The Women Sports Film Festival launched in 2016 “to advance equity in women’s sports and filmmaking by creating a platform that amplifies the stories of strong, embodied women.” Co-founders Susan Sullivan and Jennifer Matt are filmmakers and technology entrepreneurs who are passionate in using the power of film to celebrate female athletes.
Studies have shown that women are widely underrepresented on screen and behind the camera, especially in sports. The Women in Sports Film Festival created a platform to bring strong females the attention they deserve.
The Women Sports Film Festival is proud to say, “The good news is when women and girls are better represented behind the camera, they are better reflected on screen. Women have directed 37 of the 52 films we have screened in our short history. From pay equity to religious freedom, our films touch on many of the most urgent issues impacting women and girls around the world.”
The first film festival in 2016 included 17 documentaries. In 2017, the Girls Day program launched to bring together and inspire young athletes in middle school through film viewings, panel discussions, and workshops. The intention was to inspire girls to use their creativity and voices to be creators and storytellers rather than passive consumers of media.
What started as a yearly festival quickly grew with the addition of a monthly screening series. In 2017, the festival raised $27,080 and continues to grow each year through partnerships and sponsorships.
The 2020 festival films cover stories ranging from young girls who dream of a career in sports, to a pregnant professional freediver from Korea who is exploring motherhood and breaking societal norms. The founders stated on the site’s About page that the film festival is just the beginning. They hope to continue to bring inspiring films to communities around the world while also supporting an online platform that’s the go-to source for the best in women’s sports documentaries.