Now, here's a film worthy of your time. Shot between 2009 and 2012, The Africa Project might just be the most charming portrayal of surfing out of Africa we've seen. Produced, directed, filmed and edited by Jason Hearn, a South African who now lives in the UK, the film showcases the variety of waves on offer from Durban to Mozambique and everything in between.
“Apart from one or two festivals, it was only released as a limited amount of DVD’s, therefore it’s not really been seen outside of South Africa," said Greg Ewing, the photographer along for the trip.
Africa is a mystical continent, familiar to surfers through dusty images; from the classic hippy trail to Morocco, those pier side barrels of the Durban beaches, or a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the hallowed waters of J-Bay. But what of Namibia, Senegal and beyond?
"It's a three year film project on surfing in Africa through the eyes of a surfer," said Jason. "Featuring the best surfers in Africa, the landscapes, cultures, people and some of the most incredible waves that can be found anywhere.
“Up until 2009, Greg Ewing and I had shot a few projects together but everything was Indo-based. Tropical island vibes, you know, it’s what everyone was doing. We both like to approach things a little different, so we talked about a project that was against-the-norm. At the time no one was really exploring and documenting Africa, our own backyard, at great length. And we thought, ‘What better place to base our next project than the continent we both grew up on?’ There’s so much diversity — from the people and the cultures to the landscapes and the array of crazy good waves — it seemed the perfect subject matter and The Africa Project was born. Greg initiated the first location, Senegal, and we were off exploring and documenting select locations from north to south, east to west.
“Our goal with the film and stills was to show Africa as a whole in all its beauty, beyond just the incredible waves,” Hearn continued. “Each place is unique, and showing the people was as important as scoring. We wanted people to fall in love with it. What I’m most stoked about is that, through the visuals and the stories told, the movie really puts the viewer into each location. Since the film project started, Africa is now more widely explored and celebrated, and hopefully ‘The Africa Project’ had a little something to do with that.”