Ocean Legacy Foundation’s Chloé Dubois, left, Surfrider Pacific Rim’s Lilly Woodbury, founder of Barnacle Babes Jodi Mossop, free diver Rose Molina, and “She is the Ocean” director and producer Inna Blokhina led an inspired panel discussion after the March 1 screening at the Tofino Legion. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

‘She is the Ocean’ premieres in Tofino

“Every hero in this film has a very beautiful story and a very beautiful soul.”

‘She is the Ocean’, an award-winning documentary about nine great women who share a strong love for the ocean, screened at Tofino’s Royal Canadian Legion on March 1.

Director and producer Innesse Blokhina was in the house to speak about her movie.

“It’s an honour to be here and to share this film with this community. Your community looks a little bit the same [as mine] because we also get cold water,” said the Russian director. “We have extreme environment to charge, and to make a difference.”

Blokhina said it took six years for the documentary to come together.

“Every hero in this film has a very beautiful story and a very beautiful soul. I’m sure you can find something special from watching the film,” she said.

The heroines of the movie are big wave surfers Keala Kennelly and Andrea Moller, professional surfer Coco Ho, shark conservationist Ocean Ramsey, cliff diver Anna Bader, Hawaiian surfing icon Jeannie Chesser, explorer and marine biologist Sylvia Earle, young Balinese surfer Chinta Hansel, and free diver Rose Molina.

Molina, who is also a yoga instructor and underwater dancer, attended Friday’s screening in Tofino. She spoke about her passion for the ocean during the Q&A period.

“For me, it’s home. And, that’s why I go deeper and deeper because the more water I have around me it makes me feel, I don’t know, it’s something about the pressure of the water that embraces. It makes me feel, maybe, like I’m in a womb. It makes me feel so safe and allows us to be reborn again. There’s something magical that happens in the ocean to all of us,” said Molina, adding that her secret for holding breath is doing it with joy and love.

“If you go deeper, it’s because of joy, not because of numbers. If you want a bigger wave, it’s because you love it. When I do breath hold, it’s about how do I stay longer with a smile instead of pushing,” said Molina.

Film director Blokhina expressed to the audience that protecting nature and the ocean is very important to her.

“I hope this film will inspire people to think about it, even a little bit,” said Blokhina.

Surfrider Pacific Rim chapter manager Lilly Woodbury and Chloé Dubois, co-founder of Ocean Legacy Foundation, joined Molina and Blokhina up front to complete Tofino’s discussion panel.

Canadian Tour dates for ‘She is the Ocean’ include a free screening in Vancouver on International Women’s Day, plus stops in Victoria and Toronto. The film was brought to Canada thanks to the efforts of Barnacle Babes Production Inc. founder and president Jodi Mossop. Based out of Vancouver, Barnacle Babes is a community media company that produces a magazine and web-series. They also bring women together for retreats and conferences.

WATCH: Ucluelet Aquarium curator Laura Griffith-Cochrane talks to Barnacle Babes

“We need to make sure we as women are supporting women and female led projects,” Mossop wrote in an email to the Westerly.

“I hear often, particularly women in sport, that the draw for women (or viewership) isn’t as big as men’s, that’s why the purses are smaller. Women need to support women. We need to go to these events, we need to hear their struggles, we need to support the companies supporting these athletes. Women tell stories differently and we connect differently to the stories. But it is also important the men are supportive and included in everything we do. We need the balance,” said Mossop. “Through this tour, I think some of the men that have come to our shows have been really surprised about how good this film is and have loved it.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the documentary about great women is encouraged to visit ‘She is the Ocean’ website: www.sheistheocean.com/eng.

READ MORE: Tofino Film Festival wraps up

READ MORE: Gory, goofy Tofino surf movie earns top prize


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