Here is a message from filmmaker Miriam Alexa. Her next surf film is currently running a Kickstarter campaign. If you want to see more women-directed and women-starring surf films, consider donating to this project.
You have eight days.
Beneath The Surface is short action drama about a young woman, Maya. She has a successful career, is loved by her friends and family, and is a passionate surfer in her free time. What people don’t know is that she is struggling with anxiety. She compensates for her condition with surfing, which helps her keep calm, but also lets her experience a different type of fear. When being held underwater by a wave, she is able to control herself and not panic. She begins chasing this moment of feeling in control of her fear, putting her life at risk.
I have wanted to make a film about anxiety for a while now, as I’ve noticed that films tend to portray it either in a comical way or in a combination with other mental illnesses. In this film, I want to focus on anxiety on its own and to what extent it can affect a person’s life. The sea can be calming and healing but also dangerous and unpredictable, much like the character’s condition.
Another important motivation in making this film is that women are very underrepresented in surfing, often sexualized, or not taken seriously as athletes. There is more and more awareness about this subject, with films and documentaries being made about successful female surfers, and we’d like to add to that conversation.
There are always going to be risks and challenges when it comes to shooting in the sea. Not only are we dependent on the surf and have to be spontaneous, but we also have to consider the dangers, which is why we are collaborating with experienced divers, professional surfing photographers, and the coast guard. We will be shooting this film at some of the most beautiful surf spots in Cornwall next February.
With this film I hope to raise awareness about anxiety but also help alter the representation of women in the world of outdoor and extreme sports.