Wavescape film fest feast in Durban

Suter’s Showbiz Spotlight

IT might be worth considering a trip to Durban this weekend for the launch of the 14th Wavescapes Surf Film Festival, presented as part of the annual Durban International Film Festival, from July 22 to 27.

The good news is that all screenings are free for the festival, for which 22 surf-themed films have been assembled.

The event will open with a free outdoor screening on the lawns at Bay of Plenty, at 7pm on Sunday, July 22. Visitors are encouraged to take along picnics and chairs.

The film chosen is the hit feature documentary Heavy Water: The Life and Times of Nathan Fletcher, by California-based South African Michael Oblowitz.

From July 23 to 27, at 6pm daily, free festival surf films – features and shorts from Sierra Leone, Namibia, South Africa, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, the UK and Canada, among others – will be shown at Village Walk, uShaka Marine World.

Heavy Water: The Life and Times of Nathan Fletcher is a feature documentary, but views like an exciting action film, says Wavescape director Steve Pike, aka Spike: “It is about the wild antics of big wave legend Nathan Fletcher, and also chronicles his relationships with the colourful, gritty characters of Hawaii’s North Shore. One highlight is when Fletcher enacts a dream to jump out of a helicopter with a surfboard right on to a giant wave, and surf it.

“We’re honoured to have several other African premieres, such as the incredible story of Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm to a shark; and the gritty documentary Secrets of Desert Point, a piece of pioneering surf history,” he adds.”

Wavescape closes with Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable, the untold story of Hamilton’s journey from childhood to motherhood, and how she lost an arm to a tiger shark as a child.

Durban’s Gcina Mhlophe presents My Travelling Bag in Kloof this weekend.

Meanwhile, fun entertainment is to be found this weekend at the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, in a show by master Durban storyteller, author and poet Gcina Mhlophe.

My Travelling Bag is an acclaimed show that sees Mhlophe reflect on 33 years of suitcases bought, stamps in her passports, friendships, missed flights, mementos and memories.

Performances are at 8pm on Thursday and Friday (July 19 and 20) and again at 2pm on Sunday (July 22). Three day-time Saturday performances (at 10am, 1pm and 4pm) have been scheduled for school audiences,
Tickets cost R150, seating is at tables of six, and booking and further info is available by phoning Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.

KZN Midlands events

Still in Durban, note that, in association with Concerts SA, Afrobeat saxophonist Femi Koya releases his new album, Village Afrobeat, and presents it live on a national tour that reaches KwaZulu-Natal this weekend.

Singer and saxophonist Femi Koya gives two weekend performances in Durban.

Diarise 11pm on Saturday (July 21) at The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Ghandi Road, when admission will be R150 a head. For more details and bookings call 079 753 6313.

From 4.30pm on Sunday, July 22, Koya will entertain at The Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside, Durban, when R100 will get you in and allow you to have a free drink. To book phone 031 303 8398.

A composer and performer, versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya released his third album, Village Afrobeat, on April 20.

The Village Afrobeat national album release tour commenced in Cape Town in May.

Born in Nigeria and based in South Africa, Koya is said to be the new face of the African Renaissance. He combines West African highlife and jazz, South African Sophiatown with nostalgic Afrobeat root sounds. His music is a rich blend of deep and sultry Afrobeat and contemporary groove.

True homecoming

“I believe that Africa will have its true homecoming when people see themselves as first and foremost African. Until then I will continue to make music suggestive of this homecoming and what the future holds for Africans united. It is our destiny”, says Koya.

Koya’s new album is an African party, jazzed up with Afrobeat’s horn arrangements, with talking drum and percussions driving the African heartbeat.

He is touring nationally with his nine-piece Afrobeat ensemble.

Hilton: The Devil and Billy Markham

If you are headed for Durban, note that the Rhumbelow Theatre, in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, will present this weekend seasoned Irish singer and musician Dave Monks, alongside Durban singer Marion Loudon, in a salute to the hits of the 1960s.

Marion Loudon and Dave Monks perform Swinging Sixties in Umbilo, Durban, from Friday to Sunday.

The Swinging Sixties is scheduled for performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (July 20 and 21) and 2pm on Sunday, July 22. Admission is R150 a head (R130 for pensioners). Call 082 499 8636 to book.

Expect to hear classics associated with 20 different artists, including The Carpenters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, the Bee Gees, The Monkees and Cliff Richard.

That’s More Folk

A reminder, if you’re Pietermaritzburg way, that folk music of the 1960s and 1970s pulls the spotlight in That’s More Folk, which premiered last weekend at The Dive, at the Hexagon Theatre, and has final performances there at 7pm for 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday (July 20 and 21).

Devised and directed by Peter Mitchell, the show is a sequel to That’s All Folk, which sold out in Pietermaritzburg for three seasons in 2017. It features guitarists Daniel Rossouw and Ryan Calder alongside singers Erin Fourie, Katherine McClelland, Sandra Styles and Tammy Calder.

Expect to hears songs associated with Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, Donovan, Carole King, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, and even Elvis Presley.

It will be a picnic evening – so take along some food. Note, however, that beverages have to be bought at the theatre’s pub.

Tickets cost R100 each. Book at hexagon@ukzn.ac.za

Finally, on the movie scene, Life and Nothing More is among new weekend releases. Directed by Antonio Mendez Esparaza, the film stars Regina Williams and Ry’nesia Chambers. It’s about a guy called Andrew who, standing on the edge of adulthood, yearns to find his purpose as a young African-American in today’s America.

With his mother longing to find more to her life than parenting, Andrew is forced to take on the mounting pressure of family responsibility – and his search for connection with an absent father, leads him to a dangerous crossroads.

TRIVIA: DO YOU KNOW?
What fascinating 2001 movie highlighted the acclaimed Gary Jules version of the Tear for Fears hit, Mad World? (Answer next Friday).
Last week’s question was: What 1963 movie teamed a young Hayley Mills with Dorothy Maguire and singer-actor Burl Ives? (Answer: Summer Magic).