Goals for Girls acclaimed by local & international press

By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey

San Telmo Productions‘ feature length documentary Goals for Girls (Mujeres con pelotas, “Women with Balls” in Spanish) premiered May 8th after touring the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival the previous month, and has garnered some very positive reviews from the local and international press alike, including being covered by all major TV channels (rare for a small film) and invited to two talk shows on TV. The film has received acclaim for drawing attention to the oft ignored subject of women’s football association in Argentina, as experienced in particular through the lens of the all-female shantytown team ‘Las Aliadas’.

Directors Gabriel Balanovsky and Ginger Gentile in the Goals for Girls premiere, May 8th.

Directors Gabriel Balanovsky and Ginger Gentile in the Goals for Girls premiere, May 8th.

The Buenos Aires Herald called the movie “a skillfully shot documentary that scores big time when it comes to addressing a largely ignored theme that could use much more exposure“. The Argentina Independent said the film “makes its strongest point when it allows the football to do the talking. Extended montages of ‘Las Aliadas’ training are a real highlight” and that “watching them is perhaps the most effective way to change sexist attitudes — one goal at a time“.

'Las Aliadas' during the Goals for Girls premiere, May 8th.

‘Las Aliadas’ during the Goals for Girls premiere, May 8th.

The movie will receive a 3:05 PM screening on June 8th at Hackney Picture House, 270 Mare Street, London, E8 1HE, where it will be followed by a panel discussion on women’s football in the UK, where “it still lags far behind the men’s game in terms of investment, sponsorship and media coverage” according to Amnesty International UK. The movie was previous shown at the 36th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, which was held in La Habana, Cuba, from December 4 to 14th, 2013.

The Villa 31 special screening of 'Goals for Girls', May 13th.

The Villa 31 special screening of ‘Goals for Girls’, May 13th.

Following the film’s commercial release, directors Gabriel Balanovsky and Ginger Gentile organized a special screening at Villa 31, the shantytown from where ‘Las Aliadas’ hail. The movie is currently in its second week of release, with screenings in Gaumont Cinema and Centro Cultural San Martín in Buenos Aires, as well as screenings in the provinces of Córdoba, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero and Santa Cruz.

Video of the premier, click on “cc” for English subitles:

Buenos Aires Herald review: http://goo.gl/FxDlQm

Argentina Independent review: http://goo.gl/BNAqLQ

San Telmo Productions website: http://goo.gl/UYKFJu

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Argentina premiere at BAFICI 2014

Goals for Girls, Mujeres con Pelotas, BAFICI

Some of stars from the team came to the screening and participatied in the Q&A. in BAFICI. In the audience were also coaches and players from all over Buenos Aires!

Friday 4th saw the Argentine premiere of San Telmo Productions’ documentary Goals for Girls, about women’s association football in Argentina, where it is continually ridiculed and discredited. Directors Gabriel Balanovsky and Ginger Gentile were introduced by BAFICI director Marcelo Panozzo and engaged in a brief Q&A session after the screening along with their youthful female stars from the shantytown team, who joined up with them before the audience.

Goals for Girls (Mujeres con Pelotas in Spanish, lit. “Women with Balls”) focuses on the football team “Allies of the 31st”, in reference to “Villa 31” the Buenos Aires shantytown where the Allies go play. As the movie opens, we see the territorial boys lounging in the sidelines like buzzards, unconvinced by the display of female athleticism. Occasionally they start their own nonchalant game of football amid female practice, only to be shooed repeatedly – if unsuccessfully – by the coach. So it goes.

The girls practice in the Villa 31 shantytown in Buenos Aires.

The documentary interviews the Allies team members and follows them through the grueling day-to-day process of reasserting their presence in the world of association football as they get together, disband and regroup while training for the Homeless World Cup (an international event advocating the end of homelessness though sport). This is intercut with interviews with the “male gaze” – from regular men in the street to sports journalists to higher-ups in the Argentinian Football Association (AFA), all dishing their opinion on women’s association football and its future in Argentina.

“We wanted this movie in BAFICI to throw some light on the subject,” said director Panozzo, introducing the documentary, “But on the other hand this isn’t a social denouncement, but a movie fueled with joy and vitality”.

Left to right, co-director Ginger Gentile, coach Mónica and co-directo Gabriel Balanovsky. Picture by Virginia Rojas.

