Passion River Films, Abacus Media Rights and Madman Entertainment are thrilled to release BAFTA-nominated director Stefan Stuckert’s critically acclaimed documentary AGAINST THE TIDES On Demand from 1st March 2021 in the UK & Ireland. It follows a 10-month long UK theatrical release and much festival praise, including the Filmic Prize at the Nordic Adventure Film Festival and a Nomination for Best Documentary at the Austin Film Festival.
AGAINST THE TIDES is an award-winning feature-length documentary that follows British ultra-marathon swimmer and world record holder Beth French, as she sets out to swim across seven of the world’s most dangerous sea-channels – an extreme challenge called Oceans Seven.
For open-sea swimmers it’s the ultimate test – the equivalent to climbing the Seven Summits in mountaineering; very few people have ever completed it. But, driven by her desire to set an example for her autistic son, Beth aims to become the first person in history to swim all seven channels in one year.
Beth’s extraordinary story started when she was a teenager and suffered from severe ME (aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Although bedridden for years and resigned to a wheelchair, she managed to recover.
As her remarkable journey unfolds, Beth travels to far-flung corners of the world, confronting hypothermia, sharks, jellyfish, wild weather and mind-numbing fatigue. But in an unpredictable and emotional climax, her yearning to conquer the open sea comes into heart-rending conflict with a mother’s dreams for her son.
Produced by three-times BAFTA & EMMY Nominee Nick Read, AGAINST THE TIDES was directed by Stefan Stuckert, a BAFTA-nominated and award-winning director who series-directed several of Channel 4’s hugely successful DERREN BROWN shows and was part of the team that developed the UK’s hit comedy series PEEP SHOW. His short film MEDIUM RARE won several awards, has had over 2m YouTube hits, and was screened at 70+film festivals worldwide.
Director Stefan Stuckert said: “The first time I met Beth, I was gripped by her story, both because of the incredible challenge she set herself and her complex backstory. Beth is a character full of apparent contradictions: a record-breaking athlete who was bedridden in her youth, a country girl who became a Buddhist nun and an adventurer who homeschools her autistic son.”
“But I also knew that it was not an easy story to tell. There were multiple narrative layers that needed prioritising and, of course, there were many financial and logistical challenges.
“What if she fails or gets injured and has to stop halfway through the swims?” was a frequent question we heard from potential funders. From a visual perspective, we thought a lot about how to capture the emotions and struggles of a long-distance swimmer when, for most of time, she’d be submerged in the water. And, on a more practical level, nothing quite prepared us for filming day and night on a small boat in mid-ocean; sea-sickness was a constant companion!”
Passion River Films said: “We are honoured and excited to be able to release this extraordinary tale of hope, willpower, and determination against all odds. Beth French is an inspiration and the breathtaking camerawork tells her story with remarkable strength and vigour. We can’t be more enthusiastic to share this bold film with the North American audience.“