Cold Refuge

World Theatrical Premiere! Show added!

Following the Saturday, Sept 30th SOLD OUT show:

Director Judy Irving IN PERSON for a Q&A with Lisa Serebin, Earl Blacksher, Ned Viall, Zina Deretsky, film composer Bruce Kaphan, and deaf & blind swimming star Corvin Bazgan! Moderated by David McGuire, director of Shark Stewards!

Following the ADDED Saturday, October 7h show:

Director Judy Irving IN PERSON for a Q&A with film composer Bruce Kaphan, Deaf & blind swimming star Corvin Bazgan.

Cold Refuge is about the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of full immersion in the natural world: how, though it may seem counter-intuitive, swimming in cold water helps mitigate some of life’s most serious challenges. The film’s diverse film subjects include a wheelchair-bound, paralyzed swimmer who faces fear by diving off a high pier; a Black man who was told by whites when he was 13 that “Black people don’t swim” (it took him 30 years to try); a blind man who tethers himself to a sighted swimmer; a woman with aggressive breast cancer who “swims to chemo;” a lawyer who reduces courtroom stress in the open water; and a young woman who communes with her late mother in San Francisco Bay, where they both swam together. Along with swimmers’ stories of adversity and resilience, the film’s marine mammals, birds, artwork, and a variety of open-water locations create a visual meditation on what it means to escape our abstract digital world in favor of what’s real.

Cold Refuge is the fourth feature-length documentary by Sundance and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Judy Irving (Dark Circle, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Pelican Dreams), who has been a year-round San Francisco Bay swimmer since 1984. In 2015, in recognition of her theatrical film track record, she was elected to the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Pelican Media, the production company, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The film was funded by individuals, foundations, and several donor-advised funds.

If you have accessibility needs, please see and / or contact:

1h 19m
Judy Irving
First Showing
September 30, 2023
  • Assisted Listening