This weekend will see the London premiere of ‘Vague A L’ame’ a new film from the Billabong Adventure Division, which takes you behind the scenes of the quest to ride the biggest, heaviest waves on the planet.
On the 11th of December 2014, Benjamin “Sancho” Sanchis was towed into one of the biggest waves ever ridden at Nazaré. He fell off at the bottom and in the subsequent beating almost drowned. That wave earned him the WSL XL Wipeout of the Year Award, but more importantly, kickstarted a new chapter in his quest to become a renowned big wave surfer.
Vague à l’âme is the story of that quest – to go bigger, charge harder and find the courage to face monsters at sea. Following Sancho’s tutorship under Adventure Division teammate and big wave legend Shane Dorian, the film takes viewers on an extreme journey to the mythical spot of Pe’ahi in Hawaii, the icy waters of giant Mullaghmore in Ireland and back to facing demons at Nazaré in Portugal. The film gives unparalleled insight into the real and raw emotions that play out on these surfers’ incredible adventures. Its shows the adrenalin, solitude, camaraderie, laughs, hard work, disappointments and euphoria of chasing giant swells around the world. It isn’t just a surf flick, but the whole story of what it takes to ride and document the heaviest waves on the planet.
The plan for the film initially hatched after a whirlwind strike mission to Ireland saw François Liets and Benjamin Sanchis scoring a host of a-grade clips, which were initially just intended for web clip release.
Upon their return they ended up stuck in a lift with two Parisian businessmen, coffin bags, and a mound of camera cases. They waited between floors for an hour as the businessmen became increasingly flustered. For they boys though, this was nothing. After a trip getting caught inside at one of the world’s coldest heaviest waves, being stuck in a lift barely raises your heart rate. When they were finally liberated, the lift technician asked indignantly what exactly they were doing with so much kit. “Are you producing a surf movie?” he said.
François and Vincent looked at each other and laughed. It was a brilliant idea. Why not shoot a full documentary instead of releasing a short edit for the internet? But how? When? Where? A few months later Benjamin Sanchis caught his infamous wave at Nazaré and nearly drowned. The crew knew then that they wanted to make a movie and produce something that shows real human adventure, driven by their passion, blood, sweat and fear. They connected with global Adventure Division partner Shane Dorian, and brought up and coming French ripper Justin Becret along for the ride and the rest is history.
You can see the results at the London Premiere this weekend, taking place at the The Prince Charles Cinema, where Dorian, Sancho and Justin Becret will all be in attendance for a Q&A with the audience. Tickets are £5.00 and you can grab them here.