Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 30, 2013.

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An ocean pioneer comes of age while braving huge waves and redefining "possible".

Ocean Driven is a gripping and unforgettable true story about perseverance that guides viewers of all ages to believe in and follow their dreams. 

When South African Chris Bertish won the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational in 2010, he conquered the largest surf in paddle-in competition history. Now Bertish is riding an even bigger wave as the subject of this exciting full-length film.

 Featuring authentic footage of surfers paddling into 50 foot  waves!

Ocean Driven chronicles South African Chris Bertish’s 30-year development into a fearless and highly skilled waterman. It centers around the growth, struggles and unique environments that have shaped this nearly supernatural ocean pioneer. In 2010, minutes after nearly drowning, Bertish won the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational in the largest waves in competition history. Legendary surfers and ocean specialists were interviewed for the film, which features footage from Bertish’s global odyssey, leading to the record-setting Mavericks competition and beyond. 

This inspiring film has a far-reaching appeal to surfers and non-surfers alike, as a tactile escape to places you've never dreamed of.

Find out what it takes to become a fearless and highly skilled waterman. Discover why South Africa breeds exceptional big wave surfers, and take an authentic big wave odyssey around the globe. From South Africa and Morocco to Hawaii, Easter Island, Fiji and more.



In 2010, minutes after nearly drowning, Chris Bertish paddled into and won the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational in the largest waves of competition history.


The film has been in production for a full year - weaving together 30 years of archived footage, 40+ interviews and an all-star cast. 

 Excerpt from big wave surfer Carlos Burle in Ocean Driven:

Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion surfer talks about big wave surfing in Ocean Driven:

Legendary Cast includes:

Ian Armstrong, Cass Collier, Jeff Clark, Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Mark Healey, Carlos Burle, Don Curry, James Taylor, Dr. Timothy Noakes, Hanli Prinsloo and many more...

Excerpt from legendary big wave surfers Greg Long and Mark Healey in Ocean Driven:

Your support will help us finish.

It will fund post-production and beyond:

  • Editors 
  • Sound and graphic engineers
  • Music and footage rights
  • Festivals
  • Publicity
  • Global screenings

Meet the Director:


Our Team:

Production Tech and Editor Francis Battaglia won a national award for writing and producing a project for PBS. He later freelanced as a broadcast editor and camera operator on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour (WCT ASP). Francis also edited Surfer magazine's first four Video Awards Shows, a surf film for Quiksilver and a documentary for Sublime. Francis worked at a Webby Award–winning start-up as a one-man video department—chasing giants at the Cortes Bank and Mavericks, making TV commercials, big-wave documentaries, and a video channel for Surfline—before returning to visual effects and exploring sustainability. He produced an original Web series for the G Living Network and has worked for other green start-ups since 2006. 

Script Editor Kristen Cashman has been the managing editor at New World Library publishing company for nine years. Before that, she worked as a project editor at the University of California Press in Berkeley and for the Boston Globe. She has also freelanced as a ghostwriter, developmental editor, copyeditor, and proofreader of books, magazines, and web content. She first witnessed the power and magic of the surfing world as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, and she is happiest when she’s in the water, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, swimming, or boating.

Co-Director 
Sean Dewil is an avid surfer, ocean lover, and master water reader. The Zambezi was his intensive training ground, where he pioneered river trips. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, working with safaris and animal conservation, while fascinated by big-wave surfers, enthralled and amazed by his peers in the water. A follower of the Cape Town surfers, Sean has been studying Chris's journey and has fostered a vision of this project for many years. Sean has worked with the production companies Monkey Film Production, Moonlighting, Krishna Smiles Flowers Bloom, and the Shooting Gallery. He has worked on the features Red Water and Tsotsi, along with Jamiroquai music videos. He is visually inspired and brings us various pre- and post-production experience, including set work as a PA for his brother, a director in South Africa.

Production Consultant Chris Jenkins is a documentary filmmaker who has been behind the lens of award-winning films such as The Matador (2008), Riverwebs (2007) and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (2005). His work has aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, the History Channel and the Travel Channel. His latest work has been focused on the production of live concerts for some of the world’s top musicians. Prior to receiving his masters degree in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University, Chris worked with deaf Sudanese refugees in East Africa and orphaned children in southern Chile. He teaches film and media studies at UC Santa Barbara.

