Inside the Mind of Sachi Cunningham



This first short film in the new SeaLevelTV series entitled “Saltwater Daughters” we learn the story about award-winning big wave water photographer, Sachi Cunningham. Sachi is a globally recognized, San Francisco-based journalist (Los Angeles Times, PBS, FRONTLINE), a journalism professor at San Francisco State University and documentary filmmaker. Ms. Cunningham tells us how and why she is able to place herself and her camera in treacherous waters and huge open ocean waves to capture astounding images of champion big wave surfers like Bianca Valenti, even when experienced surfer friends implore her not to swim out in dangerous conditions.

“I think at the very beginning of this journey with water photography, part of what was driving me was this desire to take photos of women surfers so it would inspire other female surfers.”

We discover that the intensity of Ms. Cunningham’s past drives her to tenaciously pursue seemingly herculean journalism feats in order to document true “firsts”, whether it’s turning her lens on capturing the dramatic rise of women’s big wave surfing for Surfer Magazine or covering the scene the of the BP Deep Water Horizon disaster from a Cambodian fisherman’s shrimp boat for The Los Angeles Times.

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