#StayAtHome Film Festival: Marilyn’s Picks

Welcome to my choices for the #StayAtHome Film Festival. I chose to focus on documentaries about women and girls fighting against the odds to participate in their chosen sports. As we are all facing changes and restrictions to our life (albeit in our democratic free society of Aotearoa), I thought it appropriate to select films highlighting how women and girls less privileged than us have fought for the same rights we have taken for granted. I hope you enjoy them and celebrate with the participants.

Life Without Basketball

Year: 2018
Length: 89 minutes
Directors: Jon Mercer and Tim O’Donnell

Watch the full film here!

This independent documentary premiered in 2018 at DOC NYC and tells the story of the young female Muslim African-American basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and her fight for a professional career which was in danger of being derailed, as the wearing of hijab was banned. Her resolve has enabled millions of young women living in Muslim majority countries to play basketball.

Burn the Ships

Year: 2017
Length: 88 minutes
Directors: Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike

Watch the full film here!

As in most other professional sports, women’s professional softball pales in significance to men’s softball when it comes to job security, exposure and funding. Through the eyes of one women’s team, the Akron Racers we see how they go about playing the game they love and their commitment, come what may.

Streetkids United II: The Girls From Rio

Year: 2015
Length: 78 minutes
Director: Maria Clara Costa

Watch the full film here!

This 2014 documentary is a follow up to Streetkids United and is about the parallel World Cup for homeless children, played at the same time as the FIFA World Cup. Focussing on the Favela Street Girls, who were chosen to represent Brazil, the film traces the life-changing experience for these girls as they train and become a team.

Afghan Cycles

Year: 2018
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Sarah Menzies

Watch the full film here!

Following the young female members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul and a group of young women in rural Bamiyan, this film uses the bicycle to tell a story of women’s rights in Afghanistan. These young women risk their lives every time they go out to train and compete in the sport they love.

Warrior One

Year: 2014
Length: 84 minutes
Director: Jon Fitzgerald

Watch the full film here!

This is another well regarded documentary about the Wellfit Girls Challenge where a group of teenage girls from across Florida undergo intensive group training in fitness, interpersonal communication, yoga and social entrepreneurship. The aim is to make these girls who have come from a variety of challenging backgrounds become inspired to become global leaders, and to develop their own unique style of leadership. After the five months is up, they take an 11 day service and adventure trip to Peru. This is well worth viewing and encompasses more than just sport.

Granny’s Got Game

Year: 2013
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Angela Alford

Watch the full film here!

The participants face a different challenge than all the other documentaries featured here as the film looks at a year in the life of a senior women’s basketball team in North Carolina as they get ready for another National Senior Games championship. The women are all in their seventies, fighting the obstacles of age to continue playing. They’ve been playing together for over 20 years and transcend just being a team. They are family.

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Unlimited access to over 3500 online video courses. Topics include writing, directing and editing documentary projects, and much more!

Gale Contemporary Women’s Issues: Contemporary Women’s Issues covers a spectrum of women’s concerns ranging from domestic violence, employment and the workplace, and gender equity to family, reproductive health and human rights from across the globe.

givUS: Offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and iwi. Part of the Generosity NZ suite of resources – the largest digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa.