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Big vs Small Director, Minna Dufton

Photo credit: Elina Manninen

I was delighted to hear from Minna Dufton when she contacted the Conscious Media Movement expressing a common goal, which is to create conscious media that uplifts society and helps with the healing of our planet, by raising our awareness about our connection to each other and all there is, and about the incredible potential that lives inside of all of us. Her new film, BIG VS SMALL which screens at the online DocLands Film Festival May 7th - May 16th shares the incredible feats we are capable of and the beauty in becoming one with nature. I had the pleasure of interviewing Minna about her film here.

Photo credit: Vitor Estrelinha

Sylvia: What inspired you to pursue this story of big wave surfer, Joana Andrade?

Minna: Fear and psychology have always been favorite topics of mine. My first ever documentary back in 1999 was about the fear of flying. So when I stumbled upon the topic of big wave surfing through an article on the internet, I was hooked and wanted to know more about the psychology of the sport. I wanted to know why anyone would seek to go into monstrous waves such as the ones in Nazaré, Portugal, and I particularly wanted to hear from a woman. So when I discovered Joana Andrade, this was one of my first questions to her and one which lead to us opening a door to her past and her relationship with fear.

Sylvia: How does this film address our fears?

Minna: BIG vs SMALL addresses our fears on a concrete level. This is a film that will quite literally make you hold your breath whilst watching! Many people have reported holding onto their seats and I hope that the audiences at the DocLands Documentary Film Festival and ILLUMINATE Film Festival will be able to go on an exhilarating journey inward with BIG vs SMALL. Because that’s where our fears are: inside us, just waiting for us to work on them.

Sylvia: What did you learn about our connection to nature while working on this film?

Minna: While working on BIG vs SMALL, I was in a lucky position to dive into the big wave surfing community in Portugal for a little bit. I discovered that big wave surfers truly are a group with utmost respect for nature. Every time surfers go out to the waves at Nazaré’s north beach, they say a prayer in the marina and in it, they often thank nature for giving them good waves and ask to return home safely. The ocean is no Disney film and every time they go out there it could, potentially, be their last. Still, the surfers want to go out there because they want to feel ONE with the ocean and with the power of nature and I think that’s something to be respected and explored further. Through working with free diver Johanna Nordblad, I’ve also discovered the healing potential of cold water and think there is so much more we could do with it. So many of us are so disconnected with nature nowadays and anything that can be done to help us re-connect, should be done, in my opinion. I hope this film can help in that effort and also to help heal and empower us to overcome our own personal “big waves”. We all face them in one way or another.

Sylvia: Thank you Minna. You all can find the BIG VS SMALL trailer here.


The views and opinions expressed by the interviewees do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Conscious Media Movement.


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