On Friday, April 3, Madison, Wisconsin high school students and teachers will participate in World Cinema Day, for an educational screening of "Football Under Cover" ( Germany, 2008: in German, Persian and English with English subtitles ), a film that documents the efforts of both the Iranian and German teams to cross cultural and national borders to play the match of a lifetime. After watching the film, students will meet one of the directors, David Assmann, from Berlin, Germany.
Football Under Cover - View the trailer!
World Cinema Day is a high school
outreach program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Language Institute, in
collaboration with the Wisconsin Film Festival. The goals of World Cinema Day,
now in its sixth year, are to raise awareness among high school students of the
diversity of world cultures, languages and societies; to promote deeper
understanding of other cultural perspectives and practices; and to provide high
school students with access to high-quality international film that they would
not otherwise have the opportunity to view or discuss.
"Football Under Cover" documents the efforts of a German women's soccer club to play the match, and follows their travel to Iran to fulfill that dream. Obstacles encountered along the way, ranging from last-minute visa problems to restrictions placed on their soccer uniforms by Iran's Islamic law, are met with a tenacious drive to connect with Iranian counterparts. Equally driven are the Iranian women who, despite rules dictating the how, when and where of playing soccer under the critical eye of Iran's moral police, maintain a steady and serious devotion to their sport. "This is not primarily a film about football," state directors David Assmann and Ayat Najafi. "Our main goal was to convey an image of Iran that goes beyond the usual clichï¿½s and stereotypes."
UW-Madison associate professor of German Venkat Mani will introduce "Football Under Cover" to the high school audience and illuminate complexities of the film that defy easy labeling. "This amusing, engaging, and politically-charged film adds, and then slowly removes, multiple layers of gender, culture, religion, and politics that form the complicated 'plot' of this documentary."
Mani will be joined at World Cinema Day by Fatemeh Mirsharifi, a UW-Madison graduate student from Iran who will share her perspectives on the film, and participate in a post-screening panel discussion.
Fourteen high schools from Wisconsin, and one from Illinois, will take part in World Cinema Day. The event is free for participating schools. Teachers will receive a discussion guide in advance of the event, to help them prepare their students for the screening and educational program.
This project is funded by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and UW-Madison's Center for European Studies, Center for German and European Studies, and Middle East Studies Program.
Assmann and others associated with the film will talk with Jean Ferraca on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders" from 3-4 p.m. on Monday, March 30, with a repeat from 9-10 pm; also available at http://www.wpr.org/hereonearth.
The UW-Madison Language Institute promotes collaboration for research, education and outreach in world languages and cultures. The Language Institute is an initiative of the College of Letters and Science, with substantial support from the Division of International Studies. For more information, visit http://www.languageinstitute.wisc.edu/wcd.
Football Under Cover
in German and Persian, with English subtitles
Watch the trailer
Tehran in April, 2006: The first official friendly match takes place between the Iranian women's soccer team and a local Berlin girl's team, in front of more than 1000 cheering female fans. The entire stadium is electric, charged with a high voltage of girl power. A couple of men hang around in front of the gates, trying to sneak a peek over the fence. They are barred from entering today. It has taken a year's hard work on the parts of both teams of young women to make this happen. But now, after overcoming numerous obstacles, they are really playing. And these 90 minutes are about more than just a football game. Both the desire for self-determination and equality are being expressed here and it is clear: change is possible.RATING INFORMATION
Football Under Cover is currently unrated. The film has been viewed and approved for the World Cinema Day high school audience by the Wisconsin high school teachers on the World Cinema Day advisory committee. If you have questions about the content of the film, please contact Wendy Johnson.ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Ayat Najafi was born in Teheran in 1976 and lives in Iran. He studied Stage and Set Design in Teheran, where participated in a number of different theatrical productions as director, author, actor and set designer. After completing his studies in 2001, he made several short films and took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2005. Football Under Cover is his first full-length film.
David Assmann was born in 1978 as the second of five children and went to school in Berlin, Heidelberg, Jerusalem, Santa Monica and Konstanz. Since 2001, he has studied script writing for the media at the University of Mainz, a course of studies which brings together theoretical and practical elements from film and theatre studies. Throughout his studies, he has also worked as editor, DJ and presenter on the monthly "Kinoscop" programme on Radio Rüsselheim. Football Under Cover is his first full-length film.
If you have questions about World Cinema Day, please contact the Language Institute Outreach Coordinator: Wendy Johnson
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