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Join us in smashing stereotypes, breaking barriers, and celebrating female athletes and storytellers through documentary film.
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended but you can still make a tax-deductible donation to support the 2017 film festival at the link below.
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended but you can still make a tax-deductible donation to support the 2017 film festival at the link below.
389 backers pledged $27,080 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Second Annual Women Sports Film Festival

$27,080

389

We are the Women Sports Film Festival––the world’s first film festival where stories about female athletes take center stage.

Now is the time to hear stories and see images of strong women and girls pursuing their dreams and persisting in the face of tremendous obstacles.

Join us in bringing these important stories to the big screen.

We launched the first film festival last July 2016 in Oakland, California. It was intentionally scheduled for the weekend preceding the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, capitalizing on one of the few times you can count on women’s sports being covered in major news.

Nearly 500 people attended the festival over three days as we screened 17 short and feature length documentaries about women and girls from four continents playing 11 sports––including the award-winning films T-Rex: Her Fight For Gold about two-time Olympic gold medal winning boxer, Claressa Shields, Keepers of the Game about an all-Native girls’ lacrosse team at Salmon River High School in upstate New York and The Will to Fly about legendary Australian aerial ski jumper Lydia Lassila.

We created this film festival because we wanted to go to it and it didn’t exist. As we curated the first program of films we kept finding absolute gems that most people had never even heard of. Athletes living extraordinary lives and filmmakers working tirelessly to get the story to the screen. We felt it was our duty to pick up the ball and take it the next mile by getting these films in front of audiences that would love them as much as we did.

Building on the momentum of the first festival we launched a monthly screening series in January 2017 where we average over 80 attendees per screening as our community continues to grow.

This campaign will help us fund our second annual festival––returning to Oakland, California on September 28th, 29th and 30th, 2017 with a full slate of films and panel discussions. Over 50 independent filmmakers have submitted short and feature-length documentaries for consideration, deposits have been placed on theaters, hotel rooms have been reserved and guest speakers are being vetted. Your support will get us to the finish line.  

Sneak Peek of the 2017 Festival Films: Venus Vs., Young Guns, Blood Road
Sneak Peek of the 2017 Festival Films: Venus Vs., Young Guns, Blood Road

 

Study after study shows that women are underrepresented on screen and behind the camera. Only 25% of narrative movies in major film festivals in 2016-17 had a female director. Almost twice as many documentaries were directed by men as by women in the same time frame. There is a similar gap in youth athletics with girls dropping out of sports 2x faster than boys by the time they turn 14.

The good news is when women and girls are better represented behind the camera, they are better reflected on screen. Women have directed 19 of the 26 films we have screened in our brief history. From pay equity to religious freedom, our films touch on many of the most urgent issues impacting women and girls today. As we approach the 45th anniversary of Title IX, our goal is to energize and inspire with a program that showcases badass women smashing stereotypes and breaking barriers.

We bootstrapped the first Women Sports Film Festival with hard work and our own money. Now we are on Kickstarter to fund our second festival by partnering with a community of people that love women’s sports and powerful storytelling.

Where the funds will go

Your support will help us will pay for things like renting movie theaters, paying filmmakers well-deserved screening fees, bringing athletes and filmmakers to the festival and a full day of movies for local student-athletes and the chance to meet their sports heroes in person. Your backing will also provide free and discounted tickets to local girls to attend films throughout the festival weekend.

The stars of our campaign video, student-athletes from Bancroft Middle School and their teacher, Coach Deanna Salton, who will all be joining us at the festival.
The stars of our campaign video, student-athletes from Bancroft Middle School and their teacher, Coach Deanna Salton, who will all be joining us at the festival.

Why should you support this project? 

Good question. We wondered that, too and found our answer in our personal experience backing Kickstarter campaigns over the years. Common to everything we have supported was our belief in the creative idea at the heart of the project and our desire to see it exist in the world. Whether in person or from a distance, we hope you’ll join us in creating the film festival that female athletes and storytellers deserve. 

 

This Kickstarter exclusive coloring book was designed by award winning illustrator Wendy Fox!
This Kickstarter exclusive coloring book was designed by award winning illustrator Wendy Fox!

 

 

T-shirt also available in white with black print
T-shirt also available in white with black print

 

Read about the bold, and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of athletes.
Read about the bold, and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of athletes.

  

World Cup and Olympic Soccer Champion Megan Rapinoe not included with this reward!
World Cup and Olympic Soccer Champion Megan Rapinoe not included with this reward!

 

 

Go to the head of the line with your All-Access film festival pass!
Go to the head of the line with your All-Access film festival pass!

 

Thank you, Billie Jean King!
Thank you, Billie Jean King!

 

 

Bring the film festival to YOU!
Bring the film festival to YOU!

