An ambitious journey to ride the biggest waves in the world.
BY Farzaneh Pishro.
Surfing is one of the best-loved sports among Australians, and surfing the biggest waves is among the riskiest ventures in the world. The newest film released in the annual Australian Surf Movie Festival- The Big Wave Project– aims to unveil the dangerous beauty of both.
The film portrays competent surfers climbing up fluid mountain-shaped waves, competing with the speed of water. One ordinary mistake and the water will devour. Surfing huge waves is undeniably challenging- but it is at the same time exceptionally amusing.
The Australian Surf Movie Festival is run by Tim Bonython, a multi-award winning cinematographer and director. ASMF has now run 10+ hugely successful annual tours to myriad dazzling locations of big waves.
The history of this annual tradition starts with the award-winning film Bonython shot in 1981, Rip Curl Pro. The film was shot using a projector and a production assistant in the back of Bonython’s car, and a 4 x 3 screen on the roof. From this humble beginning evolved some films portraying the rarest surfing scenes of the world. In a few years, Tim and his wife Sandrine developed the Australian Surf Movie Festival.
Now it is viewed in selected independent cinemas throughout Australia by thousands of people each year. With its amazing long shots of the biggest waves in the world, the movie presented in the 13th annual festival pushes the boundaries.
The Big Wave Project is a jaw- dropping movie that renders a masterly narrative of surfing, featuring interviews with some of the most famous, and indeed, the most adventurous surfers of the world- Greg Noll, Jamie Mitchell, and many more. While documenting of the biggest waves, Bonython incorporates the realities of big wave surfing, traveling and recording the greatest waves of Australia, Tahiti, and Portugal. As part of the ASMF project, the sublime images of the great waves are synthesised with music played by young emerging artists, enriching and the film through inspiring overtones.
Bonython’s four decades of experience in producing surf films have been assembled in The Big Wave Project. The movie taps into the subject of surfing as something more than a sport; it is also about conflict with the nature, brotherhood and culture. Surfing is at the heart of Australian culture and illustrates our relationship with the surrounding environment. What drives the great surfers to persist in their life-threatening experiences is their love for the ocean.
The Big Wave Project is vintage Bonython, with all the gorgeous cinematography and insight into the motivations of the surfers recurrent in his works. The film explores the human endeavours to push the boundaries of nature and his longing for the sublime natural sceneries.
The festival is touring nationally from May to June, and will be screened on the 24th-26th of May in WA.
You can buy the tickets online here.