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This Is Northern New South Wales


Within_BenLee_00065Within Shoot Headshot copy 2

Award-winning young film director Darius Devas, and on/off again Byronite, has just released his ground-breaking experimental short ocean-art film Within, which is narrated by Guy Pearce. Inspired by the suicide of a childhood friend, Within is a remarkable exploration of human connection to the ocean and how this love of the natural environment can help us understand our place in the world, and deal with loss.

Darius first dreamed of making the film a decade ago, following the suicide of his childhood surfing friend, Billy. He had to wait ten years, however, for the camera technology to be invented that would allow him to capture his vision. Within is shot using a state-of-the-art high speed HD camera, small enough to strap to a surfboard, of which only one in the world exists. It took Darius two trips to the United States to convince the camera company to loan him the technology, and a crowd-funding campaign to allow the project to be completed.

“I’ve been dreaming about making Within for over a decade now. I’ve always had a deep love for the ocean and wanted to explore the feeling of connection I get from being in it. Around the time of the initial inspiration for the film, one of my childhood surfing friends, Billy, took his life. This had a huge affect on my perspective of the world. Up to that point I’d had a relatively carefree existence. Now, suddenly I was asking myself much bigger questions about who I was and what I was doing with my life.”

“In late 2012 I finally found a camera that was able to shoot high-speed HD video, and small enough to strap to my surfboard. 2013 marks a decade since Billy’s suicide; I knew that it was the time to bring this film to life. I was seeking a connection between Billy’s death, the ocean and my place in the world; something that would inspire, and allow people to experience that sense of unity I often experience in the ocean. I also wanted to remind people to appreciate life and make the most of it.”

Creating Within is a short documentary that follows Darius and his lifelong friend, Luke Morgan, on a surfing pilgrimage to remote parts of the South Australian coastline. The trip marked the tenth anniversary of their ‘third musketeer’ Billy Whitton’s death. It captures their journey of filming in the elements, as Within is brought to life from endless beaches, cliff tops, dusty outback roads, sunsets and campfires. Darius reflects on how Billy’s death sparked the beginning of his inward journey, shifting his perspective about what matters in life and expanding his connection to the ocean, into new forms of visual expression.

Enjoy the ride….
Photos are by Ben Lee –