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Savage Waters

How far would you go searching for something that may not exist?

A 19th century treasure-hunter’s journal inspires a captivating journey to seek out and surf a mythical, never-ridden wave in some of the most remote and dangerous waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

For renowned skipper, Matt Knight, sailing to unpredictable and uncharted regions is impossible to resist. As a lifelong thrill-seeker, he is constantly testing the limits of what’s possible, something world-class big wave surfer Andrew Cotton has also built his career on.

With family and friends, they board the beautiful catamaran Hecate and follow clues to this ‘perfect wave’, but not everything goes to plan, with serious injury and life-threatening challenges testing the crew’s resilience and attitudes towards risk.

SAVAGE WATERS, narrated by the legendary Charles Dance, boasts jaw-dropping cinematography, and follows remarkable protagonists, for whom living life to the full often means putting themselves in harm’s way.

  • Mikey Corker
    Behind the Lines, Deeper, Beneath the Surface, Made in Ireland, The Guardian Angel
  • Mikey Corker
    Behind the Lines, Deeper, Beneath the Surface, Made in Ireland, The Guardian Angel
  • Nic Guttridge
    Story Consultancy
    The Spy Who Fell to Earth, The Night Caller / After The Night, MH370 - Inside the Situation Room, The Cancer Conflict
  • Jordan Montminy
    The 8th, The New Yorker Presents
  • Charles Dance
    Narrated By
    The King's Man, The Crown, Mank, Game of Thrones
  • Ghislaine Couvillat
    Girls Can't Surf, The Quest for Nature, Against The Tides
  • Kathleen Glynn
    Executive Producers
    Bowling For Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Soufra
  • Peggy Cafferty
    Executive Producers
    India's Daughter, You Bury Your Own, Stranger With A Camera
  • Lorcan Kavanagh
    Executive Producers
    Midnight Man, Killers Within
  • Matt Knight
    Key Cast
  • Suzanne Hobbs
    Key Cast
  • Andrew Cotton
    Key Cast
    100 Foot Wave, Beneath the Surface, Let's Be Frank
  • Jemima Knight
    Key Cast
    The Day That Broke
  • Harriet Knight
    Key Cast
  • Taz Knight
    Key Cast
  • Peony Knight
    Key Cast
  • Alex Botehlo
    Key Cast
  • Ed Smith
    Key Cast
  • Aisling Brouwer
    Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story, White Riot
  • Anna Phoebe
    Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Belittled
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 33 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 11, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    850,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The Wales International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    Best Feature Documentary
  • The Richard Harris International Film Festival
    October 28, 2022
    European Premiere
    Best Documentary, Best Soundtrack, Jury's Special Mention - Cinematography
  • The Liverpool Film festival
    United Kingdom
    November 3, 2022
    United Kingdom Premiere
    Best Documentary, Best Director, Film of the Festival
    November 9, 2022
    Italy Premiere
    Best Picture
  • The London Surf Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 25, 2022
    London Premiere
    Best British Film
  • 15Th BBK Mendi Film
    December 15, 2022
    Spain Premiere
    Special Mention of the Jury
Distribution Information
  • Abacus Media Rights
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Mikey Corker

I began my professional life as a camera assistant on feature films. Although I’d gained a vital foundation in the technical aspects of film production and a hunger for becoming a director and cinematographer in my own right, there was also the realisation that within that environment it would be ten years before I’d have the chance to call the shots.

So I bought a camera, taught myself to edit, and began telling the stories of the people around me whose lives I found inspiring. Fifteen years later, that’s what I’m still doing. Just with better cameras.

I have a long-term love affair with the ocean, and a fascination for those who understand its brutal power and yet are unable to resist its lure. Time and again my focus returns to the sailors and surfers who are willing to do things that most of us – me included – would be too scared to contemplate. I find myself awestruck by their courage and spirit, and by the magnificence of the gravity-defying waves that fill my viewfinder.

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to create numerous award-winning short films for clients such as Red Bull, and I worked with HBO on their recent landmark documentary series, ‘100 Foot Wave’. But Savage Waters is my first feature length documentary and it’s a privilege to be able to share the stories of these remarkable individuals and the jaw-dropping seas they are setting out to conquer.

Behind the Lines (2014), Deeper (2015), Beneath the Surface (2017), Made in Ireland (2018), The Guardian Angel (2019)

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Director Statement

Just like our protagonists, I would like to think Savage Waters cannot be neatly pigeon-holed.

Yes, it’s an adventure film. But it’s also a story about family and friendship, about risk and responsibility, about how the world seeks to define us, and how we choose to define ourselves. It’s a story of survival.

For all of us, destiny is driven by two key factors: things we can influence through the choices we make, and things over which we have no control. I firmly believe it’s the choices we make that have the most impact on the shape of our stories – especially those choices we make in response to events over which we have no control.

It is in the stormiest seas that we come to understand a person’s true integrity. Over the course of making this film, our protagonists endured some of the most Savage Waters that life could throw at them. The way they faced up to these adversities was constantly inspiring to me. I hope I have done my job well enough to allow audiences to feel this too.

And, of course, to also enjoy the escape of the ocean…