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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.