Breaking down barriers at the Tribeca Film Festival

A female reporter interviews an athlete in the locker room after the game. Credit: Charles Miller
A female reporter interviews an athlete in the locker room after the game.
Credit: Charles Miller

In hopes of broadening the audience for independent film this year’s seventh annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will feature nine films including four from ESPN Film’s “Nine for IX” series, which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of Title IX.

“Let Them Wear Towels” dives into the world of female sports journalists and their decades-long fight for equal rights as their male counterparts.

“It’s a provocative film,” Annie Sundberg, co-director of the film said. “People have strong ideas that the world of sports is still a boys club.”

During the 1977 World Series, Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludkte put up a very public fight after she was denied access to the players’ locker room. Eventually, the door was opened, but female sports reporters still had trouble navigating the male-dominated world of sports.

“We found that these women’s stories have an impact on us today,” said co-director, Ricki Stern. “The women were groundbreaking not only in sports writing. They took one further step in equal rights for all.”

The leading women of the 70s paved the way for Sundberg and Stern. The two recently worked on a feature documentary titled “Knuckleball,” where they followed Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and New York Mets pitcher RA Dickey over the 2011 season. Thanks to the legal battles in the 1970s, Stern and Sundberg now had access to stadiums, press boxes and locker rooms.

As both directors now have daughters, they said it is important for the girls to grow up knowing that women didn’t always have equal access to some professions as men.

The partnership between the Tribeca Film Festival and ESPN allows for films that explore the sports world.

“Sports stories are the perfect fodder for good film-making,” Sundberg said.

Sidebar:

The nine films in the Tribeca/ESPN series include:

Big Shot
Director: Kevin Connolly

McConkey
Directors: Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieff, Rob Bruce

Lenny Cooke:
Directors: Benny Safdie and Joshua Safdie

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Director: Bill Siegel

The Motivation
Director: Adam Bhala Lough

Pat XO
Directors: Lisa Lax, Nancy Stern Winters

The Diplomat
Directors: Senain Kheshgi, Jennifer Arnold

No Limits
Directors: Alison Ellwood

Let them Wear Towels
Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…