Keen to discover some documentaries and films that focus on women in sport? We’ve got you covered!
It’s no surprise that alongside low mainstream media representation, there are very few sporting documentaries featuring women.
ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is a highly regarded format for sporting documentaries and has produced over 100 films. Only 4% of those films represent women in sport. Sound familiar? ESPNW released a small series of documentaries and shorts directed by women as part of the Nine for IX series in 2013. However, trying to find them to stream or watch online is near impossible.
Here is are some documentaries and films that are worth your time to check out. We’ll keep adding to these titles every now and then so keep checking back in!
Witches of the Orient (2021)
Witches of the Orient focuses on the journey of the women’s Japanese Volleyball Team and their winning streak in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The documentary tells of the triumphs of these factory workers turned athletic heroes.
Lorena: Light-footed Mexican Woman (2019)
The film’s breathtaking cinematography lends itself well to Lorena Ramirez’s story. Lorena is a stoic passionate ultra-marathon runner from a remote mountain range in Mexico who’s obsessed with honing her craft.
Girls Can’t Surf (2021)
Taking place in the 1980’s, Girls Can’t Surf shows how a group of renegade women challenged the male-dominated surfing world and carved out room for themselves on the waves.
Strong Women ABC Docuseries (2021)
Strong Women takes a look into the minds and lives of women competing in strength competitions, detailing the personal and professional triumphs and trials they’ve experienced while undertaking the extreme sport.
The Price Of Gold (2014)
An in-depth look at the infamous event that threw Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan into the spotlight.
Battle of the Sexes (2013)
This film examines the 1973 Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs tennis showdown and its part in driving King to fight for change in women’s tennis.
Let Them Wear Towels (2013)
A history and examination of females journalists working in the locker room and the fight for equal access and respect.
Shadow Boxers (1999)
Follows retired kickboxing champion Lucia Rijker on her journey out of retirement to become the first women’s boxing world champion.
Pat XO (2013)
The remarkable story of Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball.
The 99ers (2013)
A look back at the USA team that competed in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil, and how the still standing world record crowd of 90,815 attended the final.
Never Say Die Matildas (2008)
Follows the Matildas during a rollercoaster year in which they competed in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
Hell on Wheels (2007)
Hell on Wheels details the resurrection of roller derby and the women from the liberal arts scene who pushed it into the 21st century.
Venus and Serena (2012)
Access into the lives of the Williams sisters during a challenging year of their careers in 2011.
At The Heart Of Gold – Inside The USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019)
This documentary unpacks the scandal, its cover-up, and aftermath, while giving voice to the survivors.
A celebration of the history-making first AFL Women’s season in 2017 that inspired a generation of girls and changed Australian sport and society forever.
Power Meri (2018)
Follows Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby league team, the PNG Orchids, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia.
Follows eight Indian women who rediscover themselves and fight societies expectations through running.
Ready to Fly (2012)
Women were unable to compete in the ski jumping category in the winter Olympic games until 2014. Ready to Fly details how elite ski jumping athletes fought for their right to compete and open the competition to women everywhere.
This is by no way a definitive list and we’d love to hear what your favourite sports docos and films are. Got one to add? email us at firstname.lastname@example.org