Das Projekt Spielfeldschnitte

Pünktlich zur Fußball Europameisterschaft der Männer 2008 konnte man in Filialen einer großen deutschen Bäckereikette ein Kuchenstück erwerben, das sich als Alternative zu Bier in Plastikbechern verstand: ein Sahnetörtchen namens Spielfeldschnitte. Das Projekt Spielfeldschnitte nahm diese Beleidigung, diese Herausforderung und diesen Namen an. Seitdem verstehen wir uns als kreative und humorvolle Begleitung der deutschen Fußballnationalmannschaft und als längst fälligen Beitrag zu einer Frauenfußball-Kultur. Wir bieten nicht nur messerscharfe Analysen zu allen Länderspielen, wir sind die kulturwissenschaftliche Stimme in der Stille des Blätterwaldes, wir sind das Theater, das um den Frauenfußball aufzuführen ist, wir wollen die Welt verändern und schreiben darüber. „My (B)Log has something to tell you.“
(The Log Lady, Twin Peaks)

Montag, 5. Juli 2010

Im Abseits: Ginger Gentile about "Goals for Girls"

The documentarists Ginger Gentile and Gabriel Balanovsky, two filmmakers working in Argentina, shot "Goals for Girls" in 2009 in the Argentinian Villa 31 shantytown in Buenos Aires. The short movie was shown at several festivals and caused an uprise of an important topic: what are the actualities of young women and girls life and what are their future prospects? The girls in "Goals for Girls" are fighting for their space to score goals on the soccerfield and to develop goals in life, in a country, where soccer is highly identity-generating but mostly reserved to male players. We spoke with Ginger Gentile about the work on the film and her views on the developement of women soccer including the aspects of gender stereotypes.

Spielfeldschnitte: First of all, tell us a little bit about your background and recent works. What are you interested in?

Ginger Gentile: I grew up in a small town in New York and then went to Columbia University in New York where I studied history and was very involved in the student activism—from union organizing to fighting sweatshops, women’s rights, anti-colonialism. After graduating in 2002, I spent a summer waitressing and then headed down to Guatemala to study Spanish, and then spent a month in Cuba before going down to Buenos Aires. My plan was to stay for a few months, learn Spanish and then head back to New York. I never thought I would make Buenos Aires my home and become a filmmaker, with my own production company, San Telmo Productions, before the age of 30!

A lot of the films I make, especially, ‘The Hooker and the Transvestite’, (which I co-directed with Synes Elischka and Gabriel Balanovsky) involve sexual subjects that make some people uncomfortable. Talking about sexuality is less common than showing explicit images, and this short film talks about the suffering of sex workers but it is a comedy. I believe that showing victims doesn’t help anyone: it is better to tell a story with humor and that people can relate to.
Spielfeldschnitte: How did the project about girls soccer in Argentina start?

Gentile: In 2008 my husband, Gabriel Balanovsky, and I looked for a new documentary subject to make a short film and when we met these girls in the slum we were impressed by their energy and good humor. After we made a short film that you can see at http://www.goalsforgirlsthemovie.org that entered many international festivals, we decided to turn the story into a feature documentary.
Goals for Girls: The Movie follows the struggle of a group of girls from the infamous Villa 31 shantytown in Buenos Aires who want to play a sport that is off limits to women in Argentina: soccer. With humor and colorful imagery, this documentary explores what it takes for girls to score goals on the field and reach their life goals when their families and society sees them only as future maids, criminals or teenage mothers. The experiences of these “slum soccer girls” will not only be documented by, myself and co-director Gabriel Balanovsky, but the girls themselves will contribute though a video workshop where they will learn how to interview and do basic camerawork. The audience can get uncensored view into their world and the girls will begin to take back the narrative of their own lives.
The finished documentary will be released in June 2011, during the women’s world cup in Germany. 

- The girls in "Goals for Girls" talk a lot about discrimination; is this the reality for the most girls that play soccer in Argentina? 

