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Women, Sport, and Film - Spring 2005
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28th February Press Conference: Star Author Reveals her Next Project


Angela Seah

[Press conference about 20 reporters scribbling furiously on their notepads; clicks and flashes from the cameras; the scriptwriter (yes, me) sits on the podium upfront, flanked by two actresses, one actor, and several PR people.]

Reporter 1:

So please tell us more about this new screenplay that you're working on. Is it a work in progress, or have you finished it? What is it about?

Me:

That's actually 2 questions, but I'll answer them anyway. Yes, this is a work in progress however, it's almost finished, because I have the storyline, the plot, the protagonists, everything. It'll be done in maybe a couple of weeks' time, hence this press conference, since we know that you all have been waiting breathlessly for news of my next work, after the phenomenal success of my previous novel.

This time round, I wanted to create a work on the role of gender in sports. In the past five years, there have been stunning developments in the field of sports: women have really come into their own. Women now have 98% more endorsement power than men; last year's top 5 richest athletes were women, and so on. We all know the stats so much ink has been spilled on it. And it was really a result of Beijing 2008 [murmurs of agreement from the crowd]. And I thought: if Beijing '08 could have such an effect, what more Paris 2012?

So my story is set in Paris. In 2012, women have become immensely strong in sports. All the newspaper reports focus on women's achievements, etc. Men's sports has never been at such an all-time low. They were lucky even to be included in the Olympics at all! And it is about a young female track athlete with immense potential, but who can't seem to perform at her best level. She trains hard, harder than the rest of the team, but still she feels something blocking her. Maybe it's mental, maybe it's not. She starts to lose her confidence.

Reporter 2:

That's amazing!

Me:

I know. Note that this young woman has been brought up in the new sports climate, where women are supreme, and men are considered weaker. Such an irony compared to just a few years back! So she has always, like the rest of her team, viewed the men's team with superior disdain. Not necessarily prejudice, but just the way an adult might view a teenager. And one day, as she's standing on the banks of the Seine river gazing wistfully into the distance (in deep contemplation of her troubles in running), a young man comes up to her. And it turns out that he's from the French men's team. They start talking, and she keeps gazing around nervously to make sure that no one she knows can see them, because she's embarrassed to be talking to someone from the weaker race. But she's a nice girl, and so she doesn't tell him to go away.

And as they talk, she finds it easier and easier to confide in him, and so she tells him about her troubles. And he tells her that he's the best runner from France and perhaps he could help her. She's doubtful (it's just like a teenager telling an adult that he knows more than she does) but because she's nice, as we've established, she shrugs and agrees.

Reporter 3:

Ah, the plot thickens!

Me:

It's actually a very simple plot, but heavy on themes. I want this to be an intellectual movie. So they start meeting for practice three times a week, at a secluded park (Park Montsouris, maybe or Bois de Boulogne, I haven't decided) where no other Olympian can see them. And he really helps her. And she wins the gold in the end. And there is a twist in the end.

Reporter 4:

How touching! What is the twist?

Me:

Hello, nothing is free. If you want to know, watch the movie when it comes out. Now ask me why I chose this storyline.

Reporter 5:

Why did you choose this storyline?


Me:

Because I think it's intriguing how both genders can never seem to co-exist equally. Back in the old days, men were considered stronger, better athletes, and women were sidelined. Now, women are considered superior, and men are relegated to minor roles. Why can't there be a balance? I wanted this story to show that there are things that both men and women can teach each other...that it's not possible for each race to exclude the other so pointedly. I want to show the world that we can all exist in equal harmony.

Reporter 6:

Wow!!!

Me:

That's right. I have with me today the actress who'll be playing the main character. J --- D ---- she's a real athlete, just not a very successful one, so she crossed over to movies. And starring opposite her, V---- C----, a daytime TV actor from France. Both of them are going to be HUGE stars after this movie, so you might as well ask them a few questions now, because you're not going to be able to contact them when they become hot.

Reporter 7:

Hi JD! I just want to ask you, do you feel that this role suits you?

JD: Oh my goodness yes! I love this role! It's my first role, but I know it's my best role ever! I do so many cool things, like visit Paris! Oh wow! And the plot is so great too! And the twist is so sad too! I cried when I read the script! I can't believe that she leaves him after winning

All the reporters:

Oooohhhh!!!!

Me:

JD! You're fired! Now I have to think of another ending! Conference over!

VC:

Wait I never got to say anything!

The End


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