While there is that – the Allies are a charming bunch – the movie packs some outrageous interviews with men explaining why women can’t, shan’t and won’t ever play association football on par with the male demographic, professionally and otherwise. They are said to lack the aggression, the talent – boys are introduced at an earlier age to the sport, after all – and the physical proclivity to be of any good by male standards. Chauvinism however is practiced on either side of the sex line, as a lot of young girls have trouble earning the consent of their own mothers, who would rather have them help around the house with domestic chores.

The most aggravating thing is the lack of televised coverage women’s association football gets in Argentina, where the live broadcasting of football tournaments is subsidized by the government through a program known as “Football For All”. Sports channels won’t air women’s matches or tournaments because they deem there’s no general interest in them and thus there’s no money in it. So there’s a Catch-22 involving TV focus and awareness – how are the people made aware of women’s football without the focus provided by national TV, and how can TV focus on women’s football if no one is aware of it.

The directors and Allies of the 31st coach during Q&A after the screening.

If anything Goals for Girls succeeds on an underdog scale, as the Allies keep fighting the fight and playing the game day after day. As co-director Balanovsky put it, “What they’ve earned they owe to themselves, not to this movie”. It’s certainly helped though.

By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey, published on Filming in Argentina

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Feature Film “Goals for Girls” takes shape

Originally a documentary about a group of girls in Villa 31 shantytown, Goals for Girls has evolved to incorporate the point of view of women from all walks of life that play soccer either for fun or professionally.

Interviews with journalists, scientists, and people in the world of women’s soccer have led to a fuller understanding on the limitations, restrictions, and cultural norms surrounding women playing soccer in Argentina. One of the interesting things we learned is that since the beginning of our making the documentary in 2008, there has been an increase of women playing soccer for fun. Unfortunately since then, more and more funding has been taken away from professional women teams. No women soccer team has played in the Boca stadium in over 10 years!

Interviews include: the national Boca Juniors women’s team, the indoor soccer team “Ondas del Amor,” the women’s team “Fuerte Apache” (located in town Carlos Tevez’s hometown), and the “Futbol a lo Feminino” team who insist on staying pretty in pink shirts while playing.

Also interviews with: Notable journalist Victor Hugo, sport’s journalist Gaston Recondo, and Canal 13’s Guillermo Bocci.

One of the things we make sure to ask people during the course of the interview is why they think women are prevented from playing soccer, and the first to be blamed is “machismo” and men. But when we ask who exactly prevents them from playing, the girls tend to say that their mothers, aunts, sisters either prohibit them from playing or make comments. Many women prefer to see their daughters, nieces, and sisters working on house chores and taking care of their younger siblings than wasting their time running around like a boy and getting hurt in the process. Victor Hugo confirmed this tendency summing it all up: “women are the true enforcers of machismo.” This is not to say that all girls say their fathers were supportive: some were (especially fathers who lacked sons) and others saw it as “cute” or “funny” that they played soccer, but also a lot of girls reported that no one in their family would watch them play.

 

(first published in “Filming In Argentinaby Amy Ramirez, contributing blogger)

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Girls Work with Stop Motion!

On Saturday we had a very productive workshop. The girls got the opportunity to work with Synes Elischka, a film director from Austria who has previously worked with San Telmo Productions. Synes works with stop motion animation and goes around the world teaching workshops on the subject.

Stop motion is an animation technique that makes a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own by moving the object in small increments between individually shot frames. We started the workshop practicing the technique using objects and images, but we progressed to using people. The great thing about stop motion is the fact that it can be done with a simple point and shoot camera, meaning it is more easily accessible to the girls. Additionally, you don’t need a lot of money to make a film because you can use common objects found around the house.

In fifteen minutes, we were able to make a 30 second short. It was a very successful workshop in which the girls were able to learn a skill that will not only let them have fun but will also hopefully add to their future as filmmakers.

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Round Two at the Movie Theater

This past weekend we had the opportunity to take the protagonists of “Goals for Girls” to see another Argentine film, “El hombre de al lado” (The Man Next Door). The film dealt with the conflict of a man and his neighbor, who broke down one of the walls in his apartment in order to make a window that looked right into the living area of his neighbor’s house. The film did have the dynamic of the rich vs. poor as one of the lines states, “Quiero un poco del sol, el sol que no estas usando” (I want some of the sun, the sun that you are not using).

