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Bangla Surf Girls
Bangladesh I 86 mins I Documentary I 2021
Bengali w/ English subtitles
Bangla Surf Girls is an immersive documentary that takes us into the heart of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, where a group of young girls is participating in an unlikely social experiment - a co-ed surfing club.
Shobe, Aisha and Suma turn to the waves as often as they can, finding confidence, companionship, and esteem in their growing skills - even as they face familial disapproval for their athletic pursuits.
They're poised to make history as some of Bangladesh’s first women surfers. However, when changes inside and outside the club threaten to derail their journey - from the prospect of underage marriage to taking on more work to support their families- the girls must consider how to take hold of their future.
Lovingly shot by debut director Elizabeth D. Costa, BANGLA SURF GIRLS stands as a moving, often joyous testament to the transformative power of community support - and the influence of friends and mentors in carrying one another through unstable times.
A Conversation with the Filmmakers
Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Elizabeth D. Costa is an exciting, emerging documentarian from Bangladesh. With an MA in Film Studies from University of Dhaka, she has extensive experience directing and producing for outlets including BBC Media Action, Dutch TV NOS, PBSNewshour, and Vice News UK,.
Bangla Surf Girls is her feature debut and has been celebrated at festivals from Vancouver to Paris, NYC to Guangzhou, and beyond.
Lalita Krishna is a multiple award winning filmmaker whose work has been broadcast in Canada on all major networks, and featured at film festivals around the world.
Lalita is Co-Chair of the Board of North America’s premier documentary festival Hot Docs. Lalita is recognized as a leading supporter of new storytellers and new platforms.
Chelsea Hernandez is an Emmy®-nominated Mexican-American Director and Producer based in Texas. Named as one of Texas Monthly’s “10 Filmmakers on the Rise,” she is a 2021 Telly Award Winner for her feature documentary Building The American Dream, which was also nominated for a National Emmy® the same year.
Chelsea has extensive producing experience, including television projects for PBS, CBS All Access and El Rey Network. Chelsea also co-directed/produced the short documentary, An Uncertain Future (2018 SXSW Texas Short Jury Winner, Field of Vision, Firelight Media). She is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. http://www.pandabearfilms.com
BANGLA SURF GIRLS
About the Artist
Elizabeth D. Costa is a refreshing new talent from Bangladesh whose skills in documenting intimate images are evident in her first feature documentary, BANGLA SURF GIRLS.
The film premiered at HOT DOCS and has gone on to garner acclaim at dozens of world festivals, including 'Best Film' & 'Best Director' at Vancouver Asian Film Festival, 'Fearless Filmmaker' & 'Best Documentary' at Coronado Island Festival, and 'Best Documentary Feature' at Bushwick Film Festival.
She an alumni of the Film Independent Lab 2020, the Chicken and Egg Accelerator Lab 2017, and the IDFA academy. She also serves as Communications Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme, which works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion in nearly 170 countries.
About the Writer/Producer
For over 20 years, Lalita Krishna has been producing and directing documentaries that have screened on all major networks in Canada and at film festivals around the world. She was recently awarded the prestigious 'Don Haig Award' by HOT DOCS, presented annually to an outstanding independent Canadian producer.
Through her career, she has mentored emerging talent through programs at DOC Institute, which she helped conceive. Passionate about diversity and inclusivity Lalita’s documentaries reflect her strong belief in empowering local filmmakers for authentic storytelling.
With Lalita serving as writer/producer, Bangla Surf Girls is a unique collaboration between Elizabeth and Lalita, Bangladesh and Canada.
Thank you to our community & media partners for this screening!
Director: ELIZABETH D. COSTA
Writer: LALITA KRISHNA
Producer(s): ELIZABETH D. COSTA
Cinematographer: ELIZABETH D. COSTA
Editor: JORDAN KAWAI
Music: OHAD BENCHETRIT