Film Festival Focuses On Women’s Sports, From the Olympics to Rugby

Festival showcases over a dozen strong stories about strong women both on the field and off.

Though the name still feels like it’s lacking a conjunction or possibly a preposition, in its fourth year the Women Sports Film Festival continues to celebrate all female athletes of all stripes and chromosomal construction. It’s noted that 70 percent of the dozen-plus films of varying lengths and genres are directed by women, which is a number more festivals should strive for. The pointlessness of the Olympics in the modern era is once again demonstrated by Erin Lee Carr’s At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, which reflects on the winning-above-all-else system which allowed the domestic gymnastic team’s doctor Larry Nassar to get away with sexually abusing hundreds of young women over the span of two decades. (The Olympics: it’s a movement!) Fresh from winning the AT&T Audience Award in the Documentary Feature category at Frameline this year, Michael Barnett’s Changing the Game looks at travails of transgender teenagers fighting for the right to participate in school sports. Meanwhile, Joanna Lester’s Power Meri checks in on the Papua New Guinea Orchids rugby team as they overcome both internal and external strife in preparation for the World Cup. And if you need something uplifting, don’t miss the short GoPro: Roberta Mancino’s Wingsuit Flight over an Active Volcano, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Opens Thursday at the Brava Theater.

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