 

 

We're partnering with BackerKit to deliver your rewards!
We're partnering with BackerKit to deliver your rewards!

 

Susan Sullivan and Jennifer Matt are the co-founders of the Women Sports Film Festival. Partners in work and life, their story began in 2005 when they each crossed the finish line of Ironman Canada. The vision for the film festival grew out of Susan's experience as a birth doula and filmmaker combined with Jennie's skills as a technology entrepreneur. The heart of the festival is the amazing community of friends and family who come together to bring the festival to life. 

2016 Film Festival Team
2016 Film Festival Team

 

The film festival is just the beginning. Our dream is to bring these inspiring films to communities around the world and to create an online destination where you can always find the best in women's sports documentaries. Join us as we create a movement that keeps stories about strong women and girls center stage. 

Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter!

 

 

Risks and challenges

With our first film festival under our belt we feel confident that we can deliver the second annual festival, as well as campaign rewards, on time and on budget. Should we run into any challenges, we will communicate with our backers and keep you informed every step of the way.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You!

    You will receive our Kickstarter Exclusive women's sports crossword puzzle in PDF plus behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Color the Rio Olympic Gold Medalists

    Enjoy our Kickstarter Exclusive coloring book in PDF with images of the women who won gold medals at the Rio Olympics, created by award-winning illustrator, Wendy Fox.

    Includes:
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Two tickets to the 2017 Film Festival

    Tickets for you and a guest to attend one movie at the 2017 Women Sports Film Festival in Oakland, September 28-30.

    We will send you a survey in August to choose your film from the 2017 festival program.

    Includes:
    • Sneak Peek 2017 Film Festival Trailer
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Strong Female Lead T-Shirt

    What do we want to see on screen and in the world? Strong Female Leads.

    T-shirts are super soft 100% ring-spun organic cotton, printed with eco-friendly water-based inks and made by local Farm Fresh Clothing Co. Available in women's and men's classic crew (pardon the binary) in gunpowder with white print or white with black print.

    We will send you a survey in August to select your size, color and style of shirt.

    Includes:
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Send a Girl to the Festival

    You will receive a handwritten thank you postcard from a local girl who attends the film festival on your behalf.

    Includes:
    • Digital download, 2016 Festival Film, New Generation Queens
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book, Print and PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Sneak Peek 2017 Film Festival Trailer
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Women Sports Stories

    **First 15 Backers get Simone Biles Poster**

    A copy of the new book, WOMEN IN SPORTS: 50 FEARLESS ATHLETES WHO PLAYED TO WIN, written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky.

    Includes:
    • Tote Bag
    • Digital download, 2016 Festival Film, New Generation Queens
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book, Print and PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Sneak Peek 2017 Film Festival Trailer
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Empowering You

    Be Your Best You with this RAPINOE BRAND unisex jersey tank top!

    We'll send you a survey in August to select your size.

    Includes:
    • Digital download, 2016 Festival Film, New Generation Queens
    • Tote Bag
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book, Print and PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All-Access Festival Pass

    One All-Access Festival Pass for the 2017 Film Festival in Oakland, September 28-30.

    Includes:
    • Access to all film screenings and panel discussions
    • Passholder Line with Priority Seating
    • Festival VIP Event Invitations
    • Launch Party Invitation (Oakland, August date TBA)
    • Sneak Peek 2017 Film Festival Trailer
    • S'well Water Bottle
    • Tote Bag
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book, Print and PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Limited 25 backers
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Billie Jean King Voicemail Greeting

    Be the envy of your friends with this 20 second recorded message from tennis legend, Billie Jean King, to use as your outgoing voicemail greeting. You will be sent the greeting as an MP3 file.

    This reward includes a copy of the book, Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History by Molly Schiott. When you get your book turn to page 34 and read about the historic Battle of the Sexes tennis match and how Billie Jean “became the first superstar female athlete know the world over.”

    Includes:
    • Rio Gold Medalists Coloring Book PDF
    • Sports Crossword Puzzle PDF
    • Campaign Updates
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Send a Team to the Film Festival

    Send a group of student-athletes to a day of movies at the film festival. You will receive a custom thank you message filmed at the festival, framed group photo and handwritten thank you note.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Sponsor an Athlete or Filmmaker

    Sponsor an athlete or filmmaker’s trip to the festival. This reward includes in-person meet & greet at the festival or custom thank you message filmed at the festival and sent to you after the festival.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Private Festival Film Screening

    Private Women Sports Film Festival screening for you and friends. Choose from a selection of films screened at the festival. Reward includes Q & A with director (in-person/via skype) and festival swag for attendees. To be redeemed by 4/1/18. Travel not included.

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    Founding Patron

    Inspired by our mission? Join us as a Founding Patron of the Women Sports Film Festival and put female athletes and filmmakers center stage.

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Funding period

- (30 days)