This month, 30 women who broke the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude soccer game ever played, continue their quest for gender equality in sports by heading to Jordan to play the lowest altitude soccer game ever. The challenges they will face are symbolic of the many obstacles they have had to overcome trying to play the game they love. It is well-documented that women have fewer opportunities to play sports, get paid less compared to their male counterparts when they do, and do not receive the same coverage or respect in the media for their efforts. Although the inequities in sports are just as vast as those faced by women in other industries, such as business or entertainment, they fail to incite the same level of outrage.
To raise awareness and help the development of women’s football on a grass-roots level, the teams will launch a 12-day tour of Jordan to play exhibition games and set up football clinics for local communities, reaching over 400 girls in the region. They will be delivering a message of inclusivity and equality, with the official endorsement of His Royal Highness Prince Ali Bin Hussein and the support of the Jordanian Embassy.
ESPN has partnered with ”Equal Playing Field” for coverage on ESPN’s SportsCenter and a live stream with the players immediately following the Dead Sea game, which will take place on April 5th, 2018.
“We were thrilled to learn about these remarkable women and the records they are going to great lengths to achieve,” said Michael Epstein, Coordinating Producer of ESPN’s SportsCenter. “We thought it would be something our fans would be interested in and we’re excited to have them join us live on SportsCenter after the game!”
In an effort to document this moment in history, when gender inequality is at the forefront, director Tamara Rosenfeld and producer Amirose Eisenbach have teamed up to highlight these women’s two incredible journeys in the form of a full length documentary feature.
“Radiant J. is committed to elevating women and creating content that fosters positive, social impact,“ said Amirose Eisenbach, founder of Radiant J. Productions. “We’re living in an incredible time in history right now and this film has the power to continue to raise consciousness around gender equality, diversity and representation.”
“We wanted to address the many challenges we face as women ,” said Tamara Rosenfeld, founder of Rosenfeld Films. “These soccer players are pioneers, showing that women from around the globe can come together to accomplish what is seemingly impossible.”
The mission statement for the ”Equal Playing Field” initiative is, “Opportunity, equality and respect. Nothing more, nothing less.” The filmmakers hope to make strides towards this goal for future generations of women everywhere.
“After setting a world record, we’re using our platform to enable other women to share their stories,” said Laura Youngson, ”Equal Playing Field” co-founder. “Our Jordan Quest is an opportunity to celebrate women’s football by bringing together women from over 23 nationalities to play and coach in communities around Jordan. We want to encourage more girls to challenge expectations and have no limits when it comes to sport. Our message is clear: invest in women and girls in sport and see them thrive.”
These brave female athletes stem from more than twenty countries, and include South Korean National team player Hwang In-sun, former Saudi Arabia National team player Saja Kamal, Nepali soccer star Dipa Adhikari , Afghan National team player Hajra Khan, Egyptian soccer star Esraa Awad, as well as pro players and competitive amateurs from the USA, Spain, India, Syria, France, Jordan, Palestine, Tanzania, Australia, Canada, the UK and many more.
The stories of these women will be captured by London-based cinematographer Thomas Shawcroft on camera equipment provided by ARRI. “ARRI Rental strives to provide unique film projects with access to state-of-the-art ARRI equipment,” said Harriet Cannon, Rental Manager at ARRI Rental UK. “Equal Playing Field appealed to us because we support the pursuit of gender equality and diversity. The ARRI Amira will allow these filmmakers to capture these courageous female soccer players in a truly cinematic style.”
This project is being made with the support of Women Rising Productions, who is the film’s nonprofit fiscal sponsor. Women Rising Productions champions the storytelling of inspiring female voices around the world. This fund powers the rising of history in the making: lighting the way for women and girls one new heroine at a time.
To stay updated on their journey and to support this project, please visit GoFundMe. You can also view the teaser trailer below.