Although Hawaii is the birth place of surfing, the sport continues to thrive in waters around the world. Australian filmmaker Nathan Oldfield showed this through his flick “The Heart and the Sea,” which premiered at the Honolulu Surf Film Festival and takes viewers to the chilly surf Down Under and then to the Atlantic Ocean, where seasonal swells bring waves to Spain and France.
About a year ago, my sister, boyfriend and I had been exploring the Gold Coast of Australia by caravan and board, so the timing of this film couldn’t have been any better. We celebrated a mini-reunion at the festival’s premiere night and took a trip down memory lane via Oldfield’s wave-riding cinematography. We reminisced while others mind surfed through Noosa and Byron Bay. Then we dreamed of one day surfing the never-ending lefts at Raglan, New Zealand; definitely a surf trip in the works.
It became apparent about 15 minutes into the film just why the Aussie filmmaker decided on the title, “The Heart and the Sea.” Whether professional or just a soul surfer, status didn’t matter much to the wave-riders featured on the 85-minute flick. All that mattered was having respect for Mother Ocean and an appreciation for the waves she may bring our way.
Perhaps the coolest story of the film was of an Australian surfer who plants the trees he eventually uses to make a surfboard. The paulownia wood turns out to be a perfect medium in building the board of his dreams. But that dream didn’t come true overnight; he waited 10 years for the trees to grow to their fullest potential before chopping them down and getting to work.
The Honolulu Surf Film Festival happens every July to August. Regular screenings are $10 ($8 for museum members). Opening and closing night receptions are $15 ($12 for members). If you plan to see multiple movies, get a festival flash pass ($90, $72 for members). It includes 10 screenings, except for receptions.
HONOLULU SURF FILM FESTIVAL
• Every July to August • Honolulu Museum of Arts, Doris Duke Theatre, 900 Beretania St., Honolulu, HI 96814 • http://honolulumuseum.org/13792-6th