Stephanie In The Water documents five-time surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore's battle to stay at the top of her game.

Stephanie In The Water documents five-time surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore's battle to stay at the top of her game.

Stephanie Gilmore cruised to her first surfing world championship victory aged just 17, but life ever since has rarely been that simple.

New documentary Stephanie in the Water offers an intimate portrait of the five time ASP world champion and documents the huge personal struggle she’s faced to stay on top.

Huck spoke to the film’s editor Isabel Freeman for the lowdown on the film that will be released digitally on August 5.

How does the film show an unseen side to Stephanie Gilmore?
People in the surf world know a lot about Stephanie’s career and her success, but we happened to be shooting during a difficult time in her personal life. I think we show a side of her that isn’t commonly exposed by professional athletes. I think the film also stands out because it was produced, directed and edited by women. We made a real effort to not objectify Stephanie or sexualise the sport in any way, and that’s pretty rare in women’s surfing.

What’s your favourite scene from the film?
The scenes I loved editing most were all the surfing sections, but my favourite scene in the film is when Stephanie presents the World Title trophy to her successor after a four year winning streak. During that time in the shooting, all of us felt very invested in Stephanie’s life and I think that comes across in this scene.

What were the challenges in representing Stephanie’s life on film?
Ava had been shooting for almost two years before we started editing, and another two years beyond that. Over time, the story shifted more than once, and whole sections of the film were no longer necessary. We had to let go of some of our favourite things, and learned that being attached to a scene or a shot doesn’t mean much in the end.

Stephanie In The Water directed by Ava Warbrick is out on digital release August, 5.