Stephanie in the water premieres in Australia

The first Australian screening of Stephanie Gilmore's inspiring documentary, STEPHANIE IN THE WATER, premiered to a packed house in Warriewood, Sydney last night.

The 5x world champion offers an intimate account of life on tour and the challenges that come with being one of the best female surfers in the world. After a heartbreaking tragedy that ended her remarkable winning streak, the film documents Stephanie’s courage, strength & relentless determination to regain the top spot in women’s surfing.

As the credits rolled, Director Ava Warbrick and Stephanie took to the stage and answered questions from the crowd (and an excited group of groms in the front row) not only about the film but to ask Stephanie, does she ever get scared? When did she start surfing? And of course – what’s her favorite colour?

Afterwards, the groms had the chance to meet their hero and share the stoke with Steph, waiting patiently to take a few photos and get their boards, tees, caps and posters signed by the champ. Smiles all round!

Before the premiere, Steph, Ava and Steph’s sister Whitney filled us in on how the film came together and what the audience reactions have been so far.

How did the project start?

Steph: It definitely wasn’t going to be how the film finished, we originally had met and were going to make some webisodes, and have Ava’s creativity and my curiosity for travelling to new places, have them collide and see what happens. Three or four years later we were looking at it differently, to how my story was evolving.

How long had you both been friends?

Steph: We only met when we started filming

Ava: I love that everyone is so surprised by that

Steph: But I always felt we had known each other for a long time, so it was easy to be comfortable with the camera and trust Ava’s vision of what the film could be.

Has the experience of filming and then screening the film been quite cathartic?

Ava: I think its interesting, once you start screening something that you’ve been working on for a really long time and you have your own understanding of it and objective relationship with it, once it’s in the hands and eyes of an audience it just takes on a completely different life.

What have been some of the highlights from the responses with the different audiences so far?

Steph: There are definitely bits and pieces that I have found really interesting. Parts where people are laughing and engaging with the film that I didn’t think they would.

Ava: yeah, certain audiences respond to different moments and sequences. We had a smaller screening on the second night in London, and that crowd were laughing in moments more that other audiences had.

What’s been some of the best advice you have received in the process of making the film?

Whitney: One of the producers, Alicia, said it’s like bringing up your child and sending them off on their first day of school. So you’ve brought them up in the best way possible, and then you release them off to school and you don’t know if they’re going to make friends, if they are going to be hated or loved. That analogy for me made so much sense.

Steph: I knew it would have a ppositive response but I didn’t realise people would look at it as inspirational.

Ava: Yeah it’s really nice to get the response it has generated because we didn’t hammer certain ideas over the head, we wanted to let people to connect the dots on their own.

Don’t miss the chance to experience Stephanie’s story on the big screen, and meet Steph and Ava after the show! For tickets and info head to

SYDNEY - Ritz Cinema Randwick - Friday 24 October at 7pm

MELBOURNE - Village Cinemas Jam Factory - Saturday 25 October at 7pm

GEELONG - Village Cinemas - Sunday 26 October at 5pm

BYRON BAY - The Byron Theatre - Wednesday 29 October at 7pm

GOLD COAST - Event Cinemas Robina - Sunday 2 November at 5pm

Posted in Blog - Latest News
Tagged in Surf