Official Selection - Mountainfilm Festival 2023 | Official Selection - Newport Beach Film Festival 2023 | Audience Award - Santa Cruz Film Festival | Official Selection - Portland Film Festival
Coming-of-age in China • Youth & Independence • Surfing • Olympics • National Surf Team • Young Women Empowerment • Love of Sports
Date of Completion: 2022 | Run Time: 88 minutes | Language: English & Chinese with subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Directors: Jessica Q. Chen & Jeremiah M. Bogert Jr. | Producers: Diane Quon & Nevo Shinaar
With unprecedented access, SURF NATION is a feature-length observational documentary that tells a story beginning in Hainan, China’s southernmost province where hundreds of athletes as young as 9-years-old train as part of the Chinese National Surf team. These young recruits have left their families around the country and are paid to become surfers with Olympic aspirations. Shot in a tropical paradise with miles of empty beaches, aspiring athletes and their international coaches live in an old hotel that has become the hub of surfing in China. Over a period of two years, we follow two of China’s top surfers, Alex, 17, who dreams of competing at the highest levels of pro surfing but has contempt for training, and Lolo, 22, who rejects a traditional life for a Chinese woman and surfs despite her parents’ disapproval. We follow them as they train with the team, compete - and most of all, discover what they want their lives to be.