Annie Canavaggio‘s Breaking the Wave, a Panamanian/Brazilian co-production, made its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Panama, which runs April 3-9.
Described as a point break on Panama’s Pacific Coast, Wave focuses on the lives of three Santa Catalina locals: Alejandro “El Cholito” Alfonso, 34, winner of a world championship and local legend who has nine children and goes from one job to the next; he’s described as too wild, and has been smoking and drinking before competitions for the past six or seven years. Deivis Godoy is a top competitor, who is “black and poor” and who is suffering from lack of sponsors, and Juan Carlos “Oli” Gonzalez, deemed as Santa Catalina’s big hope, who has been surfing since a child and is now 18 years of age.
In the story, Oli has what it takes including the discipline required to compete; he’s granted a Quicksilver sponsorship, becoming the first Panamanian to obtain a world champion’s silver medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in May of 2013, which takes place in Santa Catalina. Oli, who would like to earn sufficient funds to buy his parents a house, is also hoping that his siblings get a good education.
Wave, reminiscent of South Africa’s Otelo Burning and targeted to surfing aficionados, was set up at Canavaggio’s Marina Productions and Rio de Janeiro’s Tres Mundo Producoes, founded by Ferraz and Costa Rica’s Isabel Martinez.
According to Habanero’s Calvino, Breaking the Wave isn’t so much about surfing, but rather about the individuals who love the sport but still have to live their lives. The film’s director Caravaggio describes the film as a “psycho-social documentary,” in which its protagonists “happen to surf.”
Director Caravaggio said at the Panama Festival that for him making the film was “more about the social part changing the social context a little. I’d like more justice, people to access education, health services,” adding that “the first thing we need is education. If that comes, everything else will follow.”
Breaking the Wave will be released in six Panamanian theaters in September, according to Tres Mundo Producoes co-founder Martinez.
Take a looks at the stills below: