surgery survivor tells his story of courage and fight for survival against a rare tropical bacteria that attacks his heart 3 times over a course of 6 years. The story unfolds as he sets out to conquer a childhood dream of sailing an Optimist (a tiny 8 foot children’s sailing dinghy) around the Cape of Storms. His 8 day adventure takes him across the shark infested waters of false bay, around Cape Point and up the West coast of South Africa to reach Langebaan lagoon 200kms away. This journey symbolizing the 200 days he spent in hospital fighting the bacteria, and the R200 000 he aims to raise for the new ICU at Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital. Along the way he meets a young boy called Adam. This is the baby boy that lay next to him on the operating table 14 years ago, the baby that changed his life and set this whole project in motion.

THE JUMP
Director: Louis Laursen
Info: 58min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 18h00

Crazy Danish kiteboarder Nick Jacobsen jumps off the heli pad of the third highest hotel in the world – the Burj al-Arab in Dubai – using his kite as a sort of parachute cum hang glider. Perhaps the most dangerous stunt ever attempted in kiteboarding this death defying leap from 210m breaks the Guinness World Record for the highest kiteboarding jump of all time (he set the previous at 90m). The precision in planning and safety are obviously what impressed Mercedes-Benz who use the stunt in their Middle East ad video. Shot in Cape Town, United Arab Emirates, British Virgin Islands and Copenhagen.

MEDIUM LENGTH FILMS 

THE SEAWOLF – SA Premiere
Director: Ben Gulliver
Info: 44 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 20h00

Follow eight surfers on a two-year journey as they travel to the furthest most remote corners of the globe in search of big fat gaping tubes. Shot on high def 4k Red Cameras this is what you could call cold water nonsense in its purest, most gritty sense, but what these ous do will earn your respect. Starring Balaram Stack, Pete Devries, Chippa Wilson, Noah Wegrich, Noah Cohen, Josh Mulcoy, Cam Richards and Oliver Kurtz. Brrrrrrr

BLUE ROAD – SA Premiere
Director: Alena Ehrenbold
Info: 44 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 20h00

This is the story of Rachel, an Australian surfer who follow family roots to live in the mountains despite her passion for surfing. This is the story of Annabel, a French girl who returns to her cold, silent home in northern France rather than follow a professional surfing career. This is Alena’s story. She grew up in a landlocked country, but chose to leave her home and her job to dedicate her life to the ocean. Whose choice was the right one?

UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY – SA Premiere
Director: Ben Weiland / Chris Burkard
Info: 39min
Showing: Clifton 4th Beach, Sat 2 Dec, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 20h00

Six surfers set sail along the frozen shores of Iceland, knowing that the worst storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. In constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights. I mean how can you have three surf sessions a day in daylight when you only have a three-hours gap? You just flick the cosmic light switch and boom, you’re in the green room, get it?

BEZERKE – SA Premiere
Director: Andrew Kaineder
Info: 16 min
Showing: Jack Black Brewery, Tues 5 Dec, 20h00

O’Neill team rider, Russell Bierke is not your average 18-year-old Aussie kid. He is a big wave head case of the highest order. He’s a levelheaded young man who sees challenge where others see terror. Some insight from Russell’s father, and scenes from a special session in Southern Australia that Kelly Slater shares with Russell when he was 15. Check out Russell’s phenomenal Cape Fear event win and his thoughts on the future of big wave surfing.

A WEEK UP WEST – SA Premiere
Director: Temple Rats / Dues
Info: 20min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 18h00

Noosa longboarder Harrison Roach keeps falling asleep while surfing. So he travels with his shaper Thomas Bexon to a faraway island to try to build a board that will cure his sleep surfing syndrome. But that’s just the beginning of their adventure. It’s part animated weirdness and part soulful surfing, and plenty of good old dinkum stoke.

