In 2014, Elizabeth D Costa, was on vacation in Cox’s Bazar when she noticed very young girls carrying surfboards and running into the water. She was curious and was soon introduced to Rashed Alam, the founder of the Surf Club. They quickly became friends, and Elizabeth visited the club several times before deciding to make a documentary. Rashed had received several requests from media outlets, but Elizabeth was different – she was not looking for a quick news story. She was interested in documenting the real lives of the kids and the community.
Living in Dhaka (1-hr flight from Cox’s Bazar), Elizabeth was not parachuting into the community to get the story. A filmmaker and communications advisor for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), she is deeply invested in women’s and children’s rights in Bangladesh and is well connected to local agencies throughout the region. She contacted Producer Lalita Krishna and together they committed to making this film. It was important to both to capture the voices of the girls and to have them narrate their stories.
Over the course of filming Elizabeth often stayed with the girls and got to know the families. She captured the challenges and highlights of their days, and the girls soon forgot the camera and began confiding in her. She traveled back and forth from Dhaka, and there was always some ‘drama’ that showed the fragile nature of the club. The girls were also challenging. Their moods changed with their circumstances, but the one common element which drove this project and inspired Elizabeth and Producer Lalita Krishna to stay on course is the fighting spirit of the girls. Surfing gave the girls the courage to dream. All of them were determined to change their destiny and take charge of their futures.