Local surf film, Deep End, the latest film by Eubulus Timothy produced by Arclight Productions, had its world premiere on Friday, 20 July, at the 2018 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), where it will have two more screenings on 24 and 28 July as well as a free screening today, 23 July, at the BRICS Film Festival.
Starring Carishma Basday, best known for her role in Material and Greg Kriek, a veteran actor with international experience, Deep End is about a young Indian woman who has to break free from convention to pursue her passion of surfing. The film is about the conflict that comes from going on a journey of self-discovery that means defying her father’s wishes. It’s a female story that centres around a young woman’s struggle for self-expression in a society that supports conformity.
Set on the intoxicating shorelines of Durban’s Golden Mile, Deep End brings popular surfing site, Durban, to life. The inspiration for the film came from Timothy’s observation of surfing and fishing life in Durban. He saw that surfing was never aspirational for Indians in Durban and watched from afar. Beach culture is the essence of Durban and Timothy wanted to capture the conflict and longing that comes from people wanting to aspire to different things. Timothy says he wanted to tell a story set in his community with characters that are relatable and universal. “The issues they deal with are common and perennial: relationships, family and a sense of belonging. Deep End is about capturing the essence of culture and the extreme and sometimes dark side of surfing,” he says.
Deep End manages to capture the magic of the water together with the emotions and multitude of experiences that come from one of the most diverse cities in the world. Director of Photography Ebrahim Hajee shows his skilled hand when it comes to imaginatively and beautifully crafting shots of Durban, its people and the magnificent ocean through his experience in documentaries and music videos.
Producer Jacintha De Nobrega is proud of the fact that the film is truly local with 80 per cent of the crew and cast hailing from KwaZulu-Natal. “Our focus is to grow the television and film industry and this can only happen when we engage our local crew and artists and provide the opportunities to up-skill people,” she said. “We wanted to keep it homegrown and portray characters that are real and not caricatures,” says Timothy who directed and wrote Deep End. When he wrote the screenplay he had no idea that the themes the film addresses would be so topical.
“This is what drew me to the script. As a woman, I could identify with the characters, the journey of self-discovery and pursuit of independence. The story is so universal that woman all over the world will identify with, it just happens to be set in Durban,” says De Nobrega.
With the likes of cast members some new to the screen and others more experienced such as Kriek, Basday, Suraya-Rose Santos, Mahendra Raghunath, Robin Singh and Priya Lutchman, Deep End celebrates and has given a platform to local actors in South Africa. The soundtrack includes music from Durban-born group Easy Freaks whose sound cannot be defined but will leave you feeling something real.
The film, produced through Arclight Productions in association with the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry. The additional sponsorship and support by local business, including Tsogo Sun, VW South Africa, LTD Logistics, Accimed, Paane water, Art Printers, Spider Murphy Surfboards, Hurley, Lizzard, Namiko, Mo Amod designs Sanitech, Chateau Gateaux, KZN VIP Protection and Coastlands made the production possible.