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Production   /  Mitch Dunn

Equal the Contest

When the rules exclude you, rewrite them.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

WOMEN & GIRLS

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Mitch Dunn

  • PRODUCER Mitch Dunn

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

In 2021, the Mt Alexander Falcons football team had their application to play football in the Central Victorian AFL community league rejected without reason. Instead of folding, the club led by and for, women and gender-diverse people, push forward, fighting assumptions about gender, age, ability and tradition, building a football club from scratch with inclusion and diversity at its core. In the process, the club attracts diverse players, many who have never had access to the game, including the filmmaker Mitch. Mitch documents their experience learning footy at 42 while wearing cameras attached to their body during practice matches against supporting clubs. The film provides access to a new AFL perspective, giving visibility to those rarely represented. Players learn far more than how to play footy as the club awaits it's opportunity to submit an application to play again in 2023. Will they finally be accepted?

NOTE: ONCE YOU'VE DONATED, PLEASE EMAIL [email protected] SO I CAN KEEP YOU UPDATED ON THE PROJECT. I DON'T RECEIVE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS SO I NEED YOU TO REACH OUT SO I CAN PERSONALLY SAY A HUGE THANK YOU AND KEEP YOU IN THE LOOP!

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4.84% funded
  • $100,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $4,840.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • July 2022

    PROJECT ENDS
  • 54

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Donations

Danika Dent $100.00
Ruth McNamara $100.00
Zoe Roberts $50.00
Alana Wearne $100.00
Catherine Stackhouse $100.00
Louise Dobinson $100.00
Eric Reid $25.00
Dee Angelina Micevski $25.00
Louisa West $100.00
Anita Koelle $50.00
Anonymous $20.00
Anika Helene $100.00
Ross Kalla $100.00
Gabrielle Smith $200.00
Emmeline Downes $50.00
LESLEY INSTONE $50.00
bryony wolff $100.00
Michael Hotton $100.00
Julia Hay $50.00
Yesse spence $50.00
Timothy Habel $200.00
Ross Calia $50.00
Megan Finlayson $50.00
Karen Donaldson $100.00
Melissa Davey $50.00
Amy Kludas $50.00
Leah Heinrich $20.00
Stella Savy $50.00
Victoria Watson $200.00
Helen Collins $100.00
Marianne Hendron $100.00
Al Wunder $50.00
Jeff Lee $100.00
Kata Japunčić $25.00
Jodi Matterson $250.00
Emma Roney $100.00
Kate Gerritsen $50.00
Marg Mayne $50.00
Joshua Prentice $25.00
Amanda Powers $50.00
Shiree Pilkinton $50.00
Trunorth Projects $100.00
Ann Randles $50.00
Amy Spencer $50.00
Cynthia Nolan Myers $50.00
Sofia Fiusco $50.00
Helga Hornig $25.00
Hariette Farrance $50.00
Carly Chaplin $200.00
Andrea Pribaz $25.00
Anonymous $500.00
David Scott $50.00
Sarah Newstead $300.00
George Gribble $100.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Gender inequality still exists within community AFL and is excluding women and gender-diverse people from engaging in sport in Australia. Socially constructed gender roles, behaviours and environments within rural and regional sporting clubs continue to impact on women, girls and gender-diverse people’s participation. VicHealth identify two key barriers that impact women’s participation in sport - ‘Limited opportunities’ and ‘Unwelcoming environments’. The experiences of Mitch and Mt Alexander Falcons reflect these two barriers as they are first excluded from playing in their local league despite fulfilling all the requirements of a club, then struggle as they confront the knock on effects of their exclusion. This film aims to challenge social constructs, encourage participation and self-belief and celebrate a club leading by example to change club cultures around diversity, inclusion and safe participation in sport.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This film asks AFL clubs across Australia to make foundational change, so that the women’s teams are not ‘tacked’ on, or of a lesser priority to male teams. It will clearly demonstrate what inclusion looks like in a sporting context and what it looks like to be a man who supports women and gender-diverse people in sport. The film will also use immersive image-making to encourage viewers to reframe their beliefs around girls, women and gender-diverse people’s bodies and their capabilities.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

More girls, women and gender-diverse people sign up to play AFL or other sports. Increased understanding of the barriers faced by women and gender-diverse people within AFL. Sharing of the film on social media to increase the reach. More men take up volunteering for women’s clubs and teams. More people acting as active bystanders to call out gender inequality, trolling and inappropriate comments both online, at games and in community settings.
Clubs across Australia implement inclusion policies and zero tolerance for violence. The film is brought into school curriculum at a State level. Greater funding for women’s facilities in both Metro and regional areas.
Less negative commentary on social media around women and gender diverse people and their bodies or skills. All clubs install gender-diverse facilities. Clubs redistribute spaces, access to grounds and finances more equally among the mens and women’s teams. Women’s teams are paid the same as men’s teams, even at community level.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

We will start our campaign with private screenings for all the local football clubs who feature in the documentary and encourage them to share and comment on social media to generate interest in the film.

The film will be available for non-theatrical screenings at football clubs and schools across the country. These will also have downloadable resources available for both conversation starters after the screening in more casual environments as well as education guides for teachers.

We also intend to pitch the film to Stan, Netflix, SBS and ABC upon completion on condition of allowing non-theatrical screenings.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

No film industry partners as yet.
The Mt Alexander Falcons foundations began with a partnership with the Darebin Falcons who offered their support and blessing to initiate the Mt Alexander Falcons. Along the journey, clubs around Victoria have supported the Falcons development through practice matches and in addition to the Darebin Falcons, particularly instrumental to the development of the film have been West Brunswick, Kyneton and LaTrobe football clubs. Further relationships include Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, who created and sponsor the “Gender Equity Cup”. Members of the club have strong relationships with AFLW players and coaches who have provided advice and support, including the donation of the football boots Mitch now wears. Several of the Falcons team are teachers who will be helping to create educational resources for the film’s impact campaign.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. That more women, girls and gender-diverse people are inspired to go down to their local footy club and seek out women’s teams to participate in, or ask their club to start a women’s team.
2. That more men understand how to be active bystanders in calling out gender inequality in clubs and actively participating in supporting women’s teams by volunteering and encouraging the women in their lives.
3. That football clubs make a priority of reassessing their inclusion policies (or making them if they don’t have them already), allowing access to gender-diverse people, reallocating resources, space and funding to the women’s teams, starting more women’s teams
4. To book a screening for their local footy club or school and use the resources we will create in our impact campaign to start conversations.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Indicators for success include:
- Attitudinal shifts about women in sport (as measured by pre and post screening surveys with audiences)
- Self esteem and attitudinal shifts in participants in Falcons clubs (as measured by player interviews being recorded during the filming)
- 100+ non theatrical screenings and football clubs across Victoria
- Increased attendance at Falcons trainings and enquiries from other clubs about attracting diverse players
- Social media responses (number and quality of comments)
- Reaching audiences such as AFL executive, MPs and departmental staff (in Sport and Women's Affairs) as well as local councils
- Unsolicited feedback to the film (via email, at events or social media)
- Rise in participation for women, girls and gender-diverse people in community AFL
- Rise in male volunteerism for women’s clubs and teams
- Decrease in the politicisation and media focus on trans players in leagues.