Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 16, 2011.


A documentary film about sports, the impact of Title IX on female athletics in the US and how change takes place in a democracy.


 Do you know a girl who plays sports? Do you play? Does your daughter? Your friend?

What happens when that girl has access to a coach, a field, or a decent pair of shoes? Does she excel? Does she have a positive self-image? Does it give her a chance at college?

If you live in a place where you are afforded every opportunity to help you succeed, we need your help. Join us in helping girls who don’t have the opportunities you have.

Think about it. Inclusion is a form of social justice. In America, who gets to play and who does not is a yardstick which measures how close we are to achieving the goals of a democracy – a level playing field for all.

IN THE GAME, a feature-length documentary produced in partnership with Kartemquin Films, the makers of Hoop Dreams, will examine the impact of Title IX. How has Title IX affected playing fields across America? How has it impacted the political, social and cultural landscape of our country? The film and its ambitious national engagement program- A FAIR SHOT- could not be timelier with the 40th Anniversary of Title IX in 2012.

*Two years of research and development of our stories – check.

*An inter-generational production team with athletic experiences from both pre and post-Title IX – check.

*A huge passion for the project and the impact it’ll make – double-check.

We are ready to begin principal photography. But we need your help!

So here’s our challenge: raise at least $10,000 within 45 days. If we fall short, our project will not get ANY portion of the money raised. If we meet our $10,000 goal, your donations will go towards documenting our stories as they unfold.

This film will examine how social change happens in a democracy. It’s not just about “girls” and “sports”. It’s about OPPORTUNITY. By supporting us, you will play a major role in addressing the struggle for gender equity in the U.S.

To this end, we respectfully request your help. Support this film! Thanks!

With sincere gratitude,

Maria, Mary, Kristina and Shuling


IN THE GAME, a documentary film produced by Kartemquin Films with Director Maria Finitzo, will focus on who gets to play sports and what it means in their lives. We will ask why, 40 years after being signed into law, the fight over Title IX continues, and the promise of gender equity remains unfulfilled. This we will do through three stories:

1. An up close and personal look at a struggling inner-city girls' high school soccer team. Are they afforded the OPPORTUNITIES that they deserve, by law? If not, how are their lives impacted?

2. A group of high school journalists - young women of color – as they investigate Title IX compliance in their own high schools and neighboring schools. What happens when young women are EMPOWERED to fight for their own rights?

3. A team of world-class athletes from the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. What challenges do they face? Why must they still struggle for RESPECT? 


Because these issues affect more than just our mothers, sisters and daughters. These issues affect you. A future in which our loved ones will be given equal opportunity to excel in life rests on awareness of the issues we will shed light on with this film.

IN THE GAME will reveal the ongoing, sometimes subtle issues around gender and equity, and how race and class factor in as well. Viewers will learn how participation in sports can represent power: from small town life to the national stage, from the boardroom to Capitol Hill. We will take our audience on an exploration of how sports can be life transforming or be used to perpetuate social injustices. For when it comes to equal opportunity, despite all progress since the passage of Title IX, we are a long way from finished. 


Production and outreach will be interwoven simultaneously over the entire project timeline. At the core of the outreach strategy is our partnership with Columbia College. During the summer of 2011, 15 high school girls will attend the The Fair Shot New Media Institute to learn investigative journalism skills. Using Flip-Cams to investigate Title IX non-compliance in Chicago Public Schools, these girls will be citizen journalists whose work will result in peer-to-peer grassroots citizen reporting, multi-media stories, interactive maps that will be embedded into a Title IX Compliance Google Map of Chicago area schools shared via the website and social networks targeting Chicago girls and women athlete communities. Thus creating a model program to be used elsewhere in the country to empower teen girls.

IN THE GAME will also serve as a core for a variety of resources such as a community action kit, curriculum guides for middle school to the university level, a website for the film and a Title IX on-line game. These components will be used by leading community organizations, educational institutions and public television stations in exploring key themes that the film addresses: How do we experience and challenge gender roles through sports? What roles do the law and ordinary citizens play in creating social change? What are the challenges in actualizing widely held democratic values such as equal opportunity for all? Our plan is to engage the outreach plan so that activities take place before, during and after the broadcast.


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Funding period

- (45 days)