There are many famous open water swims. There’s the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the Cook Strait in New Zealand, to name three out of the "Oceans Seven." Lesser known, but arguably one of the most difficult to complete, is the 30-mile swim from the Farallon Islands out in the Pacific to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. From shark attacks to multiple currents to jellyfish and freezing temperatures, only the most determined even think about making the attempt.
Kim Chambers is one such determined swimmer. The New Zealand native began marathon swimming as an adult after a serious leg injury almost caused it to be amputated. Chambers was the sixth person in the world to complete all seven channel swims, and she set out to be the first woman to complete the distance from the Farallon Islands. The documentary, Kim Swims, by director and producer Kate Webber follows her attempt.
While the average person may never plan to do an open ocean swim, Webber says audiences can still find a lot more in common with her subject than you think. "Having big goals, having teamwork, having a support system, seeing something big through, pushing past fear, being your most resilient self, and being grateful along the way. I think those are all subjects touched upon in this film," she notes.
As a first time filmmaker, Webber notes that she wanted Kim Swims to be more than just a "day in the life" kind of film. "I want to tell a story about this person who so very beautifully portrays resilience. That was a big theme in my life and I thought that she exemplified it so beautifully," she explains.
"[Kim] says there's nothing solo about these journeys," adds Webber. "That's why we're here, is to share our experiences on this planet."
Webber joined Lake Effect's Audrey Nowakowski by Skype to explain how she came to meet Kim and document her record-breaking swim:
Kim Swims screens during the Milwaukee Film Festival, where director Kate Webber will participate in a talkback about the movie Monday afternoon.