Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where are the female athletes in the Sports Film Fest?

A City Hall press conference, featuring Mayor Nutter and the Philly Phanatic, was held today to launch the U.S. Sports Film Festival, a three day event which will be held in town next month. The new film festival will be held in Philly from Oct 23 - 26 and will feature a range of sports films, as well as appearances by many of the actors or athletes in the films. So far nine of the planned films have been announced -- a number of documentaries as well as recent dramas "Miracle" and "Invincible." But we noticed something as we reviewed the films. Not a single movie announced so far features female athletes. Can you say Title IX? While we know there are less films about women in sports, they do exist. Think of "Million Dollar Baby," "A League of Their Own," "Bend it Like Beckham," or "Girlfight." Or a personal favorite -- "Gregory's Girl." Asked about the lack of estrogen in the line-up, Stephen Hartman, the founder of the festival said: "Nine is just a third of the films so far. It's a good point and we're very sensitive and aware of that." Festival Director Mary Hermant said they are actively looking for films on women athletes. But she said they are limited because organizers want mostly films made in the last year or so. And they want the athletes, actors or directors from the films to come to the festival. "I'm looking at two or three," Hermant said. She added that screening a 1977 film called Wilma, about sprinter Wilma Rudolph, which was directed by Bud Greenspan, is also a possibility.

Where are the female athletes in the Sports Film Fest?

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A City Hall press conference, featuring Mayor Nutter and the Philly Phanatic, was held today to launch the U.S. Sports Film Festival, a three day event which will be held in town next month.

The new film festival will be held in Philly from Oct 23 - 26 and will feature a range of sports films, as well as appearances by many of the actors or athletes in the films. So far nine of the planned  films have been announced -- a number of documentaries as well as recent dramas "Miracle" and "Invincible."

But we noticed something as we reviewed the films. Not a single movie announced so far features female athletes. Can you say Title IX? While we know there are less films about women in sports, they do exist. Think of "Million Dollar Baby," "A League of Their Own," "Bend it Like Beckham," or "Girlfight." Or a personal favorite -- "Gregory's Girl."

Asked about the lack of estrogen in the line-up, Stephen Hartman, the founder of the festival said: "Nine is just a third of the films so far. It's a good point and we're very sensitive and aware of that."

Festival Director Mary Hermant said they are actively looking for films on women athletes. But she said they are limited because organizers want mostly films made in the last year or so. And they want the athletes, actors or directors from the films to come to the festival.

"I'm looking at two or three," Hermant said. She added that screening a 1977 film called Wilma, about sprinter Wilma Rudolph, which was directed by Bud Greenspan, is also a possibility.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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