Cinematographer and Editor 
Silvin Morgan studied film and photography at Academy of Art University. He has pursued a constant stream of work in filmmaking—producing, directing, shooting, and editing for productions including: award-winning short, comedy, and horror films; Saturday morning kids’ cartoons; video marketing packages; independent music videos; public-service announcements for the city of San Francisco; and feature-length narrative and documentary films. He has worked as a freelance cameraman for HGTV’s Landscape Smart series and as a producer, cameraman, and editor for the Water Channel’s Pulling In, a TV series about surfing. Recently, in Hawaii he was program director and producer for the Kauai Channel, an Oceanic Time Warner cable television station that broadcasted on the island of Kauai. He was responsible for all aspects of production. His technical expertise and unique creative vision enable him to play an integral role in any level of production. 

Production Advisor Sandra Stokes has over 20 years of experience in creating, writing, and producing internationally recognized projects from the worlds of digital media, film, and applied arts. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Film and Video, Sandra cut her teeth as co-founder of the renegade Chicago-based company RUNANDGUN!, one of the first digital video production facilities in North America. As artist, producer, and director, she ran the company’s operations, managing 20 people on a multitude of projects. RUNANDGUN! was a media-technology R&D lab and advertising agency, that created films, 3D computer animation, live action/animated broadcast commercials, music videos, websites, VR/ interactive simulations, and video games. Independently funded creative projects included Wild Ride: Surf Shack for Windows PC and Duelin’ Firemen!, an interactive movie and the greatest video game never released, which included a star-studded quasi-underground cast. Sandra consulted for Internet, technology, and video production studio start-ups and was the Media Producer at Obscura Digital, the “world’s coolest office,” and worked on world-class award-winning productions. She left Obscura to reconnect with her dreams of storytelling outside the corporate world.

Director and Producer Nadia Tarlow is a painter, photographer, and videographer. She has been working in these fields for over 20 years. She earned a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1995 and recieved the school’s prestigious Best Female Painter Award. Her studies of fine art, the history of film and animation, performance art, and visual perception created her foundation. She also studied at a New Mexico Painting Workshop in Taos, New Mexico; Parsons School of Design in Paris, France; and Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. While living on the coast in Mexico, Nadia studied the ocean, exhibited her work, recorded soundscapes, taught, and painted a televised mural. She moved to California in 1998 where she exhibits her work, continued to teach, directed galleries, produced video scapes and assisted with music videos. Nadia has been featured in the San Francisco Examiner, and in media throughout Mexico and Northern CA. Most recently she directed the TB Greene Gallery, an art-and-activism gallery that featured film, photography, and fine art. 

Production Consultant Grant Washburn is a high-surf consultant, experienced big-wave rider, wave documentarian, writer, producer, cameraman, and director. Grant has been involved with the upcoming Jay Moriarty and Mavericks story, along with Riding Giants, Quest for Fear, the book Inside Maverick's: Portrait of a Monster Wave, Maverick's: A Documentary Film, Dungeons, Big Wave Africa, Big Waves & Tall Tales, Adventures in Wild California (IMAX), The Perfect Ten, How It Works: Surfboards, North Shore Teddybear, Wave Chasers, The Big Swell, Epic Conditions, Great Waves, Todos Santos Big-Wave Invitational, Surfing for Life, Making the Call, Billabong XXL, The Maverick's Surf Contests, 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, the Discovery channel, OLN, ESPN, NBC, CBS, CNN, National Geographic, Fuel, Grind, Havoc, and more.

Your help will get us to the finish line!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As a small team nearing the finish line with a huge project, we've put our ALL into this film. We have overcome many hurdles along the way. Challenges have ranged from working with a wide assortment of film and video formats, massive project size, technical problems and delays, to the limitations of a bare bones team and lack of funds.

At this point, with 99% of our film finished, if a setback arises we are confident that we have the tools, the human resources, the determination and enthusiasm to not give up no matter what!

FAQ

  • Today, Aug. 23rd, we are in the process of exporting and delivering a more final version to our Co-Directors. This week it will be discussed and reviewed for changes that need to be made. After that, it's on to color and audio sweetening, confirming rights, screening for our focus group, and prep for festivals submissions!

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    Reward #1 - Our deepest gratitude and a digital download of our highlight reel

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    Reward #2 - A Poster of Chris Bertish on Mavericks 2010 Winning Wave and a digital download of our highlight reel

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    Reward #3 - A digital download of our completed film and of our favorite film still shots

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    Reward #5 - An Ocean Driven T-shirt plus a digital download of our highlight reel and of our completed film

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    Reward #6 - An Ocean Driven T-shirt, a digital download of our highlight reel and competed film, plus your name listed on our Special Thanks Page

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    Reward #7 - An Ocean Driven T-Shirt, a digital download of our highlight reel and completed film, your name listed on our Soecial Thanks Page, and a signed Mavericks 2010 Winning Wave Poster

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