Spirit of Akasha: Surf culture alive and well

World champion surfer Mick Fanning rides a single-fin board. Photo: Andrew Kidman.
World champion surfer Mick Fanning rides a single-fin board. Photo: Andrew Kidman.

THE surfing spirit of being one with nature is alive and well according to Spirit of Akasha filmmaker Andrew Kidman.

His film – itself a tribute to the iconic 1972 surf culture film Morning of the Earth – is screening at the Picture Show Man Merimbula on Sunday.

It features world champion surfers Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Tom Curren, Kelly Slater, Beau Young and many more.

Kidman spoke with the BDN ahead of Spirit of Akasha’s screenings at several South Coast cinemas.

“The film’s a celebration of Albert Falzon’s Morning of the Earth,” Kidman said.

“The film he made was really interesting and a reflection of the time.

“It’s a very different time now where surfing has a huge commercial aspect to it.

“We wanted to see if that inherent ‘spirit’ of the surfing culture was still alive.”

Spirit of Akasha film-maker Andrew Kidman.

Spirit of Akasha film-maker Andrew Kidman.

Kidman said they found it alive and well.

“As much as there is the commercial side to it on television and in world sport – there’s a whole other thing where every day surfing is something people do around the world.

“It’s something that’s a part of your life.

“The first thing you do when you wake up is you look at nature – the winds, the weather, the ocean.

“Depending on the conditions, that may move to you heading out and interacting with nature.

“There’s always something going on out there.

“It [surfing] becomes a big part of your life – the magnetism of it.”

Kidman said he grew up as a surfer during the time Morning of the Earth was making waves.

As a musician, he first came to the film via the soundtrack, which in itself has achieved iconic status.

“It was a fascinating look at surf culture at the time,” Kidman said.

Now, with Spirit of Akasha, Kidman hopes to pay homage to the original film and concepts.

Falzon himself was even along for the ride.

“Working with him on this film was epic,” Kidman said.

“Anything I found myself second guessing I’d call him for his thoughts.

“He loved it – I think he found it interesting to see the reinterpretation by filmmakers and hear the original songs done by modern musicians

“Everyone revered what he originally did - his film had such a heavy influence.”

Despite the modern fascination with surfers as elite athletes with the best equipment and aerial skills, Kidman took his “cast” back in time to recapture the spirit of the ‘70s.

“With Stephanie [Gilmore] and Mick [Fanning], I had them go back and ride equipment that reflected 1972,” Kidman said.

“It was a point of difference to what you see of them on TV.

“It may not be aerials and gymnastics, but there is still the enjoyment of the ocean and of travelling the world - going out there to see if that spirit is still alive.”

Spirit of Akasha screens at the Picture Show Man in Merimbula on Sunday at 2.15pm.

Contact the venue for ticket prices on 6495 3744, www.pictureshowman.com.au.


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