Shorts Programme: Swim Stories + Q&A
Dive into our Swim Stories programme - a refreshing array of short films that celebrate the thrill and tranquillity of wild swimming. With a distinctly female perspective, and tales spanning from the Scottish Highlands to distant shores, we explore the unique bond between women and open waters. Swim Stories promises a riveting journey designed to inspire you to immerse yourself in the vast outdoors and dive headfirst into new adventures. So, come aboard - let's make some waves together!
The screening will be followed by a live onstage Q&A with Becca Harvey, swimmer in The Ice Mile.
Get inspired by the films and then join Becca and the Montrose Polar Bear Swimming Club for our Sunday morning dook at Montrose Beach!
The Ice Mile
This unique film chronicles a year in the life of swimmer Becca Harvey as she trains for an Ice Mile - a one-mile swim in water temperatures of 5 degrees Celsius or less. From the isolation of pandemic lockdowns to the bustle of swim community events, we follow Becca as she navigates grief and healing through the restorative power of cold water. Rachel Sarah’s film beautifully depicts the adventure of outdoor swimming, capturing the magnificence and harshness of UK landscapes through various bodies of water, from mountain tarns to the surrounding sea. The Ice Mile highlights not just the physical challenge of Becca’s feat, but also the profound interplay between swimming, solitude, and community. (Directed by Rachel Sarah, UK, 51 min)
About the Filmmaker:
Rachel Sarah, a UK-based filmmaker and photographer, specialises in outdoor and adventure themes. With notable projects alongside brands like Patagonia, MPB, and Merrell, her portfolio spans documentaries, short films, and commercial campaigns. Known for her diverse styles and ability to capture the human connection with nature, she has earned recognition worldwide. rachelsarahmedia.com
Becca Harvey, a Freelance Swim Professional and ice swimmer, specialises in cold water swimming and has a passion for coastal wildlife conservation. Her expertise extends from cold water introductions to luxury boat trips, as well as public speaking to emphasise the importance of the wildlife and the environment in water-related activities.
This heartwarming film captures the ways in which resilience and unexpected friendships can help us navigate life's challenges. Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, director Hannah Maia turns her lens towards her own family life, capturing the charm and monotony of seemingly endless homebound Sundays. As she grapples with pandemic health anxieties, pregnancy, and postnatal rage, she finds solace in an unexpected friendship with an eccentric American woman and invigorating cold water swims and ice baths in her garden. (Directed by Hannah Maia, UK, 28 min)
About the Filmmaker:
Hannah Maia, based in the Lake District, runs the creative company Maia Media. Her award-winning films, such as Wood on Water: an all-girl canoe tripping documentary and My Big White Thighs & Me: a film about womanhood and swimming, reflect her passion for storytelling and outdoor exploration. With interests like mountain biking, cold water swimming, and illustration, Hannah's work is infused with a love for creativity and the natural world. maiamedia.co.uk
The Water Holds Me / The Water Binds Us
This beautiful animated film, a collaboration between animator Lily Mae Kroese and sociologists from Cardiff University, brings to light the experiences of UK women who brave wild waters. It extols water’s transformative power in deepening our connections with the natural world and each other. (Directed by Lily Mae Kroese, UK, 2 min)
About the Filmmaker:
Lily Mae Kroese is a filmmaker specialising in animation, illustration, and writing. Her work is characterised by a unique blend of traditional and digital methods, creating a handmade feel that engages viewers with the creative process. Collaborating with academics, charities, and organisations, she focuses on conveying stories about nature, belonging, and community.