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Film about surfer who lost brother to shark attack wins competition

Avuyile ‘Avo’ Ndamase was surfing with his 16-year-old brother Zama when a shark attacked.

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A surfer who lost his brother to a shark attack said he hopes to inspire others after starring in a short film which won what was billed as the world’s largest competition for shorts (Sinotho Msweli/PA)

A surfer who lost his brother to a shark attack said he hopes to inspire others after starring in a short film which won what was billed as the world’s largest competition for shorts (Sinotho Msweli/PA)

A surfer who lost his brother to a shark attack said he hopes to inspire others after starring in a short film which won what was billed as the world’s largest competition for shorts (Sinotho Msweli/PA)

A surfer who lost his brother to a shark attack said he hopes to inspire others with a short film which won what was billed as the world’s largest competition for shorts.

Avuyile “Avo” Ndamase was surfing with his 16-year-old brother Zama at a beach near his home in the town of Port St Johns in South Africa when a bull shark struck.

Zama was killed in the January 2011 incident. Avo teamed up with director Tim Hay for Amanzi Olwandle (Ocean Water), a short film exploring the attack and his subsequent relationship with the ocean.

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Avuyile ‘Avo’ Ndamase (Rode/PA)

Avuyile ‘Avo’ Ndamase (Rode/PA)

Avuyile ‘Avo’ Ndamase (Rode/PA)

It won the judges’ prize in the 2020 My RODE Reel competition, alongside a 200,000 dollar (£151,000) cash prize.

Avo said: “Personally, I share my story to inspire youth especially from places like home – the Transkei, South Africa – where I am also inspired by my own journey.

“The feedback I received from people about the film is priceless. The journey continues and I just want to get better at what I do and give back as much as I possibly can,” he said, adding he also wants to fight plastic pollution in the ocean.

My RODE Reel judge Ryan Connolly said: “Amanzi Olwandle was absolutely excellent.

“Excellent cinematography, rock-solid pace, well-acted and a ton of heart. It conveyed its emotion and story effortlessly while showing a lot of respect for its audience. I was really floored by it.”

Other categories included best comedy, drama and documentary. Organisers said they received more than three times as many entries for the 2020 competition compared to 2019, with hopefuls from 114 countries.

PA


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