I am not a surfer but have always loved the sport. I remember watching and discussing movies like North Shore, Surf Ninjas, The Endless Summer, and Point Break with my fellow desert landlocked friends who pretended skateboards on cement were surfboards on waves. And I remember how exciting it was seeing girl surfers represented in films like Gidget and later Blue Crush. But aside from the plethora of documentaries like Step into Liquid and Riding Giants, I never realized just how many surf films were being made by independent filmmakers, enthusiasts, and devotees of the sport. Nathan Oldfield is one such filmmaker, and his cinematic vision of surfing and the lifestyle surrounding it is remarkable.
A surfer and full-time schoolteacher, Oldfield made his first film, Lines from a Poem, to document classical Australian longboarding. His second film, Seaworthy, showcased different individuals and their approaches to wave riding. Full of languid ease and stunning scenery, it’s clear that surfing and a connection to the waves is evident within Oldfield himself. But for his latest film, The Heart & The Sea, he follows a variety of surfers—men, women, children, elders—from different cultures and the joy that lies atop and beyond the waves of surfing lives lived in Australia, New Zealand, France, and Spain. The film is available through Oldfield’s website and (if it’s not sold out yet) via Mollusk Surf Shop with stunning cover art by Ben Waters. Get lost in the trailer below and check out more of Nathan Oldfield’s work here.