When Filmmaker Minna Dufton started her documentary about elite big wave champion surfer, the “tiny fighter” Joana Andrade who rides the powerhouse waves at Nazaré, Portugal (home of the 100ft World Record Wave surfed by Garrett McNamara), little did she know Joana harboured a secret that could keep her from the waves. By way of explaining the safety equipment big wave surfers use, Joana revealed her fear of drowning, something many big wave surfers share. In that one extraordinary moment, remarkable cinematic serendipity would unfold and bring together the tiny Portuguese surfer with Finnish world champion freediver, Johanna Nordblad, for the most unusual of training sessions.
Big vs Small is a modern-day fairytale stretching from the raging monster waves in the south to the dark stillness of a far-north, frozen Finnish lake; it’s about power and strength on top of the water and facing demons under it. It’s about trust, it’s about letting go, and it’s about what happens when two elite female champions share their extraordinary talent with each other.
Director and Writer: Minna Dufton
Music: Janne Eerola, Markus Karppinen, Matias Karppinen, Riversound Music
Producer: Heidi Richert
Editor: Maarit Nissilä
Cinematographers: Tim Bonython, Sakke Kantosalo
Length: 1hr 16mins
Languages: Portuguese, Finnish, English
Date: Autumn 2022