K+S Filmmaker Interview: Inger Molin's strong message about women footballers

(NOTE: This Q+A was originally published on May 10, 2018.)

Football for Better or for Worse follows FC Rosengård, one of the best women's teams in the world. Led by new sporting director Therese Sjögran and Brazilian star Marta, the club fights every day to lift the women’s game. Can they win?

Director Inger Molin discussed with Kicking + Screening the making of the film, the plight of women's soccer around the globe, and Marta's exceptional singing ability.

Football for Better or for Worse is now available to stream via the K+S Media Group website. Watch it now!

K+S: How did you first come to the story of FC Rosengård and what appealed to you about telling it in a documentary?


I had lunch with the CEO of FC Rosengård, Klas Tjebbes, in January 2015. He had the year before left his job at an advertising agency after 25 years in the business. He always had his heart in football and felt confident that he could join the club and make a difference, using his PR skills to handle the tricky financial situation. After five months of hard work he realized that it was much more complex and harder than he had expected. He was tired. And he was angry, so upset about UEFA’s way of financially handling the Women Champions League. Their monetary contribution to the women teams didn’t at all even cover travel and hotel costs. In order for FC Rosengård to be able to attend the tournament, they needed to get financial support from the city of Malmö. UEFA gave 0.2 percent of the money to women teams, and 99.8% to the men. Outrageous...

When I told this story to a director of photography colleague of mine, Bill Watts, who works a lot with documentaries, he instantly felt that this is a story that we should tell. And with one of the best women players ever in the team, Marta, we could get attention to the important financial and gender structure issue.

K+S: What was your goal in making Football for Better or for Worse? Do you think it has had a positive effect on women’s football in Sweden? Around the world?


My goal was to get the message out, without portraying women footballers as victims. I wanted to show strong, passionate, and professional football players being treated unfair by just telling the fact of the weird distribution of money.

Young girls should have the same possibilities as young boys to choose the profession of being a football player. This wasn’t a possibility just 10 years ago, but now it is. And this is great. Things are changing for the better. Slowly.

The film was shown at national TV in Sweden during spring 2017, and available on their online Play - more than 130,000 viewers. At the same time, there was a public discussion going on regarding women football and economics. I hope our film contributed.

In making the film, I think the players felt they got seen, feeling that their story is important. Since the film got finalized, many players have left FC Rosengård, starting playing in other European clubs. In this way you could say that the ”spirit” of the film has spread internationally, the players are the best ambassadors. And when the film is being shown at sport film festivals, the message is also spread. This was my big goal with this project.

K+S: Football for Better or for Worse has a pretty specific point of view. Did you have that idea and those opinions when you started filming or did you come to them as you spent more time with the team?

The process started with anger, frustration about the unfairness of money within football. This feeling was confirmed during the production. But during the journey this feeling was mixed with the great passion for football the girls have. It got so clear to me, that there is no difference between woman and men footballers regarding this. And the inequality is not specific for football, it reflects the structure in society.

When screening the film for the first time at a big theater in Malmö, with many young girls footballers in the audience, it was a great feeling when they all looked so proud afterwards. This was a film with their role models, a film about them. And when a 20-year-old guy asked me if it was possible to get a poster of the film, the cool pic of Therese Sjögran, I really felt we had succeeded!

K+S: What’s the best story about Marta that didn’t make it into the film?

Marta is very dedicated in making a difference for women football. So she was definitely okay with us hanging around the pitch, following the team with our camera. But she is a very humble and shy person in public, and it was clear to us that she didn’t want to stand out from the team as some kind of superstar. I would say that all the things we got with Marta got into to final edit. My only disappointment was that we couldn’t use her singing when she played in the hotel lobby after the loss in the CL quarter final in Frankfurt. Marta has a good voice and she played a song of the Brazilian group Tribalistas. Due to rights issues, we had to make an alternative creative sound edit. Because I definitely wanted the scene in the film, since it was very emotional, coming close to Marta.

K+S: The World Cup is coming up this summer. Who ya got?

Haha… you mean the World Cup NEXT summer? There is a journalist in Sweden that calls our women's national team the "Real National team," the team that wins games! ;)

Seriously, I am not that into men's football but of course Brazil is always close to heart. And the small nation of Iceland is always a thrill to watch, speaking of strong team spirit.

