She Will Play On: The incoming women's football film of the year
Thursday, 26 October 2023
The feel good film of the year? How She Will Play On will continue to smash down barriers.
She Will Play On
Everyone loves a feel good story, especially when one is at the heart of a community and aims to inspire.
That’s exactly what She Will Play On hopes to do. Backed and supported by BFI Film Academy alumni, this community-orientated project exploring women in regional football already has the makings to captivate audiences, despite a short runtime.
Brought to audiences by Pelé Rocket and associate produced by Lounge Trip Productions, the project’s creative hub is based in Nottingham and is already partnered with the local Nottinghamshire FA and award-winning national organisation Her Game Too, who campaign to prevent sexism in football.
Still very much in its infancy, rehearsals start this September. There has been a remarkable turnaround, having started the process in July this year, and planning to submit to film festivals by January 2024.
The film is written by Jess Hilditch, directed by Grace Morgan and produced by Leah Joy and Ben Fletcher with the synopsis of the film being based around two siblings, Sienna and Lucy.
When Sienna’s home life takes a turn for the worse, she finds herself responsible for her younger sister Lucy, a footballing prodigy. Sienna protects Lucy the best she can, but how will the eight year old get her big break when money is dwindling.
The film explores themes of sexism and classism in regional women’s football; director, Grace Morgan, explains that “the topic of this film is very important and relevant to many people. We hope this film can bring more awareness to the barriers young girls can face whilst trying to access the sport at all levels.”
Surrounding the recent attention around the Women’s World Cup, producers Leah Joy and Ben Fletcher tell us how,
“The Lionesses have changed history and the impact it has made on the next generation of footballers is so powerful.” They say “it is the perfect time to make this film and tell this story. We hope to make a difference in the lives of the young girls who aspire to become the next generation of women in football.”
The film’s writer, Jess Hilditch, also has this to say: “The love that women's football has been getting, especially over the last year, has been incredible and I definitely wanted to create something that showed the growing opportunities for young footballers that have come from this. However, the discrepancies in the social perception of the women's game compared to the men is still clear and quite baffling- it isn't something you see in the same way for other sports.
"I wanted to write something that could show the people that speak against the women's game that their words and attitudes have a detrimental impact on young girls- and if we can't even allow young girls to innocently enjoy the game, then what are we doing? The game has come so far, but there is still a way to go and we hope our film can contribute to that."