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Synopsis: The film follows the story of Marek whose dream was to become a photographer, capturing the beauty of life. Despite the struggles of settling into a new country, no formal training, and couple of bumps in the road Marek continues “Paddling to the Surface”, one step at a time, he might make it. And when he makes it he will make it big.


Documentary, Short Film




English, Polish

Run Time

11 minutes



Directed by


Prod. Company

Director's Statement

Throughout centuries there has been an emphasis on the science’s, on the numbers, the equations. Arts are a subject that has been to some extent neglected, especially when it comes to film and photography. What parent ever said “I want my son to become a photographer”, yet I am sure you’ve heard the line ” He is studying medicine, I’m so proud” many times before. Marek, a small town kid from Poland moves to the big city of London and is determined to make it, to follow his passion, to say no to social restrictions, and to risk it all. “Paddling to the Surface” is a short documentary that hopes to encourage young creative souls to persue their passions and to take a risk. You might just make the final cut.

Director's Bio

Maja is an undergraduate Film Studies student. She has moved to the UK at the age of 8, from a small town in Poland. Only 48 hours before her A Level results she has changed her mind, abandoning her Psychology degree placement at one of the top universities in the country and risked it all by changing her university and degree. She told her parents that doing anything that does not involve creativity and putting one’s heart and soul at work is not for her, today she does not regret her choice.


Mountain & Adventure Film Festival - USA - 2017

Best Cultural Film (Paddling to the Surface)

Country of Origin


Production Year


Sound Mix

Stereo LT/RT








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