About this project
"We saved your leg, but we don't know, what – if any – functionality you'll ever have."
Just over 7 years ago, after a freak accident, medical experts informed Kim Chambers that she had a 1% chance of walking unassisted again. Diagnosed with Acute Compartment Syndrome in her right leg, and a mere 30 minutes from amputation, she felt determined to prove the doctors wrong. Despite much uncertainty and multiple surgeries, Kim spent 2 years rehabilitating her leg and has regained almost full functionality.
Five years ago, as part of her rehabilitation, Kim started to swim in a pool for the first time since primary school. On a dare, she went swimming in the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay and fell in love. Since then, she has completed numerous open water marathon swims around the world. Kim is only the 3rd woman and 6th person ever to complete the Ocean's Seven challenge - the open water swimming equivalent to the Seven Summits of mountaineering. These seven swims - that span the globe - are chosen for their particularly difficult water conditions (strong currents, cold water, etc) with significant wildlife risks such as sharks and jellyfish.
KIM SWIMS is a film which tells the story of her improbable and inspiring path to becoming one of the most adventurous and accomplished open water endurance swimmers in the world. The film examines the cyclical force and depth of both the human spirit and water, each relative to the other.
It offers a spotlight into what propels her (and maybe all of us), to push forward, renew purpose, pursue our passions and deepest potentials. In doing so, what universal message does it yield and what does it tell us about the seemingly inexplicable power that water has over us?
The film follows Kim for several months, beginning less than a year after her last swim left her hospitalized for days with severe heart, lung and liver problems from the hundreds of jellyfish stings she endured. Many thought her swimming days were over. But once again, she made a miraculous recovery and she took the opportunity to chase her biggest dream yet: to become the first woman to complete a solo swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Farallon Islands sit nearly 30 miles west of San Francisco. These mysterious and captivating islands are also known as the Devil’s Teeth, a name aptly applied by 19th century sailors because of the islands’ pointed shapes. Between the islands and the mainland is a stretch of water that has some of the largest great white sharks in the world, frigid temperatures, and unimaginably challenging currents. Most consider this the hardest marathon swim in the world, and rightfully so - only 4 others have completed the swim.
On August 8th, 2015, Kim became the first woman in history to complete a solo swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge. Her achievement is nothing short of astonishing.
While the film ostensibly is about her world record swim and the intense training and preparations, the intent of the film is to demonstrate how the immersion into water offers opportunities to transform oneself - physically, mentally, and emotionally. In the relatively short time that Kim has dedicated herself to open water swimming, her experiences have embodied both remarkable healing as well as life-threatening harm, several times over. Her story is one of highly illustrated life cycles and the water’s role in them.
Said of Kim in one of her recent nominations for Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: “After years of struggle and sacrifice, Kim has inspired others to reconsider what is truly possible from within oneself – in everyday life and in the open water. Personable, humble and profoundly eloquent, she is a role model in her rehabilitation and monumental swimming achievements. For her goal-setting mentality, for her laughter and motivational spirit, for her genuine willingness to share everything she has experienced along the way...”.
Up until now, the project has been almost entirely self-funded (we were very fortunate and thankful to have received some sponsorship from BorrowLenses.com for some equipment). We've been more than happy to dedicate our time and resources to the film, but honestly, it has grown into something bigger and better than we could have imagined! We're now at a place where we are close to wrapping production and looking towards post-production. We hope to have the resources available to us that we need in order to make this film as great as it can and should be. Any amount we raise above our goal will go toward ensuring this film is of the highest quality!
We have an amazing story, compelling footage, and now we are asking for your help. As many of our interview subjects have echoed to us, this is a story that is long overdue in being told. We are so grateful to you for your consideration in helping us get this amazing story out there!
These are a few images to give you a sense about the rewards we are offering in exchange for your help. Thank you!
Kate Webber (Director/Producer) and David Orr (DP/Producer) bring nearly two decades of combined experience in the professional film and photography world to this project. They are each successful image-makers with complimentary skills and a keen sense of story. Although they are the principal filmmakers, they are certainly not alone and are lucky to be surrounded by a talented crew of professionals.
Risks and challenges
As Kim has taught us, everything worth doing comes with risks and challenges. We are fortunate to have a very dedicated team that is fully committed to the project, and tremendous support and involvement from our subject.
Given that 90% of the film is already shot, we feel confident in our ability to create a compelling and inspiring film. As of now, our biggest challenge is finding the time necessary for post production - we have put much of our lives and other work on hold to capture this story. With this funding, we will be able to allocate the time and resources necessary, in addition to music licensing and bringing on other post-production specialists, in order to make this film as good as it can be!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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