I AM AFRICAN – SA Premiere
Director: Ismael Benlamlih
Info: 28 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 20h00

A doccie about the Moroccan double of Dave Rastovich. With his gentle heart and scraggly surfer hair, Ismael has a happy attitude that is infectious as he travels eight countries in five months to bring clean water to people in need while surfing in his spare time. He crosses a continent with local transport, surviving malaria and hepatitis to surf – for him the best wave in the world – Skeleton Bay.

SCARLET’S TALE – SA Premiere
Director: Faine Loubser
Info: 15min
Showing: Rolling Wood Surf & Skate, Wed 22 Nov, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 18h00

Achmat Hussiem had a budding swimming career with dreams of representing South Africa, but this all changed on 13 August 2006 when he met Scarlet. During a routine lifesaving practice a 4.7m great white shark was on a collision course with Achmat’s younger brother, Taariq. Achmat frantically tried to get the shark’s attention. It worked. The shark grabbed his leg and started pulling him down, dragging him from away from help and hope. This meeting with a female shark named Scarlet would be the beginning of an 11-year bond.

FISHPEOPLE
Director: Keith Malloy / Patagonia
Info: 48 min
Showing: Rolling Wood Surf & Skate, Wed 22 Nov, 20h00

The ocean is a fearsome and dangerous place or a limitless world of fun, freedom and opportunity. Just depends on who you are. Fishpeople tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. From surfers and spearfishers to a former coal miner and a group of at-risk kids in San Francisco, it’s a film about the transformative effects of the ocean where we find deeper meaning in a saltwater wilderness.

SHORT FILMS

A MILLION WAVES – SA Premiere
Director: Daniel Alli and Louise Leeson
Info: 7min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 18h00

Heart-warming and heart-wrenching portrait of Kadiatu Kamara, or KK, the only female surfer in Sierra Leone at just 19-years-old. When her father died, KK was left to face the Ebola epidemic alone but she found escape, and hope, in the surfing community of Bureh Beach, a coastal village just south of the country’s capital of Freetown.

Masa – SA Premiere
Director: Dominic de Salis.
Info: 4 min
Showing: Rolling Wood Surf & Skate, Wed 22 Nov, 20h00
Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 20h00
Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 18h00

A short film based on the personal journey of Byron Bay-based Japanese shaper Masami Yaguchi. It follows the narrative of Masa who became infatuated with a culture in a time and place where surfing was seen as uncouth, and explores what drove him to move to a foreign country with an alien culture in pursuit of his passion. Soulful and cool.

THE EDGE OF NORTH – SA Premiere
Director:  8 Seconds
Info: 6min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 18h00; Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

In the winter of 2016, we took a group of top British surfers on a trip to northern Scotland. This is a story of discovering new adventure in your own backyard and reconnecting with old friends. We are currently in post production on the film.

SEA LONE – SA Premiere
Director: Luca Merli
Info: 14 min
Showing: Labia, Sat 9 Dec, 18h00

A story of a dream mixed with reality in Sri Lanka with Lola Mignot, Karina Rozunko, Sierra Lerback and photographer Luki O’Keefe. As amazing creatures from the sea, we lived boundless and free, open hearted and open minded to the new world.

SHAPE QUI RIT – SA PREMIERE
Director: Steeve Fleury & Steven Blatter
Info: 2min
Showing: Clifton 4th Beach, Sat 2 Dec, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sat 9 Dec, 20h00

A beautifully made short film about a two year old girl shaping her dream surfboard with soulful French shaper Jeremy Ferrara making her dream come true.

SECRET WAVES – SA Premiere
Director: Tom Cockram
Info: 4 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

Icelandic surfer Ingo Olsen travels his island looking for surf, sharing his stories and passion for the sea. He runs the only surf tour operation in Iceland. The potential is still not fully explored, but Ingo keeps his secrets close to his chest.

WELCOME TO RAGLAN -SA PREMIERE
Director: Sara Guix
Info: 14min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Sat 9 Dec, 18h00

This portrait paints a picture of the small town on the West Coast of the North Island in New Zealand with a rich history, like J-Bay, like Torquay in Aus. Home to one of the most epic lefthanders in the world, this unpretentious little film is a visual ode to Raglan.

