ESPN recently announced the launch of W. Studios, a new content generator that creates, produces, and amplifies women-centered storytelling.
In an attempt to give women athletes the recognition their efforts deserve, Google has partnered with W. Studios to create W. Studios Fifty/50 Shorts Presented by Google, a series of five short films centered around the fight for women’s equality across the sports and cultural landscape. The films present a diverse line up of creatives and content that speak to viewers from a place of authenticity and boldness, both in the story and in the method of storytelling, all helmed and executive produced by women.
“In 2010, espnW was launched with a passionate eye toward serving and elevating women and women’s storytelling, and for the past 12 years, it has done just that,” said executive producer Allison Glock. “W. Studios is an expansion of the espnW brand – curating, creating, producing, and amplifying narratives about women that further diversify the storytelling within ESPN. We look forward to creating stories that are authentic to the female experience and widen the lens of opportunity for all.”
One of those stories is “Home Field,” which was directed by Glock and Kate T. Parker. “Home Field” is the story of three migrant teenagers who compete for a local soccer club in Clarkston, Georgia, a city known for having one of the most diverse populations in the country. Clarkston has a decades-old reputation for providing refuge for immigrants fleeing from violence in their home countries.
Apendeki, Anna and Safi compete on a co-ed soccer team, and are generally considered three of the better players on the team. One coach states that Safi may be the best player on the team, male or female.
The girls’ story is intriguing, because they are excelling at soccer, even while family members embrace the idea that sports are for boys, and participation by girls is usually an afterthought. Traditionally, girls are taught to focus on domestic duties, instead of competing on the soccer field. However, Apendeki, Anna and Safi have committed to the idea that they can excel at whatever it is they choose to do.
“The three girls were not only stellar soccer players, but had such a close bond it made them ideal subjects for a story about what community means and how sports plays such a critical role in the development of young girls,” Glock said. “All three of them are finding hope and purpose via soccer and the team they are a part of with Soccer In The Streets.”
“Home Field” and the other W. Studios Fifty/50 Shorts are available on ESPN’s YouTube page.