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Mountain biker, Aneela McKenna, shares with us a very personal story on how racism has impacted her both personally and professionally. This revealing short film invites viewers to open their hearts and minds to how racial discrimination feels, and consider the way it impacts on individuals and society at large, and invites everyone to recognise and actively stand up to racism in order to be the best, most enriched version of themselves.
We thank Aneela for her bravery and vulnerability in telling her story. Its importance cannot be overstated.
After the Storm
A few years ago, Aneela 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, Aneela embarked on a solo mission on her trusty 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 Aneela and Andy revisit these remote Scottish islands and pedal their way through life’s ups and downs. Amid stunning scenery, the pair 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 Aneela’s 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.
“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.” – Aneela McKenna.
After the Storm was filmed by Andy McCandlish and directed, produced and edited by McCandlish and Andy McKenna.
The film was made with thanks to special film guests, MTB stars and diversity champions: Danny MacAskill, Eliot Jackson, Isla Short, Greg Minnaar, Nathan and Ruben de Vaux, Steve Peat, Emma Neale, Phil Young, Jenni Gwiazdowski, Manon Carpenter, Lloyd Grose, Frit Tam, Kerry MacPhee, Jo Shwe and Rob Warner. Project partners: this film could not have been made without the financial and moral support of Santa Cruz Bicycles, Shimano, Endura, Wilderness Trail Bikes and Hotlines Europe.