NIGHT ROSE – SA Premiere
Director: Harry Anscombe
Info: 4 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00;
Labia, Sat 9 Dec 18h00, Sun 10 Dec, 20h00

An elderly lady called Rose who who lives a simple life by the sea. Until one afternoon, at home alone as normal, Rose shares a powerful and heavenly vision that sucks her out into the ocean for a hypnotic and dramatic night surf.

SCRAMBLE GAMBLE 
Director: Nathan Myers
Info: 14min
Showing: Jack Black Brewery, Tues 5 Dec, 20h00

If you missed it at the worldwide premiers don’t despair. Scramble Gamble, the story of four guys, eight surfboards, a couple of motorbikes and zero plan is now here for your enjoyment.

BLACK RAIN 
Director: Andy Gough
Info: 6 min
Showing: Clifton 4th Beach, 20h00, Sat 2 Dec
Labia Cinema, Thurs 7 Dec, 18h00; Sat 9 Dec, 18h00

The black rain squall rolled overhead. Its downpour came in sideways sheets, turning the clean ocean surface to chatter. The drops falling heavy pushing deep below the water’s surface, joined by the welcome taste of rainwater. In minutes the squall had passed and the light offshore returned to groom the empty lineup.

BLACKBOY
Director: Dustin Humphrey
Info: 9min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

This portrait of a talented young Indonesian Deni Firdaus, who comes from a remote beach town in West Java, Indonesia, called Batu Karas. In this 10-minute profile, Deni introduces his town, his life and shares his passion for the unorthodox local customs.

LEFT IN LAGOS
Director: Calvin Thompson
Info: 9min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

A doccie about a Moroccan surfer whose happy attitude is infectious as he travels eight countries in five months to bring clean water to people in need. He crosses a continent with local

AWEN
Director: Anders Melchior
Info: 6min
Showing: Rolling Wood, Wed 22 Noc, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sun 10 Dec, 18h00

More and more young Chinese pursue their own dreams and seek a higher degree personal freedom. Their mindset stands in stark contrast to the Chinese society’s cherishing of permanent jobs and predictable futures. Awen’s mom wants him to become a fisherman like his ancestors. Awen, on the other hand, just wants to surf.

VISIT 
Director: surfnotstreets.org
Info: 4 min
Showing: Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 18h00

A shy visitor from the streets of South Africa arrives in the UK to visit the land of the funders who saved him from disappearing down the dark rabbit hole of the Durban streets. Not only that, but he is also a talented surfer with an endearing and honest approach to life.

ZION’S GATE – SA Premiere
Director: Dougal Paterson
Info: 15 min
Showing: Jack Black Brewery, Tues 5 Dec, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Fri 8 Dec, 20h00

A story about friendship in the thin-spaces. Friendship in the places where the proximity of death, most affirms the life within us. It’s a story about the places we visit where the envelope between this life and the next. After a year of preparation two friends from different parts of the world, journey to Dungeons where they hope compete in big wave event.  When the event does finally run, it’s in truly horrifying conditions.

Woza
Director: Pato Martinez & Francisco Canton
Info: 5 min
Showing: Clifton 4th Beach, Sat 2 Dec, 20h00;
Labia Cinema, Sat 9 Dec, 18h00

Shot over seven days in Durban, South Africa, and Ponto Do Ouro, Mozambique, “Woza” tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the African water spirit Mami Wata. It features 22 year-old Transkei surfer, Avuyile Ndamase. “Woza” is the Zulu word for “Come”. The film features the track ‘Asazani’ by Soweto based BCUC.  WOZA won a Bronze Cannes Lions for Film Craft at Cannes Lions 2017, Best Short At The Paris Surf & Skate Film Festival, and Best Cinematography at The Patagonia Film Festival. Also Vimeo Staff Pick.

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