Originally from France, Mathilde’s family relocated to the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia when she was a young child. Her father Gwen, a professional windsurfing instructor, began teaching her to windsurf from an early age on the island’s beautiful lagoons. It wasn’t long before Mathilde caught the eye of major sponsors like Air Tahiti Nui. This film takes it’s audience to Mathilde’s beautiful island in French Polynesia and shows people what it’s like to be the youngest professional windsurfer in the world.
As a director I feel that my primary responsibility on a project is to share a meaningful story. That’s why this concept resonated so strongly with me.
Mathilde and I originally connected on social media and I was immediately impressed by her skill as a windsurfer and the intense natural beauty of the Polynesian landscape.
Mathilde’s home island Raiatea, and the surrounding islands of French Polynesia have incredible natural lagoons formed by coral reef. These crystal clear lagoons, sheltered from the ocean swells are a windsurfer’s dream.
I knew from the beginning that a documentary featuring Mathilde’s windsurfing, set in the epic tropical paradise that is French Polynesia, would be a film that viewers all around the world would enjoy. Once Mathilde and I coordinated a shooting schedule, we were able to bring her biggest sponsor Air Tahiti Nui on board. Air Tahiti Nui was happy to get involved as they work hard to support their local athletes in French Polynesia.
In addition to her success as a professional athlete, Mathilde is working hard to set a positive example for women on her island and abroad
My ultimate goal for this film is to share Mathilde’s story around the world so that young people everywhere can see what happens when you stay true to yourself and your community.
– Director, Colter Johnson
We’ve been fortunate to connect with a very supportive audience throughout the distribution process. So far we’ve made Vahine I Te Moana available to viewers around the world via a number of prominent platforms. Here are a number of the ways our audience can connect with the film: