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ReelEarth: Cape Town's Beach Calligrapher

Posted on 3/5/2019 12:00:00 AM in What We’re Watching

A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:

This film in the ReelEarth Collection introduces us to a delightfully inventive master calligrapher working in an unexpected place: the beaches of Cape Town, South Africa. Andrew van der Merwe is breaking free from the traditions and constraints of calligraphy here at the southern tip of a continent. He painstakingly carves geometric, multidimensional shapes in the sand. After hours of hard work, the tides inevitably come in and the waves clear the canvas. Andrew began experimenting with alternative writing forms while grappling with a tough diagnosis—his oldest daughter’s disability leaves her unable to talk. Andrew sees the beauty in the sounds she makes. Filmmaker Neil Shaw offers a wonderful look at one man’s dialogue between his life and his art.

Directed by Neil Shaw

About David Conover:

David Conover, a long-term partner of O.A.T. and Grand Circle, is an award-winning filmmaker and conservationist whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of Compass Light Productions and the nonprofit Conservation Media Group, and was recently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College. Learn more about David here.

Get to know the people of South Africa with O.A.T. during South Africa Safari & Swaziland: Kruger National Park, the Garden Route & Cape Town.

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