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Short documentary 'Kalani - Gift From Heaven' a cinematic masterpiece


© Nuno Dias

Short documentary film 'Kalani - Gift From Heaven' from Portuguese director Nuno Dias has inspired the filmmaking community with its stunning cinematography, highlighting one of the world’s most prolific extreme watermen.

Filmed on location in Brazil and Portugal, the documentary explores bodysurfer Kalani Lattanzi’s epic performances as he scales some of the highest ocean waves in the most extreme conditions.

At just the age of 26, the Brazilian extreme sports champion has a one-of-a-kind skill to scale the most dangerous oceans, effortlessly gliding through them in spectacular performances that have impressed some of the world’s leading surfers.

Throughout the documentary, Dias manages to capture the raw power of the ocean with the use of drones, enlisting longtime production partner Máquina Voadora to capture stunning aerial shots - showcasing Kalani’s ability to navigate and ride the highest waves - providing viewers with a gripping visual experience that sets the documentary apart.

Trailer: Kalani - Gift From Heaven

With waves climbing as much as 30ft, the sheer power and scale of nature is captured in fine detail, and shows Kalani’s level of athletic prowess as he takes on its sheer force.

Intermixed with interviews and perspectives from the sporting world, the documentary reveals an in-depth look at this form of extreme sports, and shows the mindset, and the commitment of Kalani as he ventures out alone to perform his art.

Following Kalani’s rise to prominence over the past 4 years, the documentary garnered the support of leading figures including Garrett McNamara, Ross Clarke Jones, Carlos Burle, Lucas Chumbo and Maya Gabeira along with local Portuguese stand outs including Hugo Vau and Nic Von Rup.

Speaking with Film Industry Network about the production, Dias said: “I filmed Kalani for the first time in 2015, at Nazare. It was there that I met him in person and we immediately got along. We were the same age and at the beginning of our careers, trying to show off our work - me filming and him, surfing. So we went head first in this project, without any kind of support. We had the opportunity of a sponsorship by one of the international giants of the action sports world but it fell apart unexpectedly, which was frustrating but also a relief because it meant we had full creative control - and were able to make the documentary what it is today.”



Speaking about taking part in the documentary and his experiences with the shoot, Kalani (jokingly), said: “There were no big scares during the filming of this project, only a ‘difficult’ day when I had to go do a photo session for the movie cover. It was 7 am, freezing cold and my wetsuit was still wet. It was the hardest thing I had to do for this movie!”

While the sports champion is no stranger to the world’s oceans, the production endured difficulties in creating the cinematic shots, with several drones being damaged and lost due to the sheer impact of the conditions and their close proximity to the action.

It was never an easy job, said Nuno: “There were massive hurdles to overcome, mainly logistically, and the difficulty of filming bodysurfing when most of the time you only see the surfer’s head. And the fear of it all. I was always afraid something would happen to Kalani because of the risk that’s inherent to it all. In every single session, Kalani risks his life. But he is a conscious madman and one of the best prepared people in the world to do something like this.”

Since its VOD release this year, the film has already managed to trend in the top 5 most viewed documentaries in the U.K. and the U.S. online, and continues to receive international attention and recognition.


To discover more about the film you can visit the official website or download the full-length version via Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon Prime.

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