Award-winning South African film shows that surfing is more than just a pastime

It's a dramatic foray into the life of drug-plagued youth who find redemption and happiness in the sea.

Cape Town-based film and commercial director Siphiwe (SJ) Myeza-Mhlambi was the youngest winner at the 2016 Loeries, winning both silver and gold at the age of 22. He also won Gold at Cannes Lions in 2017 and silver at the 2017 Pendoring Awards.

Now, before the age of 25, he has been named as one of the 32 winners of the Young Guns 15 awards, and has been presented with the first-ever Young Guns Creative Choice Award.

His short film, “Chasing the Dragon” was chosen as the standout among the winners.

Siphiwe (SJ) Myeza-Mhlambi,

The short film takes the viewer into the heart of a Cape Flats township, where drugs like methamphetamine (tik) have ravaged some young people. Their saving grace, however, is surfing.

The film ends having shed some light on the Muizenberg Surf Shack, an outreach programme that gives at-risk youth an alternative to drug addiction.

Inspired by his own childhood, SJ says he has a passion for telling their stories. Through his work, he often channels real stories and real characters, lending his projects authenticity.