Here's a little sun-kissed relief to the cold European winter: a short film by world-renowned filmmaker Brett Novak that transports us to tropical Brazil and introduces us to the incredible skills of four female skateboarders who dance gracefully on their longboards.
In 'The Girls of Guanabara', Ana Maria Suzano, Teresa Madeline, Sara Watanabe and Beatriz Gavelak defy the laws of gravity as they fearlessly skate and showcase their technical abilities amongst the breathtaking landscapes of Rio de Janeiro. The six-minute film, supported by Nike, sets out to inspire women the world over to get out, be daring, fearless and creative – whether that means in skateboarding, extreme sports or in anything that they choose to do.
The four women were all taught how to longboard dance by the Guanabara Boards longboard school which launched a campus in London in 2020, after operating out of Rio de Janeiro since 2010.
The film's UK-born and based producer, Teresa Madeline Batista, who also longboards in the video while 8-weeks pregnant said, "I made this film to be empowering for women, there's never been one quite like this that showcases such a high level of skill and creativity from female longboarders – we needed a filmmaker who could match the ability and creativity of the girls, and that's where Brett Novak came in."
Brett Novak is an American filmmaker, director and music video editor for the likes of Beyoncé and Kanye West. He's best known for his skateboard related short films; particularly his collaborations with Spanish professional skateboarder Kilian Martin which have reached over 15 million views on YouTube. He has had his films commissioned by brands such as Mercedes and Google. This is the first time he's made a film featuring female longboarders.
Psychology student, Ana Maria Suzano, started skateboarding at the age of 14 and has already had a taste of online stardom with over 20 million views on her videos. Her seamless flow on the board and love for fashion has influenced an entirely new generation of young women and men worldwide, which hasn't gone unnoticed by global brands either; recently she appeared as the face of Mexican chocolate brand Ricolino.
Teresa Madeline Batista is a UK-born producer, filmmaker and photographer. She originally travelled to Brazil in 2014 to work on a project about women in boardsports, where she started researching for the Guanabara Girls film. She was so allured by their world that she moved to Brazil, where she met her skateboard coach/husband and immersed herself into practising longboard dancing – to eventually become a 'Guanabara Girl' herself.
Sara Watanabe is a business graduate and model, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. When not shredding down Rio's hills, she's tearing it up the flatland with her effortlessly rhythmic flow and outer-worldly balance. While nurse-in-training and business owner, Beatriz Gavelak, hones a smooth, delicate dancing style, while at the same time proving that she truly is a master of equilibrium as she executes challenging technical tricks that few others in the world can muster.