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 4x4'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:
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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 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. 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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Is this the only Female Soccer on TV in Argentina?

Finally, a woman playing soccer on TV! And she´s good. Unfortunately, she is wearing a thong. This is the type of prejudice that the girls of the Villa 31 Shantytown face everyday, that their worth isn´t based in what they do, but what they look like. Part of our plan for the video workshop is to analyze negative images, like this one, and help construct positive ones.
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  • Goals for Girls on Facebook