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Caste A Wave

The word “surf” originated in India in 1599, yet surfing has only existed there for the past ten years. In this groundbreaking short film we take audiences to the small fishing village of Mahabalipuram on the Indian east coast, where we meet local and visiting surfers, relatives of surfers and locals. We see firsthand how surf culture is impacting the community and how a new wave of connectivity between Indians and their once-feared ocean has given birth to a model for global environmental transformation.

Brad Gerlach, professional surfer and world-renowned surf instructor, who’s appeared in over 50 surf films and videos including Step Into Liquid (2003) and Thicker Than Water (2000) partners with Mumu’s Surf School in Mahabalipuram. Brad coaches the Indian surfers in a two-day workshop using his innovative method WaveKi, an on-land mind and body movement system he created. WaveKi is designed to help surfers improve their surfing while quieting their minds and tuning into and harmonizing with the power of the ocean.

Inspiring characters illustrate how surfing breaks down caste barriers, transcends social constructs and replaces them with a common ground where surfers can meet eye-to-eye and build community. Despite surfing not having Indian origins, the film shows how it does share common values inherently found in India’s many philosophies and religions. Finally, the surfers in the training partner with WaveKi's philanthropic organization Ocean Alliance Project and the children of the village to clean up trash on the beach.

This will be the beginning of an ongoing program, overseen by Mumu, where children keep the beach clean in exchange for using donated surf equipment to foster the next generation of environmentally conscious surfers.

  • Fancy Fechser
  • Fancy Fechser
  • Danny Klein
  • Cecil Campanaro
  • Nick Tramontano
  • Krish Makhija
  • Brad Gerlach
    Key Cast
  • Colton Sarlo
    Key Cast
  • Chris Chapple
    Key Cast
  • Dave Hearn
    Key Cast
  • Mukesh Panjanthan
    Key Cast
  • Ishita Malaviya
    Key Cast
  • Tushar Pathiyan
    Key Cast
  • Velumurugan (Velu)
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director - Fancy Fechser