January 01, 2021

Relax and unwind with some popcorn. These 16 swimming films offer plenty of swimspiration to get you ready for your Return to Water.

1. Kim Swims

The inspiring story of Kim Chambers, following her journey as she tries to become the first woman to swim the 30 cold, shark-ridden miles from Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Watch Kim Swims Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

2. Swimming With Men

'We're just a bunch of middle-aged men, who make funny little patterns in the pool.' Join Rob Brydon and co on a fantastically fun journey of community, in this film about a group of middle-aged men, who take up synchronised swimming.

Swimming With Men ft. Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves - Official Trailer I HD I IFC Films - YouTube

3. Swim Team

A documentary about the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, a team made up of a diverse group of teenagers on the autism spectrum.

The film follows three of the team’s star athletes, boys on the cusp of adulthood as they face lifetimes of exclusion and dependence. But everything changes when they come together as a team.

Watch Swim Team | Prime Video (amazon.com)

4. The Ponds

A year spent with the swimmers at London's unique swimming ponds. An uplifting documentary about the lives, loves and losses of the people who swim all year round at the unique Ladies', Men's and Mixed ponds on Hampstead Heath, as they have done since the 19th Century.

Watch The Ponds Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

5. The Guardian

A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the US Coast Guards A School. There he learns the true meaning of heroism and sacrifice when he meets legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall.

Watch The Guardian | Prime Video (amazon.co.uk)

6. Touch The Wall

Family friendly and very motivating documentary about the Missy Franklin story and her rise to the highest level of competitive swimming! Must see.

Watch Touch the Wall | Prime Video (amazon.co.uk)

7. My Big White Thighs And Me

An award-winning short film about womanhood, miscarriage, healing, loving your own skin & freezing your bum off in cold water!

My Big White Thighs And Me (Full Film) on Vimeo

8. Big River Man

A brilliant documentary about eccentric endurance swimmer Martin Strel, as he attempts to swim the length of the Amazon River - fuelled mainly by wine and the support of his son Borut.

Big River Man - UK Trailer - YouTube

9. Seadonkey

One ordinary man’s attempt to swim from Northern Ireland to Scotland across the freezing, jellyfish-filled North Channel.

Sea Donkey | The inspirational story of an ordinary man’s attempt to swim from Northern Ireland to Scotland (seadonkeyfilm.com)

10. Splash

A classic romantic comedy from the 1980s, starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. Hanks’s character falls in love with the mysterious Hannah, who is secretly a mermaid. A feel-good love story.

Splash - 1984 Trailer - YouTube

11. Two Swimmers

The inspirational true story of a swimmer using swimming to recover from a severe back injury, and the English Channel and his child-hood coach as motivation. The dramatic events that unfold are a powerful depiction of the bond between these two swimmers.


12. The Deep

The strange true story of the human seal; an Icelandic fisherman, who survived a shipwreck against all odds thanks to his unique body composition.

Watch The Deep | Prime Video (amazon.com)

13. The Swimmer

One summer morning in an affluent Connecticut suburb, troubled suburbanite Ned Merrill decides to swim home via the pools of all his wealthy friends. This film is a Burt Lancaster classic from 1968!

Watch The Swimmer | Prime Video (amazon.co.uk)

14. On a Clear Day – anything is possible.

Finding himself 55 and out of work, Frank Redmond sinks into depression. But he gets a new lease of life when his friend happens to mention in idle conversation swimming to France.

Watch On A Clear Day | Prime Video (amazon.co.uk)

15. Iceman: The story of Lewis Pugh

Follow this famous endurance swimmer on perhaps his most famous swimming challenge – a kilometre without a wetsuit in the Arctic Ocean

Watch Iceman: The Story of Lewis Gordon Pugh | Prime Video (amazon.co.uk)

16. Free Swim

An award-winning documentary film about the paradox of coastal people not knowing how to swim. Taking place on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas we follow a group of kids as they overcome their fears, gain confidence and reconnect with their environment by learning to swim in open waters.

Free Swim : The Film (freeswimmovie.com)

Looking for short swimming films?

If you liked these swim-themed feature films, you'll also love spending time watching our Swimming Short Films Playlist on Youtube. Loads of bite-sized swimspiration there!