The manager of the Swedish national team, Janne Andersson, is an old friend of mine and of course I wish him and our Swedish team all the best of luck. However, I am not sure that we will go all the way…! ;)

K+S Author Interview: Simon Doonan on Newcastle's jerseys and WAGS at the World Cup

Bon vivant and Barneys creative ambassador-at-large Simon Doonan knows him some fashion. He also knows him some soccer. This summer, his two passions come together in his latest book, SOCCER STYLE: The Magic and Madness

The cultural man about town chatted with Kicking + Screening about the best uniforms, the cult of uniformity, and and why bad taste is actually good.

Doonan talks soccer style, along with Shawn Francis, Lucas Shanks, and Calen Carr, on Wednesday, May 23. Get your tickets here.

Photo: Joe Gaffney

Photo: Joe Gaffney

K+S: Let’s get right to it: What’s your all-time favorite football jersey from a style perspective? Why?

Doonan: I am an Op-Art freak so I have to go with Newcastle, which means I also dig Juventus. Those black and white vertical stripes are a visual delight. From the players point of view these shirts are primo. They make every guy on the field look heroic and fierce. #flattering


I am also a fan of demented car-crash over-the-top shirts. I cheered when Norwich had their "egg and cress” moment. I loved the Arsenal “bruised banana” shirt in the 90’s. Not every shirt needs to be tasteful. As Diana Vreeland said, “Bad taste is a good thing. It’s like a nice splash of paprika."

K+S: Why do European footballers look so damn stylish all the time?

Doonan: European lads see vanity as a life-affirming thing, and they have a much easier relationship with designer clothing. The Brits still worry that spending too much time in Gucci is going to compromise their masculinity and cause their willies to fall off.

K+S: What’s your favorite football film? Why?


Doonan: I love an indie doc, but the mega documentary about Cristiano Ronaldo was revealing and quite melancholy. It offered a haunting glimpse into the psyche of a dude who is globally recognized but strangely unknowable.

K+S: The World Cup is coming up this summer. You ya got?

Doonan: A few months back Gareth Southgate announced that the WAGS would be welcome in Russia. They have been absent since the crazy days in Baden Baden back in 2006, when they generated hilarious press and major distraction. I am ready for a good WAG moment. It would take the edge off the anxious Russia situation… or maybe add to it.

K+S Filmmaker Interview: "Boniek et Platini" director Jeremie Laurent on the "insane part of football"

In the short film Boniek et Platini, two young Polish boys use soccer to take on the cops and battle martial law in the backdrop of the 1982 World Cup.

Director Jeremie Laurent chatted with Kicking + Screening about making the film, the difficulty of creating a "football" movie, and why France might win the World Cup.

Boniek et Platini screens at Kicking + Screening on Wednesday, May 23. Get tickets here.

 K+S: What was the inspiration for making Boniek et Platini?

As a huge fan of football and history, I wanted to bring together both in order to show the football (and the sport in general) as a way to resist in world in conflict. Nowadays, football is synonym of big money: Who’s going to be the next most expensive player of the world? The spirit is slightly disappearing, and I think it is really important to react with this insane part of football.


K+S: What’s the most difficult part of making a “football" movie? Would you even consider Boniek et Platini a football movie?

I think Boniek et Platini can be considered as a football movie, yes, particularly for the French/Polish audience. This 82' World Cup in Spain was epic for both countries.

The most difficult part is how to show the sport? Where do I put my camera? Inside or outside the field? I watched a lot of football movies and every time the camera was inside, with the players. It immediately disturbed me.

I think we are conditioned to watch football with the multicam sports productions aesthetic: one master shot and different close up shots with long-focus lens. As soon as we are inside the field, it becomes unrealistic. That’s why I decided to shoot the game using the same shots of multicam; to stay outside, not enter the camera in the field and perturb the players.


K+S: The World Cup is this summer. Who ya got?

The French team has great young players. Many of them play in great clubs. We have a good chance to reach the semifinals probably. But the team lacks a leader, so…

K+S Filmmaker Interview: How a night of beers led to a Latin American soccer adventure

In American Fútbol, four friends travel through Latin America on their way to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The group covers more than 7,000 miles, meeting people along the way and finding the heart of soccer in the Americas.