After watching the film, we sat down and enjoyed some snacks provided by Sugar & Spice and analyzed the film. The filmed received mixed reviews from the girls. Many of them did  not enjoy the film. We were pleasantly surprised at how in depth their analysis were. None of the girls simply stated that they didn’t like it. Instead, they gave us concrete reasons as to why they formed their opinion, such as they didn’t like the storyline or the acting, etc. We were so happy to hear everything they said because it proves to us that these workshops are helping them grow as film critics. We are now seeing how much the girls benefit from our workshops!

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Girls can’t play soccer because of their Moms, not Dads!

Saturday we filmed interviews during a tournament before we all went to the video workshop, where we had a practical class on make up for TV and film. During the first part of the workshop we went to a championship that the girls were participating in. While they played, we had the opportunity to interview other female soccer players. This included a 23-year old mother of two, 18-year old Laura who played in last year’s Homeless World Cup in Milan, and two other young players ages 14 and 12.

When we interviewed them, we found another obstacle that they all shared: their mothers. We found that the girl’s mothers placed a larger challenge in their desire to play soccer than their fathers did. While their dads laughed and said they acted like boys, mother’s looked for excuses so that they couldn’t play, such as they will get hurt because it’s a violent sport. Mothers would rather see their daughter doing housework, than playing on the field. What was interesting is the fact is that the young mother, who plays soccer, also said that she does not want her daughters to play soccer when they get older. She would rather see them playing field hockey, which is considered a more upper class sport, and which she believes would give them a better opportunity to leave the villa (shantytown).

They also told us about another challenge. They all claimed that they needed more time on the field to play and to train. They all admitted that they lacked the athletic training that they need to improve as players.  One girl told us that her secondary school had a women’s soccer team until one girl got injured. Since then, they have prohibited girls to play soccer. Even though men also get injured when they play, they are allowed to have a team.

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Workshop Continues with Makeup Class

This Saturday’s workshop started with a snack of cookies provided by Sugar & Spice and then proceeded to a practical makeup class given by professional makeup artist, Mariana. She was not teaching normal makeup strategies, instead it was makeup for the big screen, teaching techniques which are used for film and TV. The class was very fun, because 15 year old girls obviously enjoy their makeup. However 2 of them preferred to film and use the camera, and they got to record the class and learn what a “screen test” is–each girl was recorded before and after she was made up.

Mariana loved laughing with the girls and gave some great cost-saving tips on how to clean make up brushes (laundry soap–who knew!) and how to cover up imperfections with green and purple make-up. Her only complaint is that the girls have such great skin (it must be the sports!) that they have very few imperfections to practice on.

She also gossiped about some of the stars she has made up and told the girls about how she studied to become an art designer.  One important part of the workshop is to introduce the girls to different professionals in the film industry so they can begin to see how each one studied and began to work. After a few pointers, Mariana broke the group into two groups, one group of “actresses” and the other of make-up artists. The girls learned how to use different colors for different skin tones and effects.

Mariana teaches the girls while Lucila films the class with the help of filmmaker Gabriel.

The class provided the girls with a very important lesson. They learned that all the actors and actresses that they see on TV are not as gorgeous as they seem. They are made to look beautiful by all the makeup techniques that the artists have. All in all, it was a very successful workshop. In the future we will also show the girls basic special effects make-up (blood, scars, etc).


Girls eat a delicious snack, with yummy chocolate chip cookies from Suger & Spice.

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Girls Film their First Scene

This Saturday we continued our workshop. This time the girls got the opportunity to shoot their first scene. The workshop started on a good note with the girls eating delicious cookie treats given to us by Sugar & Spice.

All the girls were very interested in every aspect of directing and use of the camera. They asked a lot of questions because not only did they want to learn as much as possible, they also wanted to have a wonderful finished product. Every girl had a lot of ideas that they wished to contribute. Like good directors, they chose Ginger as the protagonist of the scene. The scene dealt with a girl who wanted to commit suicide by jumping out the window. However, thanks to the help of her friends, she was able to realize how valuable her life is and decided not to jump. As they shot the scene, the girls were able to experiment filming the same action from different angles. They also explored the concept of continuity in film.

The girls enjoyed the workshop so much that, next weekend, they want to continue using the camera and filming instead of going to the movies.

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Girls Use the Video Camera for the First time

On Saturday we had another great workshop for the protagonists of Goals for Girls. There were fewer girls than normal because 3 of them are in Rio, Brazil participating in the Homeless World Cup, but the girls who were there were enthusiastic and eager to learn.

