A Saddleworth Film Society fundraiser for Millgate Arts Centre

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52 mins Director Ben Davies
English Documentary

Film followed by Q&A session with producer Peter Jenkinson

A Dive into the cold water swimming community at the highest beach in England.

The Wild Water feature documentary is a dive into Gaddings Dam’s cold water swimming community, home to the highest beach in England. What drives somebody to swim in a freezing reservoir, and what do they find on the other side? The film tracks the landscape and the people as they use the restorative powers of cold water to reconnect with their mental health, identity, nature and each other.

7.30pm start with film followed by Q&A session with producer Peter Jenkinson

Gaddings Dam is a reservoir hidden in the West Yorkshire moors 780 feet above sea level, posing a steep twenty-minute trek up a snaking footpath for those drawn to its beauty in all seasons; always the same, always different. Cast in a bleak yet romantic landscape steeped in the poetry and prose of Ted Hughes and the Brontës, and lays claim to England’s highest beach. This strip of sand acts as a magnet to a vibrant community of swimmers, day-trippers, walkers, livestock, bikers and runners. Hardened locals brave the wind, rain and snow to wild swim for escape, comradeship, to keep the black dog at bay or just for the sheer thrill and spiritual release. As the water envelops their body, all experience the same visceral hit, taking away everything except the moment; time stops, and the world is at peace.

© Paper Vision Films 2024

Saddleworth Film Society welcomes new members and guests.

Annual membership costs £55 and includes tickets for all TEN films. Guests can purchase temporary membership tickets for £7.00 per screening via TicketSource or on the door, subject to availability. To become a full member and to help support Saddleworth Film Society please follow the link HERE.


Fri 17th May 2024


7:30 pm - 10:00 pm