Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Senior artistic swimmers (formerly known as synchronized swimmers) push physical, emotional
and societal boundaries as they prepare for the U.S. Masters Artistic Swimming Championships
A film by Megan Wennberg
World Premiere Screening – May 3, 8:15pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
Additional Screening – May 5, 11:45am – Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 5
Please Note: Through the instruction of the International Olympic Committee in 2017, FINA, now known as World Aquatics, renamed the sport from “synchronized swimming” to “artistic swimming.”
The documentary Unsyncable, written and directed by Megan Wennberg, follows six senior artistic swimmers (aged 63 – 82) preparing for the U.S. Masters Artistic Swimming Championships (formerly synchronized swimming). One is going for gold, another knows she’ll come last, and others are going for community and the love of their team. They will all push physical, emotional and societal boundaries to get there. Collectively, they have lost partners, suffered injuries and contended with ageist assumptions about what they can do. But through it all, they keep swimming and they do it with a smile. Unsyncable is produced by Tell Tale Productions with producer Edward Peill and producer Erin Oakes.
Unsyncable’s eclectic cast includes world champion and synchro legend Sue Baross Nesbitt (68), rookie Ellen Scott (63), Cris Meier-Windes (68) of the San Francisco Tsunami LGBTQ+ team, former marine Luther Gales (82) and his teammates Monica Hale (68) and Joyce Clarke (71) of the Harlem Honeys and Bears (North America’s only all Black artistic swimming team). Together these athletes are a testament to perseverance, the resilience of the human spirit, and our endless capacity for growth at any age.
“By jumping in the pool and pushing their limits every practice, Sue, Ellen, Cris, Monica, Luther and Joyce kick back against the expectation that getting older means slowing down and succumbing to our limitations,” says Director Megan Wennberg. ”I hope they will inspire audiences to see aging in a new light – not as something to dread, but as something to aspire to as we all ‘rage against the dying of the light’ in our own unique ways.”
Unsyncable was made in partnership with ZoomerMedia, and participation of the Telus Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund, Canada Media Fund, Active Aging Canada, Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging Western University, the government of Canada, and the government of Nova Scotia.
Following the Hot Docs Festival, Unsyncable will have a fall broadcast premiere on VisionTV, and a cross-Canada community outreach tour, including moderated screenings, with educational materials and discussion guides, encouraging active living amongst older adults.
ABOUT Director Megan Wennberg
Megan Wennberg is a documentary filmmaker based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Her first feature documentary Drag Kids follows four brave young drag queens on a journey to acceptance and acclaim in their first group performance at Montreal Pride. Drag Kids premiered at Hot Docs in 2019, and went on to win multiple awards and screen at top festivals around the world. Megan’s second film The Killing of Phillip Boudreau explores the less publicized events and context around Nova Scotia’s infamous ‘Murder for Lobster.’ It won the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Documentary in 2021, and Megan won WIFT-AT’s Award for Best Director.
ABOUT Tell Tale Productions Inc.
Tell Tale Productions has produced more than 200 hours of one-off documentaries, non-scripted series, and digital content for millions of viewers in more than 100 countries. Production partners include CBC, documentary Channel, Discovery, History, Zoomer Media, AMI, NDR, and Super Channel. Recent documentaries include, The Killing of Phillip Boudreau, Drag Kids, and, How the Wild Things Sleep.