At the 2021 Glasgow Film Festival, held online this year in February, we watched a brilliant documentary film called BIG vs SMALL, directed by a Finnish female director Minna Dufton.
Hailing from Helsinki, Minna put together this fantastic piece of film set in Nazaré in Portugal, a place famous for it’s big-wave surfing. The film focuses on the petite Portuguese queen-of-surfing Joana Andrade, who is small in height but big in ambition, strength and girl power!
The film focuses on the physical and mental challenge and risk of riding these huge waves; competing at a high level in sport, and the the gender inequality that impacts women, particularly in the sporting world. It also takes a very personal dive into Joana’s past, her mindset, hopes, dreams, struggles, vulnerabilities, and greatest fears.
This leads to a segment of the film where Joana travels to Minna’s homeland of Finland to meet another fascinating and inspiring female Johanna Nordblad. Johanna is a strong female Finnish world-champion free diver, and the pair hit it off straight away. A wonderful friendship blossoms, and Johanna shares advice and support to help Joana overcome her fears both physically and mentally to perform at her best.
The documentary was honest, raw, uplifting and inspiring, and we were left with the greatest of respect for both Joana herself and nature’s force in the form of the big waves.
Having enjoyed the film so much, Alex got in touch with Minna to discuss the making of the film a little more. Please enjoy the video interview below:
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Interview & Feature by Alex Minnis