About Elizabeth D. Costa

Elizabeth D. Costa is rapidly emerging as one of Bangladesh’s most exciting female directors and cinematographer. She has over 12 years of experience and are passionate about storytelling. Her first feature doc “Bangla Surf Girls” world premiered in HotDocs 2021. 
In 2017, she was selected for the Chicken and Egg Accelerator Lab and was also selected to attend the IDFA academy, to hone her craft. Elizabeth began her career as a script supervisor with the acclaimed pioneer Bangladeshi filmmakers Tareque and Catherine Masud, before earning her MA in Film Studies from the University of Dhaka. She has directed and produced television shows and worked in several short films for a range of media outlets domestic and internationally including PBS Newshour, SBS Dateline, BBC Media Action, NOS News – Netherlands, Vice News UK, and Bloomberg TV, La Sexta Spanish TV and also worked as line producer for two times Academy award winner, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary “A Journey of Thousand Miles”. 
Her job at UNDP Bangladesh as Communications advisor helped her to produce a number of media advocacy stories about women empowerment. And during the Rohingya exodus, she has covered for International organizations like Human Rights Watch, Dutch Television and PBSNewshour as a Producer/Cameraperson inside the refugee camp. 

Filmography Includes:

  • Videographer/Director: DOC Short – Child Marriage Survivor
  • Director: News story, Dutch TV NOS – Rohingya Crisis
  • Producer/Director: Season 3 of ‘Amrai Pari’ (2 episodes each 30 minutes factual television on climate change)
  • Producer/Director: La-sexta Television; Jan 2016
  • Produced 4 minutes of Bangladesh story for Spanish Television. Bloomberg television


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.