Kicking + Screening talked with directors Peter Karl and Petar Madjarac about the film.

The world premiere of American Fútbol is at Kicking + Screening on Friday, May 25. Get tickets here.

K+S: What was the inspiration for American Fútbol? It feels like the kind of thing that four friends all over the world discuss doing over beers but never actually make it happen.

It pretty much happened just like that, a conversation over beers that led to an adventure of a lifetime. We've all been friends for a long time (all went to college together), and after the 2010 World Cup, our friend Sam (featured in the doc) threw out the idea of doing a road trip through Latin America on the way to the World Cup in Brazil. We thought it was a crazy idea, but as beers kept flowing, it became a better and better idea. We realized with the two following World Cups being in Russia and Qatar, this was really our only chance to do something like this. The next day, we started in earnest in preparing for the trip, and countless video chats later, and we were ready to go.

K+S: American Fútbol has a lot of familiar themes in documentaries: road trip, buddy movie, football. How did you make it feel like it was it’s own unique film?

We wanted our film to be as authentic as possible. So the approach from the beginning was to immerse ourselves in the countries we visited, and let the subjects tell their own stories. Since we jumped around to so many different places, we felt it was important for us as characters to be the connective tissue between the stories. But we never wanted to be the focus. We knew the people we'd meet and the stories they'd share would be much more interesting. That allowed us to focus on connecting with these people, and being alongside them for the ride gave us a unique perspective into their world.

The interesting thing we discovered was that so many of these stories had a similar thread of humanity within them. Soccer was just the thing that brought those common human elements out of each one.

K+S: How did you pick where you went? Did you have a story in mind as you went along or did you let the people you met and the stories you found guide you?


Our goal was to go to all the Latin American countries that qualified for the World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately, the only one we didn't make it to was Honduras. But including the U.S., there were 10 countries from the greater American continent competing in Brazil. This was really Latin America's World Cup, so we thought it was the perfect chance for us, as Americans, to listen and learn from people who have the greatest direct impact on the growth of soccer culture in the U.S. So in each place we looked for stories that we felt related to us as Americans, and an American audience. 

Some stories like David Patey, the American owner of C.S. Herediano in Costa Rica, we pre-produced and planned out ahead of time. Other stories like the blind soccer team in Colombia, we discovered on our trip. We wanted to be as prepared as possible going into the trip, while still allowing for things to happen naturally along the way.

K+S: What’s a favorite story or scene that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film?


In Ecuador, our story explores how their national team broke down racial, regional, and economic barriers in a country as diverse as the continent of South America itself. We share the story from the point of Ulises de la Cruz, one of Ecuador's most famous players, who lifted himself out of poverty to play in two World Cups and now represents his home region in the National Congress. When we visited his village, we profiled a 15-year-old man-child named Michael Chala who hoped to follow Ulises's footsteps and use his football talents to lift his own family out of poverty. We kept footage of him in the film, but we had to cut his storyline and interviews with him and his mom out of the film for timing and pacing reasons. They were emotional interviews too (and Michael said he wanted to play in the U.S.!), but ultimately couldn't fit in. Regardless, we think the major themes in that section still come through pretty well.

K+S: The next World Cup is this summer. Who ya got?

Petar: It's hard not to pick Germany again. Their roster is so deep with experience and youth at all positions, but I have a feeling that Brazil will find a way to learn from their mistakes in 2014 and lift the World Cup trophy in Russia. My dark horse is Serbia. They always have a talented roster but never seem to find a way to play together as a team. This year will be different! (Being from Serbia may give me a slight bias here).

Pete: I agree, you're silly not to say Germany. But I'm also hopeful that the World Cup trophy can return to South America. The storybook final has to be Brazil-Germany and I'd hope Brazil gets their redemption. Also, don't sleep on Spain. They're so skilled, have a good mix of veterans and hungry young guys, and they're group is pretty weak. If they catch fire, they'll be hard to beat.

Here is the K+S New York 2018 film lineup. Get Tickets Now!

K+S is back. And we're wearing the #10 shirt!

Hard to believe it, but 2018 marks the 10th year for the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival in New York. To celebrate, we've got our coolest lineup of films yet, a roster that spans the globe and reflects the multitude of our beautiful game -- joy, sadness, friendship, inclusion, tragedy, resurrection, politics, style, and more.

