International award for SA film, The Shore Break

Ryley Grunenwald’s The Shore Break, has won the prestigious Backsberg Audience Choice Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival for Best South African Film.

The award-winning documentary film follows the dilemma faced by a rural community on South Africa’s Wild Coast as to whether to support or resist a proposed titanium mining project and a national tolled highway.

Grunenwald is thrilled with the accolade. “Both my co-producer Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and I are really pleased about the win. The Shore Break was a labour of love so it is very rewarding to know it is well received by South African audiences. It was an important story to tell because it captures the nuance and complexity around issues of developing the Wild Coast,” she said.

“The story follows two Pondo cousins who have opposing dreams for the future of their land. One wants to preserve the land through sustainable development while the other plans to mine it for titanium, believing large scale development is the only way to improve employment opportunities.”

“The audience award is based on a complicated calculation in which the festival takes into account the capacity of the cinemas, numbers of tickets sold and the votes cast,” says Odette Geldenhuys. “The film captured the imagination of festival goers, so much so that all our five scheduled screenings were sold out and we had to have two additional screenings in Cape Town and Johannesburg.”

The Shore Break, which was a project in the 2013 Durban FilmMart, will have its co-premiere at the 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) on July 18, with four screenings only during the festival which runs from July 16 to 26.

For more information about film go to,




and for the DIFF go to

Odette Geldenhuys and Simon Back.

Odette Geldenhuys and Simon Back.

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