Bangla Surf Girls Logo
Bangla Surf Girls Logo

Feature documentary directed by Elizabeth D. Costa

The Story

Shobe, Aisha and Suma break away from the drudgery of their lives by joining a surf club in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The girls fight family pressure and social judgement, for a few hours on the waves. They gain confidence as their natural skill and prowess gains attention and praise. Soon they are poised to make history as Bangladesh’s first women surfers. The odds are stacked against them but the girls refuse to give up. Balancing the freedom of the waves with the restrictive realities of their circumstances, we experience the thrill and struggle of coming-of-age in a developing country.

Fate had something in store for these girls.

They had other ideas.

Shobe walking with surf board

Shobe / The Fighter

Suma playing in the water - Surf Girl


Ayesha Surf Girl


Bangla Surf Girls:
The Next Generation

In partnership with The JAAGO Foundation, Bangladesh and Moving Adventure International Ocean Film Tour, Germany,  IN SYNC MEDIA has raised over $60,000 USD to create lifetime endowments and financial support for most of the girls in the original surfing program. This has enabled them to be free to pursue their dreams.

The documentary story continues to captivate audiences around the world. If you wish to organize a screening or if you wish to support the local surfing programs, please drop us a line at

We would love to hear from you. 


Select Screening: Hot Docs April 2021
Winner: Accolade Award, April 2021
Select Screening: Newport Film Festival, Rhode Island, USA May 2021
Select Screening: European Film Festival In Asia, Bangladesh, June 2021

Winner: Best Feature, OFFA(Oakville Festival of the Arts) July 2021

Winner: Women in Surf award, Portuguese Film Festival, Ericeira, Portugal July 2021

Select Screening: New Hope Film Festival. Pennsylvania, USA, July 2021

Winner: Best Surf documentary, Paris Surf & Skateboard Film Festival, September 2021

Select Screening: Lunenberg Doc Festival, Lunenberg Nova Scotia, September 2021

Select Screening: ZLIN Children’s Film Festival, Czech Republic, September 2021

Select Screening: Human Rights Film Festival Berlin, September 2021

Winner:Best Feature Documentary, Bushwick Film Festival, Brooklyn New York, October 2021

Select Screening: OutDocs, Guangzou China October 2021

Winner: Best Film, Best Director: Vancouver Asian Film Festival, November 2021

Select Screening: Children’s Film Festival, Paris, November, 2021 

Winner: Audience Award- “What If? Women In Film Festival” (WIFF), Zurich November 2021

Winner: Best Documentary, Fearless Filmmaker, Coronado Island Film Festival, California November 2021 

Select Screening: Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, Colorado, November 2021

Select Screening: WATCH DOCS, Belarus, December 2021

Select Screening: DocPoint Documentary Film Festival Helsinki, January 2022

Select Screening: DocPoint Documentary Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia January 2022

Select Screening: Indie Meme, Texas, February 2022

Winner: Audience Award; WOW film festival, Wales March 2022 

Select Screening: Belleville Downtown Film Festival, March 2022 

Select Screening: London Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London March 2022

Select Screening: Verzio Film Festival, Budapest Hungary March 2022

Select Screening: Moving Adventure Ocean Film tour March 2022

Select Screening: Internationales Frauen* Film Fest  Dortmund+Koln March 2022 

Select Screening: Vera Film Festival Mariehamn, Åland Islands, Finland March 2022

Winner: CINEMARE Int’l Ocean Film Festival KIEL, Germany April 2022

Select Screening: JAYU Last Tuesdays, Toronto March, 2022

Select Screening: ACT Human Rights Film Festival, Colorado USA April 4-10

Winner: First time Filmmaker, Int. Ocean Film Festival San Francisco April 7-10 

Select Screening: Film South Asia 2022 Kathmandu, Nepal April 21-24

Select Screening: Docs for Schools, Hot Docs, Canada, April 19-May 6 

Select Screening: Brest Surf Film Festival Brest, France,  May 11-14

Winner: Sununga Beach award at the Ficsu Ubatuba Int. Surf Film festival, Brazil. June 16-19

Select Screening : UKCRF Foot in the Door, Film Cymru, Wales July 14 

Select Screening: FAN Festival de l’ Adventure Lege Cap Ferret, France Sept 9-11

Winner :Jury Prize Best Documentary: Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Seattle, USA November 3-13

Select Screening: International Images Festival, Harare, Zimbabwe, November 23-26

Select Screening: Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, December 15-23

Select Screening: Thunder Bay Intl film festival, Michigan, USA Feb 1-12,  2023

Select Screening: INDIs Festival,Leeds,UK Feb 22-26, 2023

Select Screening: Freeze Frame, Manitoba, March 5-12 2023

Select Screening: ARC, Stockton on Tees, UK, March 16, March 25, 2023 

Select Screening: ImagineIndia Film Festival, Madrid, September 1-16, 2023

Select Screening: Mon Premier Festival, Paris, France, May 2023 

“Bangla Surf Girls is fantastic: compelling, beautiful, and fun to watch. The film captures very powerful statements from the girls, revealing their depth, thoughtfulness, and courage.”
— Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, February 2022

“The movie is beautiful to look at, with atmospheric shots of the sea and gorgeous sunsets and the backdrop for the girls as they glide along.  But it is also packed with powerful emotion.”
Susan Cole, POV Magazine April 29, 2021

“Its a very memorable coming of age story.”
Aisha Jamal, Hot Docs Programmer picks 2021

“Moving, uplifting and tons of fun with stunning photography”

“With gorgeous cinematography and candid conversations, Bangla Surf Girls melts your heart with the passion these girls feel for the sport.”

“The documentary highlights raw emotions, family dynamics, and the complex pressures of poverty”
— WomenandHollywood


“Bangla Surf Girls is a story of resistance that offers visibility, generates empathy and inspires to look for that wave that makes a difference.”


“Bangla Surf Girls manages to offer slices of hope to each amongst the bleakness.”
That Shelf

“I’ve rarely ever seen young people in a documentary who so clearly had the space and comfort to think through how they want to express themselves – and to joke and push back with the questions ask at times too.”
— Kailee Andrews, Co-Director Programming, Indie Meme, Texas

If you want to book a screening of Bangla Surf Girls, contact us today!