K+S New York 2018 runs for four nights, May 22-25, and will once again be held at Scandinavia House in midtown Manhattan (MAP). The festival will, as always, feature a full slate of soccer cultural events, including film screenings, panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As, post-screening parties, and raffles.  

Without further ado, here are the films:

Night 1: Football for Better or Worse

Tuesday, May 22 | 7:00PM | presented by Societe Generale and the American-Scandinavian Foundation

FC Rosengård is one of the world's top women’s clubs. But that doesn’t mean everything is easy. This documentary exposes the inherent struggles of women’s football, following the team through a dramatic year of triumph and loss. Led by new sporting director Therese Sjögran and Brazilian star Marta, the club fights every day to lift the women’s game. Can they win? | US PREMIERE | MORE INFO

I Love Hooligans
(short) -- A football hooligan feels unconditional love for his club. However, when that hooligan is gay, he has to hide his identity in order to survive. Directed by Jan-Dirk Bouw.


Night 2: Messi & Me | Boniek et Platini (Double Feature!)


Wednesday, May 23 | 7:00PM

Messi & Me -- In the summer of 2013, former college player Matt Eliason scored this amazing bicycle kick goal while playing in an exhibition with superstar Lionel Messi. This is the story of what happened next. | WORLD PREMIERE | MORE INFO

Boniek et Platini -- While their national team competes at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, two young Pollish boys are recreating the action in the street. But their country is under martial law, and after two police officers confiscate their ball, they challenge them to a match. What's at stake? The ball. And so much more. | MORE INFO

On the Bench (short) -- Marci has an important match. He also has a family. So winning and losing are complicated. Directed by Csaba Vékes.


Night 3: Nossa Chape


Thursday, May 24 | 7:00PM

In the wake of the 2016 Chapecoense airplane crash that claimed all but three of the players' lives, the team and the city were divided about how to handle the tragedy: Should they focus on keeping the memory of the dead alive? Or move on? And as the team travels to play the championship game that the ill-fated roster should have played, can everyone come together around a common goal? | MORE INFO


Night 4: American Fútbol

Friday, May 25 | 7:00PM | Closing night party presented by the New York Red Bulls

In 2014, four American filmmakers and college friends undertake a four-month journey through Latin America to the World Cup in Brazil. Over 7,000 miles and 8 countries, they explore Latin America's passion for fútbol and emerge not only with a newfound understanding of the Americas, but also a deeper respect for the power of the beautiful game. | WORLD PREMIERE | MORE INFO

1994 (short). Football and politics collide just as Italian hero Roberto Baggio strides up to take an infamous penalty kick. Directed by Gianluigi Antonelli and Ilaria Fini.


Please support the people who support us:


Einstök Beer Company is the official beer of K+S New York 2017 and will provide complimentary beer during the festival. Located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle in the fishing port of Akureyri, Iceland, the Einstök Brewery taps the purest water on Earth to create its craft ales, including Icelandic White Ale, Icelandic Arctic Pale Ale, Icelandic Toasted Porter, and the new Wee Heavy Scotch Ale.

Societe Generale is one of the largest European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial solidity with a strategy of sustainable growth, and aims to be the reference for relationship banking, recognised on its markets, close to clients, chosen for the quality and commitment of its teams.

For more information, follow on twitter @societegenerale or visit our website

The New York Red Bulls are one of 23 teams in Major League Soccer (MLS). They are one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its founding in 1996. They currently play home matches at Red Bull Arena (RBA) in Harrison, New Jersey. RBA, a state-of-the-art, 25,000-seat stadium, is widely regarded as the top soccer-specific stadium in North America. The club is owned by the Austrian beverage company Red Bull GmbH for which the team is named. 


Part of the proceeds will go to support South Bronx United, which aims to help youth build character, teamwork, and leadership so that they can succeed in high school, college, careers, their community and beyond. South Bronx United strives to promote educational achievement, health and wellness, and character development through activities on and off the soccer field and to unite a diverse group of individuals and an incredibly diverse community toward common positive goals. More info here.


NYC Footy | More than just a soccer league
NYFEST | Each April, dozens of teams and hundreds of players from all walks of media, entertainment and marketing—from New York City and all points internationally—take the pitch at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 5 for a full day of spirited five-a-side competition.