La Maestra Official Trailer from Paul Ferraris on Vimeo.

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La Maestra (The Teacher) is a half-hour documentary about a young Mexican woman who decides to follow her own path and in doing so, inspires other to do the same and changes her community’s expectations of what’s appropriate for girls and women. The film profiles Mayra Agulair, a teacher in a tiny rural fishing village in Baja, Mexico, who becomes the first Mexican woman surfer in her area. Told in Spanish using mainly Mayra’s voice, the film shows how she has gone on to inspire both her students and other local women to take up the sport and follow their dreams. Through her deep connection to the ocean, Mayra has also become an environmentalist, teaching her students the importance of land and sea stewardship through hands on learning. In the film, Mayra talks about the amazing surfing waves in her town — a gift of nature that has brought thousands of gringo surfers to the area over the years, forever changing Mayra’s hometown in both positive and negative ways. In this regard, the film is also a subtle commentary on the impact outsider surf tourists can have on small communities around the globe and the need for all of us to be mindful of taking care of the environment, no matter where we are. La Maestra (The Teacher) is an important film because it features a strong Latina woman role model that will appeal to everyone.

This Film Is Unique
Surf movies are filmed all over the world, but usually it’s Americans, Australians, and/or Europeans traveling to exotic locals and talking about what they are seeing, and it’s rare that the filmmakers bother to interview the local people who are born and raised in these locations or capture their daily experiences of living and surfing there year-round. La Maestra (The Teacher) is unique in that it’s a story about a local woman, told entirely in Spanish, through our character’s own voice, not the voices of outsiders. Our cameras follow Mayra throughout her day, giving viewers a rare glimpse into the life of this young Mexican teacher and surfer who was born and continues to live and work in her tiny, remote village.

We hope that through screenings and outreach events, as well as through DVDs and Digital Downloads, that La Maestra (The Teacher) will generate discussions about gender, the challenges facing women who step out of traditional roles, the growth mindset, the impacts of outsiders on small rural communities, and the need for all of us to care for the environment. Our hope is that viewers will gain an awareness of the issues facing women surfers, as well as understand that when we travel, we have an impact on the communities we visit – in both positive and negative ways. It is also our hope that Mayra’s story will also encourage other girls and women to feel comfortable following their own path, and for everyone to care for the land and for their communities.

While La Maestra (The Teahcer) will have immediate resonance with surfing audiences around the globe, it is intended for a wider viewership throughout the world.

You can learn more about our film and watch our trailer on Vimeo

Production Credits

Director/ Producer
Paul Ferraris
Elizabeth Pepin Silva

Editor
Paul Ferraris

Writer
Elizabeth Pepin Silva

Camera/Audio
Paul Ferraris
Elizabeth Pepin Silva

Additional Footage/Audio
Keren Katz

Archival Footage/ Photographs
The Aguilar Family
Matt Proehl
D. Sam’uel Russell-Hurd

Online Editor
Sean Stack/AlphaDogs

Music
“Que Te Ha Dado Esa Mujer”
Written by Gilberto Para
Performed by Perla Batalla
Special Performance by Gilberto Gonzalez
Used with Permission

“Here Comes the Sun Again”
Written and Performed by M. Ward
(Crooked Spine Music (ASCAP)
Used with Permission

“Grimes’ Surf Story”
Written and Performed by
Neal Casal and Adam MacDougall
(Grand Island Music & Blue Car Music (ASCAP)
Used with Permission

“La Barca de Oro”
Traditional
Performed by Perla Batalla
Used with Permission

“Mayra Learns to Surf”
Original Music for “La Maestra”
Written and Performed by
Neal Casal and Adam MacDougall
(Grand Island Music & Blue Car Music (ASCAP)

“Por Las Parrandas”
Written and Performed by Conjunto Los Ponchos
Used with Permission

“Deadly”
Written & Performed by Vinyl Skyway
Used with Permission

“Flake”
Written & Performed by Jack Johnson
Used with Permission

“Second Point”
Original Music for “La Maestra”
Written and Performed by
Neal Casal and Adam MacDougall
(Grand Island Music & Blue Car Music (ASCAP)

Sound Rerecordist
& Neal Casal & Adam Dougall Music
Recorded & Mixed by
J.P. Hesser, Castaway Seven Studios

Computer Wizard
Moses Kravitz

Funders:
The National Artist Teacher Fellowship

Amazeballs Surf Team
Estelle Shaw Andrews
Cindy Bajema
The Berti Family
Dana & Joe Catolico
Krista Comer
Catherine Eberle in honor of Carlos Retamoza
Gloria Ann Evans
Kimberly Fox
Bryan Garrison
Mike & Sarah Gerhardt
Jeff Haag
Christine Hoey
Skye Hueneke
Robert Luckey
Jeff Mays
Bryon Mellon
Matt Miller
Eddie O’Sullivan
Pedro Point Surf Club
Mila Romero y Fede Sarnovich
Martha Seaver
Robert & Rachel Silva
Dayla Soul
Bill Stefanacci
Joaquin Suave
Karen Thomsen
Robert J. Thompson
Sally Smith-Weymouth/Paradise Surf
The Wahine Project
Bob Wyler & Susie Moon

In-Kind Donations
Andreini Surfboards
Mollusk Surf Shop

Special Thanks
The Aguilar Family
Jessica Baer
Perla Batalla
Georgia & Joel Berti
Sophia & Tony Berti
Big Water Bob
Margaret Bradley
Neal Casal
Dana Catolico
Julie Cox
Shelby Creagh
Cindy & Mike Delster Reiber
Discover Baja
Silas Freeman
Frosty Hesson
Roberta & Glen Horn
Jack Johnson
Danny & Myla Kato
Keren Katz
Harriet Lewin
Emmett Malloy
Claud Mann
Kizzy O’Neal
Amber Paz
Stephanie Phillips
Allison Reed
Cori Schumacher
Karen & Julia Scott
David Silva
John Silva
Surf Sista
Mollie Stilinovich
Karen Thomsen
The women of the 2014 Summer Institute for Women Surfers
Vanessa Yeager

Copyright 2015,
On The Water Front Creative
Paul Ferraris Productions