First, over a delicious and nutritious snack, we talked about the movie we saw last week, “La 21: Barracas” which was filmed in another Buenos Aires shantytown by the people who live there. The girls thought that the story it told, one of violent revenge between two gangs, was realistic. But they didn’t like the acting, finding it very amature (people looking at the camera, etc). We talked about how you can use the video camera to capture people at their best moments, or focus on their hands if they aren’t good actors.

We then got to the good part of the workshop: using the video camera! Thanks to a generous donation of two VHS video cameras by the Subiela film school, the girls were able to get hands-on experience. They planned shots, directed each other, and learned the difference between pans, wide shots and close ups. They also learned how to pull focus. We laughed with them that when we studied film, it took us weeks before we could pick up a camera!

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Video Workshop starts with “Discrimination” as the theme

The girls pose in front of movie posters (for la 21 Barracas, a soccer film and "Estrellas" about actors from a slum who create a productoin company) at Arte Cinema.

On Saturday, September 11th, we had our first class for the video workshop for the protagonists of the documentary “Goals for Girls: The Movie”.  We started talking to them about the themes they wanted to explore. The first thing that jumped out at the girls is the discrimination they receive for being slum dwellers, now that they are teenagers and leaving the Villa to study and for fun. They talked about how they often get dirty looks from the police and asked to leave when they enter certain businesses, and also how people think they are thieves. We filmed the conversation for our documentary–a great example of how today’s youth are politically conscience and opinionated–they just aren’t on facebook all day long!

They came up with the great idea crossing the railroad tracks and inter


The girls pose with filmmakers Gabriel Balanovsky and Ginger Gentile.

viewing their “neighbors” in the richest barrio in Buenos Aires, la Recoleta, about their stereotypes about slum dwellers. They will then use this material to create a fiction short film.

After the workshop (and a yummy snack) we took the girls to the movies to watch “La 21: Barracas” a movie filmed in another slum completely by residents (as actors and technicians). The movie also started first as a video workshop. (Special thanks to the folks at Arte Cinema for giving us discounted tickets and treating us great).

The girls loved the film and want to see more movies.

We also are arranging visits to television stations and with other filmmakers from different shantytowns to talk to the girls.

Your donation is vital for making sure we can give the girls the best workshop possible, and of course, of no cost to them. http://goalsforgirlsthemovie.org/support/

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Video Workshop Underway: Girls go to Cinema for the first time!

For many girls on the Villa 31 soccer team, “Las Aliadas” (the allies), last Saturday night was the first time they saw a movie in a movie theater. It was a great experience: they loved the movie, the romantic comedy “Igualita a mi”, and even got their photo taken with Argentine television star Soledad Silvera.

Girls with TV actress Soledad Silvera

Taking the girls to the movies reminded me how important it is to be exposed to art and beauty, and have a chance to relax. We also saw first hand the discrimination that the girls face everyday for being slum dwellers. Everywhere we went, the police looked at them and would tell them to behave, and many of the girls don’t know how to travel around the city. This is because the girls are left alone by the cops when they are in the slum, so they prefer to stay there where they feel safe. They are just a few subway stops away from Corrientes Avenue, the “Broadway” of Buenos Aires, and most have never gone.

The girls in the lobby, with filmmakers Ginger, Gabriel and Corcho.

The outing was full of magic–we first had a snack at a cafe in the San Martin Theater and listened to a bit of music from Australia because a band was playing live in the lobby. We then talked to the girls and they said they really want to film a horror film (why not? why do ghosts always have to haunt mansions and castles?) and the started taking photos with our camera.

This Saturday we are going to have the first official class where we will start by showing parts of the Brazilian classic “City of God” which is a about a favela, but tells a violent story with humor and humanity. Also, the protagonist of the story is able to escape the cycle of poverty and violence by becoming a photographer: there is no better metaphor for us to show!

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Revolutionary Television Station Owner from Villa 31 is Killed

Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina–

Adams Ismael Ledezma, 41, owner of the cable TV channel of Villa 31, was found dead Saturday morning due to blows to the head and multiple stabbings. In his last weeks, Ledezma had been working hard to get the judicial authorization for the television channel Canal 31 Mundo Villa TV. With the channel, his goal had been to make journalistic investigations of the rich and famous who enter the Villa in their 4×4′s and BMW’s to buy drugs. Ledezma is a prime example of a person who fought to change the mentality of the Villa. Just like our girls, he sought to make a difference.

