Femme Ocean is a project very close to Oy’s heart. Why? Because we have very similar goals. Femme Ocean puts female surfers at the center of the action and portrays a wide variety of strong women and their personal stories. They put a lot of emphasis on the community and on the fact that other women and girls with similar passions can have role models. To support this great project, Oy has helped with the print of a new t-shirt. Do you also want to support Femme Ocean? The t-shirt is now available in the online store.
Femme Ocean was created because of many reasons. On one hand, due to her own passion and fascination for the sea. On the other hand, Annika wanted to educate about many topics. On her travels in many countries, she often noticed that there were hardly any local female surfers. Why was that? She also wanted to raise awareness about how difficult it is to find sponsors as a professional female surfer and how unfair it is that women are paid much less at surf contests, except WSL since 2019.
Female surfers from all over the world are fighting for their dreams and are seeing more and more results of equality. It is important that girls and women have strong, assertive and authentic female role models they can identify with, because these days women are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the international surfing community. Surfing can also be seen as a way to empower women because we take risks in the water. We trust nature. We develop courage while surfing and take it back to land, to our communities and beyond. For this reason, Annika from “Femme Ocean” embarked on a journey from Portugal to Sri Lanka to meet women who are following their own unique path.
Purpose of the Documentary
Femme Ocean focuses on deeper insights into the passion for surfing and shows an authentic picture far away from any clichés. A total of five very personal, 10-minute portraits of international female surfers are presented. Among them are professional athletes as well as freesurfers. They could not be more different in terms of age, social background, religion, different backgrounds and professions. However, they all have one thing in common: they are pioneers, committed to the environment and are independent, confident and strong women. Their goal is to share their passion for the sea and for their personal life projects with the world.
Femme Ocean is not a typical surf film, but one that is meant to be inspiring and serves as an interface between social projects and workshops. Annika plans retreats to help people leave their comfort zone and feel good in their bodies. Topics such as trauma will also be addressed. She also organizes projects such as swimming courses for children in Sri Lanka.
Behind the Scenes
Annika v. Schütz has a Master of Arts in Media and works as a director and film producer. She was born in Germany, but considers herself a resident of the world. She has long worked for theater, television and film festivals in Berlin, and her award-winning documentary “Set up to sell – Surfing as a lifestyle product” (2018) took her to Europe’s Atlantic coast. There she also launched “Femme Ocean,” which was sponsored by LAC, Laboratório Actividades Criativas, in Lagos. Of all places, she suffered two serious accidents in the sea during the three years of filming. However, this has not affected her motivation, but rather reinforced it. She continues to live in Portugal and is always in contact with interesting female surfers, surf journalists and environmental activists from all over the world thanks to her large network in the international surf scene.
Annika is also backed by a whole team of professional photographers and filmmakers, editors and designers, passionate surfers and travel enthusiasts from all over the world. And of course “les femmes”, the faces of documentary film. Valerie Schlieper is the designer of the logo. Annika and Valerie have known each other since they were in school and the two started surfing together in 2004.
Release of the film
The world premiere took place on 9 July at the International Surf Film Festival in Anglet, France. In Portugal the film will be released on 29 July and from 5-10 September they will be at the USA Premiere Women’s Surf Film Festival in New York. They are still waiting to hear back from other film festivals and will hopefully be in Zurich in November.
For more information visit Femme Oceane on their website or on Instagram. Annika is also currently finalizing a crowdfunding, as she is managing the project herself and urgently needs support.
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