The Shore Break

Ryley Grunenwald
2015 | 90 minutes | South Africa, Pondo
U.S. Premiere | Director(s) in Attendance

Pondoland’s Wild Coast provides a dramatic setting for a high-stakes saga that casts a new light, and accompanying shadows, across the landscape of South Africa. Spurred by an Australian mining company’s plan to exploit local titanium deposits, two cousins—one a tour guide committed to protecting the environment and culture of her home, the other an entrepreneur eager to usher in modernity and profit it will bring—clash in a vicious battle for the hearts and minds of their neighbors. As the national government intervenes with a plot to oust Pondoland’s eco-friendly royal family, tensions between the cousins and their supporters in the split community reach a fever pitch. Featuring an arresting score by a local musician, exquisite footage of Pondoland’s natural wonders, and ingenious interludes of sand animation that focus and amplify the drama, The Shore Break is a skillfully realized story that poses difficult questions about morality, idealism, and opportunism in the global economy.

Co-presented by The African Film Festival, Inc.


Thresholds, My Perspective

"The Shore Break deals with physical boundaries that would be created by a proposed national toll road and titanium mine through a traditional community’s ancestral lands and the overstepping of boundaries when their South African democratically elected government interferes by deposing their traditional King and Queen. Figuratively this community draws a firm line in the sand when they have simply had enough—all the while battling betrayal where they would least expect it."

- Ryley Grunewald | Director, The Shore Break