Right now we are starting a video workshop with the girls to teach them video skills so they can participate in the documentary “Goals for Girls: The Movie” and learn a skill. But the death of Ledezma shows that just a few blocks from the richest neighborhood in Buenos Aires, nothing is that simple, even shooting video can be deadly.

For more information: http://www.perfil.com/contenidos/2010/09/04/noticia_0029.html

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Endorsments for “Goals for Girls”

Thanks to the work of Emily Robbins, who is our press contact in the US, we’ve gotten some great endorsements:

"Sports are one of the important ways in which a girl can find her
strength and place in the world.  And how much more important is that
experience for girls whose beginnings are less privileged.  Goals for Girls
not only gives voice to a group of girls daring to play soccer, but as or
more importantly has involved them in the process of making the film,
enabling the girls to re-write the story of their lives.  What would have
been, need no longer come to pass.  How inspiring, and true."  Mina
Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl (forthcoming 2011) 


"The Goals for Girls: The Movie" girls embody the change that we need and
want to see in the world! Their actions are revolutionary and spirit
unstoppable.  Please take a moment to support the girls in any way you can,
these girls and girls like them globally are the key to this planets
future!" Carly Goldberg, Women's Collaborative Circle

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Great Donation of Video Cameras for the Workshop

The Eliseo Subiela Film school in Buenos Aires donated two professional VHS cameras (the real deal, what news broadcasters used to use a few years ago) for the girls to use in the video workshop. They have promised to also provide additional sound equipment in the future as well! The girls are so happy that …they will be able to learn on such great equipment.
Now, we just need some lap top computers to teach editing, and we’re all set!
And special thanks to Emily Seaman for helping us out! She is a great volunteer from Australia who knows what it’s like to play a “male” sport–she plays Australian football, which is similar to rugby, and has only been played by women for about 10 years.  She said that many people don’t believe her when she says that she plays it.

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Teenagers in UK relate to Goals for Girls

http://stellalovesart.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/goals-for-girls/

Stella Sampson, a British student who is about to start University, has mentioned us on her blog, and she can relate to discrimination she feels as a young girl.

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The Girls Get New Uniforms

While it was a bit cold to wear the shorts, the girls of the “Aliadas de la Villa 31″ (The Allies of the Villa 31 Slum) wore their new uniforms for the first time in a match. The girls won the money for the uniforms in a grant, and designed them and negotiated with a factory all on their own! (we’re so proud)!

Each girl could choose her own nickname, and superstar Karen chose “Lolita” (she’s on the bottom row to the left).

While having uniforms is a given for many teams, for these girls it represents a huge goal they accomplished and a step towards becoming a real team.

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They are not alone. . .

The girls of the Villa 31 soccer team aren’t alone in their fight to play a sport they love. Last Thursday we had the opportunity to interview some of the girls on Coach Monica’s other team. These girls have been playing even longer with Monica, are older (late teens early 20s) but also live in a poor neighborhood and face a lot of prejudices.

One girl, who is 25, is excited about her progress as a player, but doesn’t share the fact that she might travel to Brazil to play in the Homeless World Cup with her family–they just don’t care.  Another would love to play more, but often has to miss practice because she has to clean the entire house–her brothers don’t help. But the last interview was the biggest surprise of them all. When we asked “Kangaroo” what she does when she doesn’t play soccer, she replied that she doesn’t work or study–she write poetry!

While the details change, it is amazing how much we here the same stories repeated over and over again–and also learn that in Argentina, female soccer players are a varied bunch!

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Ginger Gentile and “Goals for Girls: The Movie” on BA Live Radio

Ginger Gentile, co-directorof San Telmo Productions and of the new full length documentary film, “Goals for Girls: The Movie,” which is currently in production, was recently interviewed on BA Live about the documentary and the inspirations behind its creation. Click on this link to download or listen: Ginger Gentile-Goals for Girls-on BA Live

BA Live is an English speaking radio program which airs on Urbana 89.5FM every Thursday from 9pm – 11pm. BA Live covers a wide range of interviews from a variety of guests who have been invited to give their opinions on BA, and is also a fairly good choice for music as the capital city´s night draws in. It is hosted by Brit and journalist extraordinaire, Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Ginger Gentile’s interview about “Goals for Girls: The Movie” is available for download here and explains the many ways in which people can get involved in the project or indeed make a donation to the cause.

“Goals for Girls: The Movie” has already received funding from the INCAA (Argentine Film Board) in Buenos Aires and has begun a successful social media campaign on Facebook, where enthusiastic film and soccer lovers are donating via Paypal.

