The Perfect Wave, a South African-made feature film inspired by a true life miraculous healing testimony opened in the United States on Friday (July 11, 2014) and is off to a remarkably positive start, says Cape Town director, Bruce Macdonald.
“The film opened in some 13 cinemas across the US, and some fared exceptionally (Washington DC, Jacksonville , Orange County — where the film performed in the top 5 in these complexes out of 22 pictures) which is amazing, as we released the film on no marketing budget,” he says.
While all marketing of the movie in the US was done through grassroots and partnerships with groups that see the merit in an evangelical film, the US release was set up by the movie winning ‘silver’ at the International Christian Film Festival in May for second best feature film.
“We have also been nominated for the Stellae award at the Pan Pacific Film Festival in LA, for best film, best editing, best cinematography – so the film is riding high,” he says.
Macdonald says the press and coverage of the movie, featuring Clint Eastwood’s son and rising Hollywood star Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino, Flags of Our Fathers), Rachel Hendrix (October Baby) and Cheryl Ladd (Charlie’s Angels), has “gathered its own momentum, and we are seeing the film expand as we go into the second week of the release, which is very exciting”.
The Pefect Wave which was shot on location in South Africa, Australia, Bali, Mauritius and New Zealand, opened in South Africa in February. The movie tells the true story of a surfing pilgramage by New Zealander Ian McCormack which takes a dramatic turn when he dies after he is stung by deadly box jellyfish, but awakens transformed after a divine post mortem encounter.
Reporting on the US release of the film, Charisma News includes the following reaction to the film:
“The Perfect Wave is a strong witness to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. It is excellent for youth groups, college and career, as well as the whole family.” (Jim Young of Crossroads Church UMC in Jacksonville, Florida)
“I’m very inspired by this film. There is a terrific spirit of adventure and an important reminder that you just have to trust God and go for it. Not to mention the film captures the beauty of some of the best surf spots in the world.” (Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California).
Macdonald has described The Perfect Wave as a “love story with four pillars: a mother’s love, a young man’s love for surfing, first love and, most importantly, God’s love” adding that it reminds viewers “that no matter how far you run, you can never outrun God’s love”.
Impact on actress
He says the film also had a powerful impact on Cheryl Ladd who played the role of Ian’s mother. Getting her to play the part “was just amazing, not only is she a brand, having been one of the original Charlie’s Angels, but she is a strong Christian, and she immediately related to the role of a praying mother, accordingly we believe her performance adds the drama at the end of the film,” says Macdonald.
“Cheryl, was so moved by the story, her experience here in South Africa, that she opted to give the production her fee back — this was mind-blowing, even her agent said its a ‘first’, but that’s the level of faith she showed in the film, and the belief that the film would touch lives across the world,” he says.
Macdonald, who is an acclaimed commercial director, previously told Gateway News that making The Perfect Wave — his first feature film — was a calling from God. Asked if he has plans for another movie he says: ” Wow, after this some time out!!!!!, a film is all consuming, and takes loads of energy and time, and resources. I have an idea for a next film but need to gather my strength, as raising money is not easy, and takes a concerted effort and strategy. So for the next few months, I will be concentrating on doing commercials, across Africa and South Africa.”
The Perfect Wave DVD is selling well in South Africa where it is available in Musica, Look and Listen and Pick n Pay stores.