That's a Wrap!
Thank you to everyone who made the first Women Sports Film Festival a huge success. We welcomed over 500 attendees to our inaugural three-day event celebrating female athletes and storytellers through documentary film.
The festival kicked off on Thursday, July 28 with a sold-out audience for our Opening Night film, T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold about the journey of Claressa Shields to her first Olympic gold medal in boxing. Drea Cooper (Director), Rebecca Saladoff (Editor) and Vanessa Carr (Cinematographer) were in attendance for a post-screening Q&A followed by an interactive boxing demonstration with Coach Dalia Gomez and two of her young female boxers from the East Oakland Boxing Association.
The festival continued on Friday, July 29 with an evening screening of Althea about legendary tennis player, Althea Gibson, the first African-American to play at Wimbledon and the US Open, followed by a post-screening Q&A with Rita Liberti, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Sport and Social Justice at CSU, East Bay and Frank Brennan, Women’s Collegiate Hall of Fame Coach.
Saturday, July 30, the third and final day was full of films in two auditoriums at our festival venue, The New Parkway Theater. We screened seven feature length documentaries and collection of eight short films showcasing athletes from four continents and eleven sports. Director Susann Ostigaard (Light Fly, Fly High) joined the audience via skype from Norway for a post-screening Q&A as did Directors Katie Bender and Leo Baker (The Will to Fly) from Australia. Joining us in person to discuss their films were Director Megan Shutzer (New Generation Queens), Rebekah Fergusson (An Equal Playing Field), Kaare Iverson, (Equal Footing) and subjects Ayesha McGowan (Winners, BBC) and Sachi Cunningham, (Inside the Mind of Sachi Cunningham). City Councilmember-at-Large, Rebecca Kaplan joined us to introduce our closing night film, Keepers of the Game, about an all-Native girl’s lacrosse team seeking to be the first Native women’s team to bring home a Section Championship. The festival wrapped up with an After-Party at Drake’s Dealership with the celebration going late into the night.
Festival goers were telling their own stories throughout the festival on social media. To see what attendees were saying take a look at the full recap on Storify.
Huge thanks to all the filmmakers, community partners, donors, volunteer and staff who made this first festival possible. We truly could not have done it without you. We’ll be back in 2017 with the second annual Women Sports Film Festival. Join our mailing list to be the first to know when we announce our plans for next year.