HOME               ABOUT               TRAILER                SCREENINGS               PRESS PACK               CONTACT


‘Taking The Waters’ is a short film about
an eighty-year-old tidal pool in Margate,
and the swimmers who find solace and community
in her waters during these turbulent times.

When Walpole Bay Tidal Pool was built
in 1937, Margate was one of the grandest resort
towns in England. By the late 1970s, package
tourism had caused an economic slump, the pool
was falling into disrepair, and the town was
characterised by rising unemployment and
complex socio-economic issues.

But today, 80 years on, Margate’s demographic
has again changed dramatically, and so has the way
this vast sea pool is used and enjoyed.


Taking The Waters is about people trying to change their lives for the better, while the world changes around us. As a filmmaker and journalist, friends since our school years in Northern Ireland and throughout our careers in London, we felt compelled to make the film in response to what we saw happening in our new hometown of Margate. Just as we moved to the seaside in search of a happier, healthier life, the UK voted to leave the EU, racist and xenophobic attacks spiked, and the British economy slumped.

Margate was known as a UKIP stronghold, but swimming daily in the majestic 1930s tidal pool at the bottom of our road, we became fascinated by the demographic soup we were now part of. Along with the growing number of Londoners, like us, who’d ditched the city for the beach, we met Polish grandmothers, Nigerian families, Romany teenagers and Kentish schoolboys. There’s no greater social leveller than cold water; stripped of our clothing and other social props, we were all reduced to small, shivering, fragile humans. As one Polish grandmother said to us, “We are all sea friends here.”

During our morning swims together, voicing both our despair over the shifting political landscape and our heady optimism about our new life in this beautiful town, we saw that the tidal pool represented an oasis, a safe space, a watering hole where our differences wash away and our humanity is restored.

If we could have bottled the visceral joy, and restorative powers of the tidal pool, we would have done so; capturing the pool’s essence on film was the next best thing.

Filming immersed us in our local community. We sourced our cast members by swimming up to the characters we encountered in the pool, we used a local crew where possible, and we spent two incredible summer weekends slithering around the walls with our Alexa and making field recordings on the beach at dusk. We were lucky enough to work with Lung Dart, a hugely talented electronic music duo signed to PRAH recordings, based in Margate, and Simon Bryant, a talented editor who had similarly just moved out of London.

We wanted Taking The Waters to be a documentary that felt as sumptuous, as luxurious and as viscerally beautiful as the sea itself, with sound that washes over the audience, and that ultimately leaves them as uplifted as if they’d leapt in the sea themselves.

Since the film was shot, UKIP has been ousted in Thanet, Margate is thriving and the pool continues to be used and loved by the growing local community.

— Kathryn Ferguson and Anna Hart


Kathryn Ferguson — Director / Writer
Anna Hart — Director / Writer
Shabana Mansuri — Producer
Sara Deane — Cinematographer
Simon Bryant — Editor
Lung Dart — Music

Kathryn FergusonDirector

Belfast born Kathryn Ferguson is an award-winning Film Director, Selfridges Resident Film Director & Fashion Film Research Fellow at London College of Fashion, currently living and working in London.

She has made many films for fashion designers, international brands and musicians including Chloé, Amnesty International, Selfridges, Vogue, Air France, Dev Hynes & Neneh Cherry, Nike, Sinead O’Connor, Sony, Lady Gaga and SHOWstudio. Kathryn creatively re-imagines storytelling by stretching the conventions of cinéma vérité. Her work is focused around creating more positive representations of women, looking at themes of identity and diverse casting within fashion, music and advertising. Her films have been screened globally on platforms such as the BBC, Nowness and i-D and at film festivals around the world. In 2017 Kathryn was awarded a Gold Creative Bravery Award at the Kinsale Shark Awards for her Amnesty International Film “25 Annoying Things” and a Vimeo Staff Pick for her film ‘Incredible Machines”. Kathryn’s newest short film “Taking The Waters” will launch at film festivals from early June 2018.

Anna HartCo-director

Anna Hart is a Belfast-born, globally-focused writer specialising in social trends, international culture, travel and lifestyle. She regularly contributes to The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Total Politics, GQ and Vogue. Her travel memoir, Departures, was published by Little Brown Book Group in February 2018.

Sara Deane — DOP

Sara Deane studied cinematography at the National Film and Television School in England and she has worked in feature films for over nine years. She has been lead cinematographer on 15 features, numerous short films, promos and commercials.

Highlights include Best Cinematography at the Van D’or Independent Film Awards 2012 and Tacita Dean’s “Film” exhibition for Tate Modern museum.

Shabana MansuriProducer
Having previously worked in advertising, account managing for some of London’s leading agencies - Iris, Exposure and Ogilvy - Shabana was seduced by the world of production and made the jump over to the other side over 6 years ago. She prides herself on being a creative producer working closely with directors to enable and achieve their vision. Her production work spans across different short-form platforms – music videos, commercial content and short films.

Lung Dart Music
Lung Dart have have written and produced three EPs and a mini album, as well as creating the soundtrack for various film and commercial projects. Their music has been supported by BBC Radio 1 and 6 music, and been used by The CW TV Network, Channel 4 and designer Simone Rocha. Most recently they have completed their first feature film soundtrack for ‘The White Girl’ by Christopher Doyle and Jenny Suen, which was premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October and is now showing at festivals worldwide.

Simon Bryant — Editor
Simon Bryant is an editor who specialises in music concert films and documentaries. He has cut films for, amongst others, Beyonce, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and Adele. His work has been nominated for two Grammys and numerous other awards. He lives in Margate.

Carly Baker — Second Editor

Carly is a London based editor, with over 10 years experience working in post-production and in-house at some of London's leading creative companies. Carly is passionate about creating exciting and visually stimulating work - from commercials, music videos to films. Her work spans from music videos for Kanye West, to films for Nick Knight and the BBC.

Tim Surrey Sound Recordist
Tim Surrey is an experienced sound recordist who has worked on award winning features and tv drama (Dunkirk, Fury, Dr foster, The smoke...) as well as many documentaries and commercials. He is passionate about recording high quality dialogue. He also happens to live in Cliftonville and can often be found in the pool.

Faith Millin — Colourist
Faith’s passion for colour came about whilst learning to colour print in the darkrooms during her photography degree at LCC (UAL.)

Whist working as a film editor and camera assistant after her degree, she developed a keen interest in the way colour influenced narrative and the emotive content in film, leading her to train as a colourist whilst using her photographic knowledge as a backdrop.

Over the past four years, her grading experience has blossomed from working on projects for high-end fashion brands such as Hugo Boss, Nike, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, to working on feature films for VICE and the BBC. She continues to work as a freelance colourist in London.

Sophie Dutton — Poster Design and Graphics
Sophie is an independent designer and art director working in print, digital and exhibition design. Her clients have included the London Transport Museum, The Royal College of Art, Artist Emma Smith, Whitstable Biennale. With great interest in the arts and community, she is currently designing and curating an exhibition at the William Morris Gallery about the artist Madge Gill, which will take place in the borough where she lives, in Walthamstow.