Between the Lines – a cinematic portrait of an oceanic love affair

Sacha Specker contemplating his domain.

This is one incredible short film

First off you need to know that, yes, I am friends with both parties here. I have known the cinematographer, Jason Hearn, for more long than either of us care to mention, as it gives our ages away. I have also known Sacha for an incredibly long time. That does not change how I feel about this film, In between the lines, which even if I did not know them, I would be raving about. Its simply glorious.

Sacha Specker is a waterman and a genius

What most of the world knows about Sacha Specker “Spex” is that he is a 2 time bodyboard world champion. So yes, he absolutely kills it on a bodyboard. What most don’t know, is that he pretty much kills it on any surf craft. In fact he probably could have been a professional surfer if he chose so. Its not unheard of to see him out charging on his bodyboard, ruling the lineup, then switching to a tiny fish surfboard and still ruling the lineup. On top of that, he is probably the most proficient when he picks up his camera gear and heads into the ocean. His images are simply mind blowing effigies to a love of the salty brine.

Jason Hearn has captured the sole of Spex

In this film, Between the Lines, Jason Hearn has managed to capture the sole of his subject. It encapsulates and portrays Sacha’s love for the ocean and his drive to capture all its moods. His drive is to capture waves in their most divine and random form, that which makes them waves. The film captures this, nay it celebrates it and this is why you should watch it right now! I guarantee it will make an impact on you.

Watch Between the Lines

Between the Lines from Jason Hearn on Vimeo.

Thando – An Inspiring Film based on a former Street Kid

I have to say, especially knowing the young man this is based on, I was really touched by the sincerity and honesty of this short film. Made by Calvin Paul Thompson, Thando, tells the story of a young boy, Thando, growing up in the township, who loves the ocean. His father introduced him to this magical place, but after he dies, the kids life spirals down a path many in the informal settlements end up experiencing.

Drugs, crime and violence become reality, resulting in Thando running away from home and becoming a street kid, at an age where most children cant go to the shops on their own. But, there is a positive message to be taken from this story and I only hope that, Calvin gets more funding, to complete the full story.

Interview with the Filmmaker

I asked Calvin if it was indeed ispired by former street kid and pro surfer, Ntando Msibi?

Calvin:  I know you’ve had your own relationship and experience with Ntando, so it’s cool to talk to you about this. The film’s storyline is entirely based on Ntando Msibi yes. He was going to feature in the final scene but unfortunately I couldn’t organise to shoot it before the DIFF submission date closed. So he wasn’t really directly involved in the actual production, but we always spoke about making a narrative based on the stories he’d tell me about growing up in Kwamashu and running away from home. And I wrote the script based off notes I made talking to him at the surf project years ago

I really wanted to know if there will be a sequel, that continues the story of Thando, from the streets to becoming a Pro Surfer?

Calvin: Yes I’d like to make a sequel/follow up if I can raise funds for a decent production, I’d love to do another film with Surprise acting – he’s a real champ and a dream to work with bru.

Surprise is one of my favorite little groms from Durban! He has just started competing too and expect some big results from him in the future.

Lastly I asked Calvin why he made this project?

Calvin: My friendship with Biggy, combined with my my keenness for filmmaking I guess, is what made me wanna make the film in the first place. I wanted to make a story that had some truth and meaning, rather than just for the sake of fancy visuals and effects etc. I wanted to put people in the shoes of Ntando for a few minutes, and see how it must have been growing up for him. This short film obviously didn’t have the space to do that justice, but it gives the audience a taste at least. Getting to the truth behind Ntando’s back story became a fascination of mine while getting to know him, because everyone’s always had their own version and opinion on it, so when I finally sat him down in like 2015 and got some real facts straight from him, turning it into a film was inevitable I guess.

The Film – Thando:

I highly reccomend watching this inspiring film. You can watch Thando below:

Thando from Calvin Thompson on Vimeo.

Welcome Elsewhere – Craig Anderson Short Film

Mr Casual returns with another Kai Neville creation. Craig Anderson has to be the most understated surfer, but when he gets in the water it is all style and flare. Watch this film and glory in the flashbacks to another era, mixed with the most modern of maneuvers.

Craig, “Driving across Australia. Hunting uncrowded waves. I like how hard the spots are to get too. I like being mysto in the desert. I like being in the jungle.”

Welcome Elsewhere from craig anderson on Vimeo.

A reminder of how precious life is – Denali, a short film

Once in a while a film comes across your desktop that really makes an impact. A film that reminds you how precious life is and that all those little problems we like to make into big ones are just small. Dogs are a man’s best friend and the message from Denali is that we should enjoy our time on this planet with our friends, instead of falling into the traps laid out by the modern world.

Warning, you may well need a few tissues by the end of this video.

Denali from FELT SOUL MEDIA on Vimeo.