Traveling around the world to remote destinations in search of new ways to portray the life and culture of those places, while surfing, was the impetus behind the new surf film, “Strange Rumblings in Shangri La.”
DJ Struntz, Wrightsville Beach resident and professional adventure photographer, traveled with the crew of the new film from Globe and director Joe G with the task of capturing behind-the-scenes moments and experiences in photographs.
The two-year journey took the team from Iceland to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, Indonesia, Mozambique and back to Indonesia. Struntz said the first stop, Iceland, was a photographer’s dream.
“Iceland was probably the most visually stunning place I have ever been in all of my travels,” Struntz said. “Around every corner I wanted to stop and take a picture. You go from glaciers to waterfalls to Northern Lights to rock spires.”
Another one of the standout locations on the trip was the east African country of Mozambique where the crew was able to find waves at one of the most fickle surf spots in the world.
“Mozambique kind of felt like the Caribbean on the beach … and we scored a wave that people try for years to score and we just randomly picked a week to go,” he said. “The swell angle was right only for about four hours but it was awesome while it lasted.”
Adventure and discovering new places was the theme of the project, Struntz said, adding that director Joe G’s vision was like that of renowned documentarian Jacque Cousteau.
“This was his dream — to do a Jacque Cousteau-inspired discovery adventure movie that tells that story, not in a stale or preachy way, but in a fun, youthful adventure kind of way,” Struntz said.
The world premier of the movie was at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif., in July and the premier road trip will make a stop in Wrightsville Beach Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Prior to the movie premier, the Annex Surf Supply will host a photography art show with 10 of Struntz’s images from the trip on display from 5-7 p.m. The first 200 people who come to the show will receive wristbands to get into the screening of “Strange Rumblings in Shangri La,” which will take place at an undisclosed location.
During the art show, Annex Surf Supply manager Chris Batten said patrons will have the chance to interact with some of the film’s stars, raffle for a Dion Agius surfboard and purchase prints of Struntz’s photos.
Struntz has long been involved with the Waves For Water organization, which supplies individuals with water filters to take to the underserved countries around the world that surfers often frequent. Proceeds from the show will be donated to Waves For Water.