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The Shore Break

Has North American premiere at Hot Docs

April 07 2015

THE SHORE BREAK examines the highly charged conflict within a close-knit rural community in the Amadiba area of South Africa's stunning Wild Coast, where two cousins become embroiled in a conflict about coastal development as a result of plans by an Australian company to open a titanium mine.

The Wild Coast Region is one of the most underdeveloped areas in South Africa. At the same time, it is a place of breathtaking, unspoiled nature, where the Pondo people have managed to retain their traditional way of life for centuries.

Nonhle, a young local eco-tour guide, is a staunch supporter of her people's traditional lifestyle and the endangered environment on which their livelihood and culture depend. Her older cousin Madiba, a local entrepreneur and self-proclaimed modernizer, is fully supportive of a titanium mining proposal and the government's controversial plan to build a highway across their tribal ground. Tired of his community living in poverty, Madiba uses every backhanded method imaginable, scurrilously courting private capital and questionable government officials. While the South African President dethrones the pro-environment Pondo Royal Family, Nonhle rallies inspiring support with little more than dogged determination.

Winner of the Best Feature Length Documentary Award at the 2015 International Environmental Film Festival in Paris, where it was declared "an exceptional film," "deeply moving," and "a firm favorite" by the jury, THE SHORE BREAK is directed by Ryley Grunenwald who also co-produced with Odette Geldenhuys. The film has come full circle since 2012, when it was first pitched at the Hot Docs Forum. The following year, it was awarded completion funds from the Hot Docs - Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, a grant program providing financial support to African documentary filmmakers for development and production.