Project Description

VSAFF Gala Opening Film

On South Africa’s gorgeous Wild Coast, the Pondo people have tended their traditional way of life for centuries. Nonhle, supports her people and the endangered environment on which their livelihood and culture depend.

Her cousin Madiba backs a titanium-mining proposal and the government’s controversial plan to build a tolled highway across their land. Tired of his community living without good access to employment, hospitals and schools, Madiba courts private capital and government officials.

Featuring stunning cinematography and sensational original music, The Shore Break delivers a visually and emotionally riveting experience that echoes almost exactly struggles over development in Canada – many of them in First Nations Communities.

The Shore Break was nominated for three SAFTA Awards - the South African Oscars - including Best Full Length Documentary and Best Achievement in Directing, Documentary Feature.

Join us after the film for a talkback with director/producer Ryley Grunenwald.

Run Time: 90 minutes
Director: Ryley Grunenwald
Producers: Ryley Grunenwald, Odette Geldenhuys


  • Best Feature Length Documentary: Festival International du Film d’Environnement, France
  • Audience Choice Award Best South African Documentary: Encounters International Documentary Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award: Durban International Film Festival
  • Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Durban International Film Festival
  • Best Documentary: Silwerskerm FilmFees
  • Mbokodo Awards: Winner for Women in Film

What people are saying…

“The Shore Break is a moving dispatch from the front lines of Blockadia. A stunning and beautifully-told story of a community defending its land, and a reminder that indigenous people everywhere are both leading the resistance against toxic extraction and guarding a worldview that holds the key to our collective survival.” — Avi Lewis - Director, This Changes Everything

“An absorbing microcosm of the clash between tradition and “progress” when there are resources to be plundered. It’s a story that is being enacted in every corner of the globe.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Eloquent, persuasive, forcible: advocacy documentary-making at its ethical best.” — Darryl Accone, Mail and Guardian

Community Partner

Don’t Miss The Party

Following The Shore Break and talkback join us for our fabulous VSAFF Gala Party at John Fluevog Shoes in Gastown. There’ll be lekker food and wine, music, and great company. In order to get into the Gala Party, you will need to purchase a $50 Gala Night ticket (film and party), or a $90 Full Festival Pass (all the movies and the party). The $20 ticket for The Shore Break is for the film only. Questions?