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Shobe, Aisha and Suma from are poised to make history as Bangladesh’s first women surfers in an international surf competition. But society and poverty pose major hurdles.


Shobe, Aisha, and Suma, three teens from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, are poised to make history as Bangladesh’s first women surfers in an international competition.

Driven to succeed and guided by their devoted coach, the girls find freedom in the waves as surfing becomes their only ticket out of poverty and the way for them to determine their own futures against the backdrop of stifling families and oppressive community judgment. After their coach makes the decision to leave the club, the financial support for their surfing dries up and the odds of achieving their dreams seem insurmountable. A powerful coming-of-age story and tale of resistance by Bangladeshi filmmaker Elizabeth D. Costa, Bangla Surf Girls will have you cheering for every wave and hurdle these young women overcome.

"I may be just a kid, but I dream big. When I play with waves, I forget everything. Surfing is.… I can’t explain the feeling. It’s completely intoxicating. All my dreams have to do with surfing, but none of these dreams can happen if I am forbidden to surf."

—Shobe, film participant, Bangla Surf Girls

“Bangla Surf Girls is fantastic: compelling, beautiful, and fun to watch. The film captures very powerful statements from the girls, revealing their depth, thoughtfulness, and courage.”  

—Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate, Children's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch


Elizabeth D. Costa


Elizabeth D. Costa is a refreshing new talent from Bangladesh whose skills in documenting intimate images are evident in her first feature documentary, Bangla Surf Girls. For over twelve years Elizabeth has worked on media projects as producer, director, assistant producer, editor, and cameraperson. Recently she completed two projects for SBS Dateline, Australia and Big Blue Communications. Elizabeth was invited to participate in the Film Independent lab 2020, the Chicken and Egg Accelerator Lab 2017. She is also an alumni of the IDFA academy . She honed her career as an intern script supervisor for Tareque and Catherine Masud in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She worked for BBC Media Action, NOS Television, VICE News UK, Spanish TV, and Bloomberg TV. She also worked as assistant producer with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on “A Journey of Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers".

Lalita Krishna


Lalita Krishna is a multiple award winning filmmaker whose work has been broadcast in Canada on all major networks, and featured at film festivals around the world. An early adopter of new platforms for storytelling, Lalita produces games, apps and websites which complement and enhance the documentary viewing experience. She brings community involvement and user engagement strategies to the projects she develops and produces. Her projects have been acclaimed for their unique approach to building audiences.

Lalita is the winner of the 2013 Crystal award for Mentorship. She is the recipient of the 2012 Trailblazer award given by Reel World Film Festival and was honoured to receive the Dreamcatcher award given by the Hopes and Dreams festival, New Jersey for using her craft to better humanity.

Lalita is Co Chair of the Board of North America’s premier documentary festival Hot Docs and is the Co Chair of Ontario Chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada.