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The Big Wave Project

The Big Wave Project – a band of brothers
Now out on DVD and Blu-ray and VOD

The Big Wave Project is a masterful, award-winning documentary on the art of big wave riding from veteran Australian surf filmmaker Tim Bonython. For five years, Tim followed a tight-knit crew of the world’s best big wave surfers as they each attempted a personal goal – to ride the world’s biggest wave.

Tim is allowed into the inner sanction of this ‘band of brothers’ as they vividly, and humbly, describe their motivations and fears, and display death-defying feats at the prime big wave locations around the world.

As Tim followed the core crew – featured surfers include Jamie Mitchell, Aaron Gold, Mark Healey, Ryan Hipwood, Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker and Billy Kemper – he realized they worked as a team and all had each other’s back. And Tim is there with his cameras when they are taken to the edge.

The narrative also includes the history of big wave surfing and how it developed from humble origins to modern tow-in and paddle surfing, with insights from aficionados Jamie Mitchell, Peter Mel and the legendary, late Brock Little.

After a sell-out, Australian cinema tour this year, and a Best Action Documentary award at the Maui Film Festival, The Big Wave Project is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Big Wave Project is a 98-minute narrative that will scare viewers as much as it will exhilarate. “The danger level increases as we attempt to climb a mountain of water where the peak keeps getting higher,” says Alex Gray, one of the film’s participants.

The progression of the skill level of the big wave proponents coincides with the best swell season in 30 years as they paddle and tow into some of the greatest rides ever documented. This includes what has been called ‘the biggest wave ever attempted’ featuring Aaron Gold’s massive paddle-in wave at Pe’ahi (Jaws), in Hawaii.

Other locations include Nazaré (Portugal) – the home of the biggest rideable wave, The Right, Shipsterns and Pedra Branca (Australia), Cloudbreak (Fiji) and Teahupo’o (Tahiti).

To capture these breaks in their almost supernatural magnificence, for Tim it’s a labor of love pouring over weather maps as the ‘perfect storms’ manifest and then pinpointing where he needs to be in the world. The gigantic wave images by themselves are incredible, let alone seeing humans pit themselves against the immense power and majesty of the ocean.

Surfing legend Simon Anderson, the inventor of the Thruster, said: “The Big Wave Project didn’t disappoint. The reaction of the people at the premiere screening said it all. I’ve never heard so many oohs and ahs in a cinema. A great insight to the inner sanctum of just about every big wave charger and big wave destination from around the globe. 5 Stars Tim.”

Leading Australian violinist, composer, and conductor, Richard Tognetti, said: “Tim, your film is wonderful. Great structure and the theme of death is really powerful.”

The Big Wave Project is directed by Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award-winning cinematographer and multi-award winning surf film producer, Tim Bonython, who has four decades of experience in filming and documenting surfing.

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