Critically acclaimed film After the Storm has been released to the public following its limited launch in November 2021.
The film explores diversity champion Aneela McKenna’s workplace racial trauma and the power of cycling in overcoming the impacts of discrimination.
Now, in the lead up to the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, the creators feel it’s a relevant moment to unveil the short film..
Applauded by cyclists and non-cyclists alike, the film invites the audience to open their hearts and minds to how racial discrimination feels, and consider the way it impacts on individuals and society.
It also encourages viewers to recognise and actively stand up to racism in order to be the best, most enriched version of themselves.
A few years ago, McKenna was at breaking point. Embroiled in a racism grievance case against her boss, her self-confidence, respect and belief had plummeted to an all-time low and she needed a timeout.
Taking an extended career break, she embarked on a solo mission with her mountain bike in search of what she most needed to mend and renew herself.
She turned to her favourite place in the world – the Outer Hebrides Islands, the site of many happy memories of adventures with her husband, Andy.
In this film, the pair revisit the remote Scottish islands.
Amid stunning scenery, they ride and reflect on the realities which drove her to this unspoilt landscape and the refreshed outlook and strength she returned home with.
Moments of pain, frustration, triumph, laughter and defiance are uncovered on the beaches, in the waves, over a bothy fireside dram and amidst the mountains where their connection to Scotland and one another is strongest.
After the Storm reveals how a solo trip sparked changes in the couple’s lives – both personally and professionally – and they ask everyone to look in the mirror, face up to racial discrimination, consider their role as allies, and become truly anti-racist.
McKenna, who founded equality, diversity and inclusion consultancy Mòr Diversity with her husband Andy, said: “If the film can engage even one person who would ordinarily have disengaged from this kind of story or argued that racism does not exist in 2021 – it’s done its job.
“We hope viewers are left with a sense of what discrimination can feel like, how it affects others, and to reflect upon what they can do to help enrich society and the world by making it a more diverse and inclusive space.”
After the Storm was selected to premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival in November 2021, and was subsequently selected to screen at various film festivals thereafter receiving private screening requests at events throughout the UK and Europe.
Notable screenings included Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, Filmed by Bike (Oregon), Adventure Uncovered Film Festival.
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Pamela Barclay, previously marketing director at Endura, said: “It is an incredibly powerful challenge to the MTB industry to sort out our act and not just claim that there are no obvious barriers to folk on the basis of race.
“We recognise that we do need to do more to ‘normalise the difference’ in our imagery and activity… and be much more welcoming and relatable to folk from a different background.”
The film is now available to watch in full on YouTube