The whole project rests on the success of the present funding campaign; the hopes and dreams of the Argentine girls living in the BA slums are in the balance. Listen to the interview on BA Live, visit the Facebook Page and become a friend and help Ginger Gentile and San Telmo Productions readjust gender prejudices in Argentina regarding soccer.

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Ginger Gentile and “Goals for Girls: The Movie” on Expat Daily News

by Tracey Chandler, contributing blogger

Read the in-depth interview on Expat Daily News that Ginger Gentile gave about the documentary film “Goals for Girls: The Movie,” that is being filmed at present by San Telmo Productions, Buenos Aires.
http://www.expatdailynewssouthamerica.com/2010/06/expat-interview-with-documentary.html

The interview is really detailed and shares a lot of information about the current film project to make a full length feature documentary about a group of girls in Villa 31 shantytown who dare to play soccer, which is considered a boy’s sport in Argentina.

The article allows the reader a real insight into the reasons behind San Telmo Production’s desire to create and film, “Goals for Girls: The Movie” and Ginger’s experiences as an expat in Argentina. For more than 8 years she has lived, worked, married and started a business in Buenos Aires. Her advice to fellow expats: Don’t expect to replicate your life in the US abroad. . . While I do these things because I love them, it has been easier for us to create projects than to get work on other people’s projects.

On top of the interview, there is a highly interactive Facebook Fan Page that you can join in order to show support for the project. Some of the project’s really supportive friends have been using the donate button on the Fan Page in order to donate small sums of money via Facebook too. These funds will be used to start a video workshop for the girls so they can contribute to the documentary.

The project, with their support of many, looks to be a real success and a positive lifeline for the girls from Villa 31.

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“Goals…” in The NY International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF)

by Tracey Chandler, contributing blogger

The “Goals for Girls” documentary  short, produced and directed by Ginger Gentile and Gabriel Balanovsky of San Telmo Productions in Buenos Aires, is proud to announce that it has entered into the official competition of  The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) which begins on July 27th and runs until August 1st 2010.

The NYILFF which has been running since 1999 is now the premier Urban Latino film event in the country. It will be the 5th International Festival in which “Goals for Girls” (Goles y Metas) has entered into official competition. The short film follows the struggle of a group of girls from a shantytown in Buenos Aires to play a sport that is off-limits to women in Argentina: Soccer.  To form a real team, they need to fight against the boys who won’t let them use the field and their parents who prefer that they wash the dishes.

The short film “Goals for Girls: The Movie” already has received a grant from the INCAA (state film board) in Argentina to begin filming the full length feature due to be released in 2011. However, funds are needed to finish the documentary and start a video workshop for the girls so they can tell their own stories with cameras and take back the narrative of their own lives. To learn more and make your tax-deductable donation, visit http://www.goalsforgirlsthemovie.org

The NYILFF is a celebration and acknowledgment of the diversity and spirit of the Latino community and includes family and community events, opportunities for filmmakers to claim scholarships and a nationally recognized short film competition in partnership with its main sponsor, HBO. The website, http://nylatinofilm.com/index.html, is really well presented with loads of fantastic information about the festival and lots of positive endorsements from successful film personalities including Whoopie Goldberg.

The success of this entry for San Telmo Productions and “Goals for Girls” has spurred the production team on even further to ensure ultimate success with the full feature-length documentary “Goals for Girls: The Movie” that is in the shooting stage at present.

With such fantastic strides forwards, San Telmo Productions is confident in the potential success of the full length feature, but would really welcome your help through funding or support and donations of other kinds. Please visit the Goals for Girls website for more information about how you can contribute to the project and become involved in what The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) already considers to be a film of high quality that deserves international recognition.

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Girls Excited about Video Workshop

Yesterday’s film shoot for “Goals for Girls” turned out to be more exciting than expected. While the goal for the shoot was to just get footage of the girls playing at a tournament outside of the shantytown, one of the girls got injured during a game when a player from the challenging team kicked her in the foot (even though the girl didn’t have the ball at the time). Even though there was an apology, the game had to be suspended due to accusations flying around and the threat of a fist fight. One of the main challenges of the girls is to turn their anger–their anger at being poor and being discriminated against–into something positive.

On a brighter note, a few girls came up to me as I was filming and asked me about how the camera works. One girl, Laura, said that she loved to take photos but doesn’t have her own camera. I gave her a quick lesson on the difference between an object being in focus and being out of focus, and for the rest of the shoot she followed me, looking at the LCD as I filmed her teammates vent at the camera. We also talked to the girls about the video workshop we’ll be starting for them soon, and a lot of them are excited to participate.  You can help make the workshop a reality by making a tax deductible donation or becoming a sponsor.

