It’s the 1980s and the world of professional surfing is a circus of flouro colours, peroxide hair and radical male egos. Surf culture is the hottest thing on the planet and male surfers the Main Event. Meanwhile, women surfers are being paid a tenth of the prize money and relegated to holding contests during the men’s lunch breaks. The Side Show is the untold story of how that ragtag bunch of inspiring characters broke loose to turn women’s surfing into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
This story highlights gender inequality for women in sport and the rise of an industry through the guts and determination of a group of women who have changed the way the world sees women's surfing. It will inspire young women to get involved in what has been traditionally a male dominated sport as well as highlight cultural shifts from the 80's until now.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
These women should be role models for young women today - in the surfing world and beyond. By telling the story of some of surfing's missing superheros, we want to tell a story of female empowerment and of the power of women to make change when faced with injustice.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
The documentary aims to highlight the long fought battle for gender and pay equity in what was a male dominated sport. The stories of these women, who broke the rules and paved the way, will open up a wider discussion around sexism in sport and the battles that are still being fought. The inspiring message from our film is that it’s achievable - equity can happen when the will is there. These Women’s stories will inspire audiences around the world.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We have relationships with surf life saving groups across Australia and we are building a network of people to spread the word about the film and to encourage Women to believe in themselves and fight for their equal rights.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
We hope they are inspired to stand up for women's rights across all of society and to realise that the women that paved the way for the freedoms that are enjoyed are heroes in our not to distant past.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
We will see more sports achieve pay parity between the men and the women and a greater interest for women in sport. We will also see confidence in women in the surf as they feel the right to occupy spaces that men have historically dominated.