The Belcourt Theatre Presents Three Films Celebrating Girls and Women in Sports, Leading Up to the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Nashville
The Belcourt joins other community and arts organizations as part of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee.
NASHVILLE, TENN. (March 11, 2014) — In the days leading up to the NCAA Women's Final Four in Nashville, the Belcourt Theatre celebrates girls and women in sports with three special film screenings. One of the screenings marks the first event of the Belcourt’s community partnership with Casa Azafrán.
“We are pleased to present this compelling selection of films and to collaborate with other arts groups as Nashville welcomes the NCAA Women’s Final Four,” said Belcourt executive director Stephanie Silverman. “In very different stories, with a range of powerful, wonderful content, these films add an important dimension to our city-wide celebration.”
“Our vision for Casa Azafrán includes being a place for conversations and presentations that allow our guests to think about themselves, and our shared communities, in progressive ways. Showing films like IN THE GAME help us join the international effort to showcase the challenges young girls face and the ways they rise and overcome them,” said Renata Soto, executive director of Conexión Américas.
The Belcourt’s screenings include SALAAM DUNK on Thurs., April 3, 7 p.m., a documentary about the women’s basketball team at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS), whose participants had never before played team sports or even run. One of the team members, Yousra Kamoona, will join Belcourt audiences in-person for a Q&A after the screening. In addition, the Belcourt will present two free screenings—a work-in-progress showing of IN THE GAME at Casa Azafrán on Sat., March 29 at 4 p.m., and a screening of PAT XO at the Belcourt on Wed., April 2 at noon.
Public screening (regular Belcourt ticket prices)
Thurs., April 3, 7 p.m. at the Belcourt Theatre
Directed by David Fine
Before joining the team, most of the women on the basketball team at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS) had never been running before. Many had never played sports. None had ever been on a team with other women. They came from all corners of Iraq to attend this prestigious school, but many cannot tell family back home they go to an "American" university. Through traditional interviews and private confessional video diaries, SALAAM DUNK follows the ethnically diverse AUIS women's basketball team as they discover what it means to be athletes. From the joy of their first win to the pain of losing the coach who started their team, the film gives a glimpse into an Iraq we don't see on the news.
Before the film, a catered reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. After the screening, Yousra Kamoona, a player featured in the film, will join audiences for a Q&A.
Free public screening
Sat., March 29, 4 p.m. at Casa Azafrán
IN THE GAME (a work-in-progress screening)
Directed by Maria Finitzo
Set in Chicago, the documentary IN THE GAME follows the ups and downs of an inner city girls’ soccer team to reveal the very real obstacles that low-income students confront in their quest for higher education. It is not a film about the scrappy underdog sports team that, through hard work and persistence, wins the championship. The girls' coach, Stan, would like to see his team win a game. But more importantly, he's using soccer to teach the girls how to win in life.
Immediately following the film, director Maria Finitzo will join audiences for a Q&A via Skype. This screening is a work-in-progress presentation of Finitzo's film, and she welcomes the opportunity to hear audience feedback.
Free public screening
Wed., April 2, noon at the Belcourt Theatre
Directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters
On April 18, 2012, Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball, did the unimaginable and announced her resignation from the University of Tennessee. On the very same day, her son, Tyler, was hired as an assistant for the Marquette women's basketball team, his first job out of college. While the sports world reeled from the news of Pat's early-onset dementia, the coach and her son quietly set out to beat this challenge just as they had every other—with grace, humor and, most of all, each other. In addition to these films, the Belcourt Theatre has already brought special screenings of SHADYA to young audiences at Wright Middle School and Apollo Middle School via its Mobile Movie Theatre. SHADYA is the story of 17-year-old Shadya Zoabi—who is a karate world champion, a feminist in a male dominated culture, and a Muslim Arab who is also an Israeli.
The Belcourt Theatre is a nonprofit cultural institution that engages, enriches and educates audiences through innovative film programming. Housed in Nashville’s only historic neighborhood theatre, the Belcourt presents the best of independent, documentary, world, and repertory cinema 365 days a year, while promoting visual literacy and providing opportunities for people of all ages to experience the power of film. First opened in 1925 as a silent movie house, the theatre was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1934-35. Since the re-opening of the theatre as a nonprofit art house in 1999, over a half million people have visited the Belcourt to see more than 1,000 films from every corner of the globe.
The Belcourt Theatre is funded in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission, and is grateful for their support of our nonprofit mission.