At the end of the shoot, a reporter for a local paper showed up and she asked the girls some questions for a story she is working on. Belen said that she believes boys will always play better than them, but not because they have more experience but because they are stronger and “rougher”. Old stereotypes die-hard.

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Goals for Girls Documentary Featured in EH Star Newspaper

Sometimes its good to be the local girl . . . we’re kicking off our fundraising drive for our feature doc Goals for Girls and I just got this mention from my local hometown paper in East Hampton, NY. And I’m lucky that my hometown is filled with Hollywood insiders and one of the top festivals in the US (for the record, I’m a local and waited tables for the celebs, didn’t dine with them). My only complaint is that it makes me look far more like a saint than I am!

Here’s the first part, with a link to the end to the original:

Shining a Light on Poverty and Soccer
By Leigh Goodstein

(April 15, 2010)    G­­inger Gentile has always been an activist. From her beginnings as an overachiever in Catholic school in Southampton to her valedictorian speech at the East Hampton High School’s class

Photo: Emilliano Pozzoni

Ginger Gentile has turned her camera on the plight of women soccer players in one of the largest slums in South America.

of 1998 graduation ceremony to her work with unions in Jakarta, Indonesia, she has always focused on what is wrong and tried to make it right, she said.

Ms. Gentile ended up in South America after traveling from New York City to Guatemala and Cuba on a mission to learn Spanish in order to work with unions for Hispanic garment workers in Manhattan. But she never returned to the city. More. . .

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Goals for Girls Travels the World via Festivals!

Gabriel Balanovsky, co-director of Goals for Girls just got back from participating in the Cineposible festival in Spain where the short film was well-received and received a cash prize! At the same time, in the same country, the short film also participated in MECAL short film festival in Barcelona.

The girls are so excited to know that people all over the world are hearing their stories!

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Chechu Stuck on the Sidelines

So we went to our first soccer practice of principal photography for  the feature documentary Goals for Girls. The team has grown dramatically since we started shooting in 2008! Now the field is filled with 25 girls from 13 to 21, kicking, passing, and yes, occasionally cursing! But one girl who is dying to play couldn’t. . . Chechu, who at 16 just became a mom.  

Goals for Girls, Goles y Metas, Documentary, Baby,

Teenage Chechu watches soccer practice in the Shantytown with her newborn.

 

She was there at practice with her baby boy, Joaquin, in arms. We interviewed her about what it was like to spend 8 months on the sidelines as she was pregnant. . . for her, the pregnancy was a far bigger burden than motherhood, in part because now she can play soccer again and her son is very quiet. But today she was unable to practice because she was unable to get someone to watch her son. The father was going to, but had to work: “We’re broke”, she said. 

So Chechu cheered from the sidelines. Neither her mother nor the father’s mother help much. While some volunteers who come to the practices can often look after older children, looking after a 4 month old is quite different. 

After the practice we filmed the girls weekly meeting where they decided on a name for the team (finally!) which means “allies” in English and the colors of the team, which will be white and blue. The girls then talked about the importance of the anniversary of the military dictatorship which was celebrated the day before, and we interviewed a team member about her dreams to try out for the Boca Jrs women’s division, and how women face discrimination when they play soccer.All and all, a great start for our feature documentary! 

Read More »

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80 Norwegians Walk into a Shantytown. . .

No, it’s not the start of bad joke but what we filmed last Saturday in the Villa 31 Shantytown in Buenos Aires. Many people come to visit the girls and play soccer with them, which the girls themselves like. “We meet people we otherwise wouldn’t” and “we get to show them that we are good people” were two responses we got from the girls on camera. BUT it quite a site. Out of nowhere appeared 80 blonde, blue-eyed 20 year old girls to play with the 20 girls who play soccer in the Villa. Almost the entire neighborhood showed up to watch, and at one point, a religious ceremony took place, featuring mariachis, dancing Bolivians in traditional dress and two brass bands (I was focusing on the girls, but from what I understand, it was a procession for the Virgin). It began to feel like an Emir Kusturica movie:

(if you don’t know who Kusturica is, stop what you’re doing and go rent Underground, now!)

