(BEACH HAVEN, NJ) -- Lighthouse International Film Society & South End Surf N Paddle presents a screening of Femme Ocean on Friday, November 24, 2023 at South End Surf N Paddle in Beach Haven. While surfing is a sport and lifestyle long associated with men, female surfers from around the world have begun searching for and finding like-minded communities where they can share their unique bond with the sea. This film takes a look at five such women. The screening begins at 7:30pm.
In a sport which demands the highest level of fitness, keen judgement, and facing one’s fears, a growing number of women have found surfing to be the perfect spot for testing one’s abilities and affirming one’s strengths; be they physical, emotional or spiritual.
Intrigued and inspired by this new class of female ‘pioneer-athletes,’ German documentary film director Annika von Schütz has made Femme Ocean, profiling five such women from Portugal, Morocco and Sri Lanka. Athletes and adventurers, activists and artists, her subjects share a unique bond with surf and the sea while expanding the boundaries of social convention.
“Our relationship with the sea is a relationship of vitality,” von Schütz says. “We take risks on the water. We trust in nature. We confront our fear and we begin to trust ourselves. We build that courage and take it with us back to the land, to our communities and beyond. Globally, women are an increasing part of the surfing community, and surfing can be seen as a tool for women empowerment.”
And while diversity plays a key role in the film—in terms of age, social background, religion and professions—Von Schütz has found the one thing that unites them all: Surfing as the motivating principle for protecting the sea. So as she traveled from Portugal to Sri Lanka to film these heroic women, she focused on their passion while they forged a new path as role models for future generations.
Featured in the film are Joana Andrade, Portugal; Lizzy Artworks, Portugal; Teresa Ayala, Portugal; Maryam El Gardoum, Morocco; Devika Salomon, Sri Lanka/Schweiz,; Sithmi Nawodya, Sri Lanka.
Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Admission is free for LIF Society members. Tickets are available for purchase online. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged and appreciated. South End Surf N Paddle is located at 220 S. Bay Avenue in Beach Haven, New Jersey.
"The ocean nearly took my life. Now it’s giving me life," said von Schütz. "Our relationship with the sea is a relationship of vitality. We take risks on the water. We trust in nature. We confront our fear and we begin to trust ourselves. We build that courage and take it with us back to the land, to our communities and beyond. Globally, women are an increasing part of the surfing community and surfing can be seen as a tool for women empowerment. So I went on a trip from Portugal to Sri Lanka to meet women who are making their own way."