Women are systematically excluded from fully participating in soccer culture.  They are allowed to be fans, often portrayed as scantly dressed models wearing thongs with the teams’ colors or as soccer players girlfriends. Due to the violence that occurs at many games it is considered inappropriate for women to play, even though there are famous female boxers (world champion La Tigresa Acuna), tennis players (Gabriela Sabatinni), and the field hockey team is regularly world champion.
However, it is even worse in for the girls who live in the shantytown: their parents often make them take care of siblings or do chores instead of play soccer. Boys can play soccer whenever they want and do not have to ask permission.

Spielfeldschnitte: In what condition is the professional women league in Argentina? Are there rolemodels for young female soccer players?

Gentile: Argentina does not have legislation comparable with Title IX in the United States, which requires that all educational institutions that receive government funds to spend the same on male and female sports. In fact, recently the Argentine government decided to subsidize professional soccer, basically buying the television rights so it could be broadcast on open air tv, at a cost of $156 million US dollars per year. At the same time, clubs are cutting back their women’s soccer programs and the national selection for the Women’s World Cup is struggling to qualify.
Many young girls and women who want to play soccer have a hard time finding a space to play. The coach of the girls team in Villa 31 slum thinks the situation is actually getting worse: recently they cut back the hours she could use to practice at a private club with another team and the major clubs are cutting back funding. Also, the women’s teams that do exist are not allowed play on the large fields, only on the practice fields.
There are a few role models for girls who play soccer. The problem is that while teams exist, no one knows that they do: they receive no press and even finding out basic information on the websites is difficult. For example, we had to call the Argentine Football Association to find out if the team had qualified for the women’s world cup in 2011.
Spielfeldschnitte: What were the reactions on the movie in Argentina?

Gentile: When we showed the girls and their families a cut of what we have been filming since 2008, ( you can see it at http://www.goalsforgirlsthemovie.org/) they saw their reality reflected on the screen—how they fight for the space to play, how they rely on each other for support—and something remarkable happened. One family started making the boys (not just the sole daughter) clean house and another girl who was thinking of quitting because of squabbles with teammates began to show up to practice regularly again.
The reactions with Argentine audiences have especially been rewarding, considering that female soccer is not even on the radar there. Many Argentines are surprised that girls can play soccer. Most laugh out loud (in a good way) when the girls try to play and the boys won’t let them—we want to tell their story with humor.

Spielfedschnitte: Part of your interest is challenging stereotypes. What was the biggest challenge while shooting and producing "Goals for Girls"?

Gentile: Like most filmmakers, our biggest challenge is fundraising! Especially that we are going to start a video workshop for the girls, which we are doing ourselves and is outside of our budget. We have received a nice grant from the INCAA (Argentine Film Board) but we are looking for donations and sponsorships. On our website, http://goalsforgirlsthemovie.org/support/ people can donate to the workshop, the documentary.

Spielfeldschnitte: What do you think should happen in the Argentinian world of soccer, so stereotyped caused borders can open up?

Gentile: I think that the best thing would be to require equal funding for sports for girls and boys in schools. And we hope that this documentary will encourage other girls in other neighborhoods in Argentina (and in many other countries in the world where girls can’t play soccer) to demand the right to play on neighborhood fields. 

Spielfeldschnitte: How do you plan to continue to work on that topic? What will be your next projects?
Gentile: Right now we are developing a documentary about the treatment of animals in Argentina and we are also developing two fiction project, one of which is a police-thriller and the other is a comedy. But we will be quite busy with Goals for Girls: we will be filming until December 2010 and want to finish post production a few months later, so for now, it’s all hard work. Whatever we work on, we want it to be projects that have a wide audience and challenge normal views.
Spielfeldschnitte: Thank you very much!

Learn more about the movie and its protagonists on http://goalsforgirlsthemovie.org/
Learn more about the Filmmaker Ginger Gentile on http://www.gingergentile.com/

1 Kommentar:

  1. Great Project! Interesting to see it making waves all over the world and not just in South America...