And in the middle of this entire crazy scene, a woman appeared demanding that we stop filming and that the girls vacate the film. Her reasoning (and I see where she’s coming from) is that the community put a lot of work and effort into building field and that she didn’t want people to be making money off of it through tourism. Coach Monica explained that we were filming a documentary highlighting all the good things that are going on in the Villa and that it was a cultural exchange, not tourism.

Just to show, there is no such thing as an easy shoot day on this documentary!

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Video as Fundrasing Tool for NGO (Charities)


As charities and NGOS (non-governmental organizations, aka non-profits) have to kick up their fundraising efforts, many more or turning to video to create an emotional connection between potential donors and the people their donation will help. We have been filming “Goals for Girls” which follows the struggles of teenage girls to play a sport that is off-limits to them in Argentina: soccer. We have received a grant from the INCAA (Arg. film board) to make a feature film, but in the meantime have been supporting the NGO Soccer Without Borders by making a short video fundraising appeal. Check it out!

And here is the feedback we got from Soccer Without Borders:

“Everyone loved the video tonight.  We were able to show it to a great group of supporters and it got everyone fired up for our fundraising run early next year.
Thanks again for everything that went into making it happen.”–Lisa Milton
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DocBsAs: Doc Buyers and Filmmakers Meet for 3 days of Dealmaking

Just got back from a jammed packed three days of meeting with decision makers (commissioning editors and acquisitions) to talk about our two documentary projects: Goals for Girls and Man vs. Meteorite. There were over 20 reps from TV channels and funding organizations from all over the world and about 100 local and international filmmakers with doc projects at DocBsAs 2009. Response was very positive, and we came out of it with 5 meetings for the next month! We´re timing the release of Goals for Girls with the Womens´ Soccer World Cup in June 2011, which adds to the appeal, and everyone loved the strong characters that we are following. Also, what surprised me is that a lot of the more commercial channels were very interested, not just the art house ones.

So what are doc buyers looking for? The same thing that is prized in fiction storytelling: strong characters, story arch that has a clear conflict, and about a topic that has an interest for the audience (for example, Finnish audiences love tango while it is not so popular in Spain). If it is about a country or custom not well-known outside of that place, it needs to be well explained. Also, a lot of buyers are attracted to humorous stories.

We also met a lot of great local filmmakers who are interested in working together on future projects, which was a great bonus.

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Goals for Girls: INCAA Grant Won!

Goals for Girls (Goles y Metas) has just been declared “of interest” by the INCAA, the Argentine Film Board. This will enable myself and my co-director/producer Gabriel Balanovsky to keep filming. We now have more than half of the financing in place, thanks to the INCAA. Now with this official stamp of approval, we are going to do a full press to look for sponsors who want to be associated with a documentary that tells the story of a group of young girls who use soccer (football) to learn how to go from victims to champions.

We are going to make a feature length film in HD that is broadcast ready that uses colorful images, music and moving stories to take viewers to a world that few dare to enter: the Villa 31, one of Buenos Aires´s largest and oldest shantytowns.

However, the actual check can still take a long time coming! This has nothing to do with the project, but with internal budgeting of the INCAA. I’ve heard from past filmmakers that this can take anywhere from six months to a year. That is why we will be looking at additional funding sources and donations.

To see our latest cut of our work in progress:

http://www.santelmoproductions.com/en/#/portfolio/goals_for_girls

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Photo Essay on Villa 31 Girls Soccer Team

I just got this great email from Emily, who took photos of the girls soccer team in Villa 31 that we are filming our documentary “Slum Girl Soccer” about.

Check it out! Great Photos! She really captures the passion of the girls

http://emilyanneepstein.com/photographs/goals-for-girls/

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Slum Girl Soccer just mentioned on Inspira Travel Blog

Our feature length documentary in the works, Slum Girl Soccer, was just mentioned on the Inspira Travel Blog after meeting with Maren and the wonderful folks and Inspira Travel, a boutique travel agency in Buenos Aires. I was really impressed that an upscale travel agency took so much interest in hearing about the stories of these girls! Goes to show that there is a difference in being a tourist and being a traveler! (extra points if you know what book/movie that distinction comes from):
“In other countries, where women´s team sports are popular and plentiful, the notion of a female soccer team might not be of any interest. Yet in South America, where futbol reigns supreme, there are few female teams, not to mention a complete lack of any women´s professional league. The benefits that come with practicing a team sport - among them, sportsmanship, discipline, support, physical well-being – are many, though the challenges that these young women face make such benefits hard won.” More from Inspira. . .

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