Jordan Football Dreams
The women of the Jordanian national football team share one dream: to qualify for the World Cup. If they can overcome gender stereotypes and public perception in a region where women have limited freedoms, they will make history as the first Middle Eastern team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
In Partnership With
International Documentary Association
Inclusion StatementThis documentary tackles the recent cultural shifts happening in the Middle East through the eyes of female footballers from different backgrounds, religions and social classes. We will show what happens when women come together to defy traditional societal norms and go after their dreams.
About The Project
Why This Story and Why Now
A strong women’s movement is sweeping across the United States and the rest of the world. In America, women are confronting sexual violence with the #metoo movement and fighting for gender equality in the workplace and beyond. In the Middle East, many women are fighting for progressive laws that will diminish the cultural patriarchy that has dominated the region for centuries.
These female footballers are bringing about momentous change for women in Jordan and across the Middle East. Since the beginning of the national team in 2005, the Jordan Football Association has created additional youth national teams for girls and has helped hundreds of girls join the football revolution. While there are many other women’s football teams in the Middle East, none are higher ranked nor more active in bringing about wider cultural changes than the Jordanian team.
This is the beginning of a new era for women in football, women in sports, and women in general. The shift isn’t just happening in the United States or the Middle East; it’s happening everywhere, and it’s happening fast. Join us for the ride and help tell an amazing story about how these women are doing everything they can to change the course of history.
The Stakes: 2018 AFC Asian Cup
The next big hurdle for the team is the World Cup qualifying tournament — the 2018 AFC Asian Cup, which is taking place this April in Jordan.
Five of the eight teams from the Asian Cup tournament will move on to the World Cup. Other teams competing in the Asian Cup include Japan, China, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and Vietnam. Jordan is currently ranked seventh out of the eight teams; but luckily, this tournament is being held in Jordan for the FIRST time, giving the women home-field advantage.
**APRIL 16th UPDATE**
As some of you may know, the Jordanian Women's National team did not qualify for the World Cup. It was a devastating blow to the players and their country. The Prince of Jordan was a huge factor in making the organization what it is today and helped bring the Asian Cup tournament to the region. Our crew had high hopes for the team and their ability to qualify but this does not mean the journey is over - for them or for us.
We are continuing to follow our main characters and learn how they cope with and overcome defeat. This week we will film the players in their homes, with their family and friends and learn where they plan on going from here.
Our Production Plan
We are a American and Jordanian production team with over 40 years of combined documentary experience. Our crew is currently in Jordan filming the players lives, on and off the field, as they prepare for the Asian Cup. If the team qualifies, we will extend our filming to include the next year of training and the 2019 World Cup. (Should they fail to qualify, we will continue the project as the journey is as important to any story as the end result, win or lose.)
Your support will allow us to cover all travel and production related expenses for the first leg of filming in Jordan.
A Director's Statement
We need more stories in this world that connect us all as human beings and make us feel something. Stories that make you think. Make you cry. Make you laugh. Stories about real life that reflect on true human emotion and make us all feel connected in some way. After all, isn't that all we really need as humans at the end of the day - to feel connected?
I first learned about the Jordanian women's team when I was watching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I played soccer my whole life and studied the Middle East in college, so I began to wonder: are there any women's teams in the Middle East and if so, could they one day qualify for a World Cup? I came across the Jordanian women’s national team — a team that seemed young, energetic, optimistic. Filled with raw talent. Ready to take on the world.
Fast forward many years and various conversations with players over email, WhatsApp and Facebook. Last August, the Jordanian women were in Florida for a training camp with their new American coach, Michael Dickey. On a whim, I went to Florida to film with the team, which is where I captured the footage from our trailer. After spending some time with the girls, I knew there was something special about them and their story.
If these women qualify for a World Cup, they will actually MAKE HISTORY (!!!!). I still can't get over how crazy cool that is, and how it has the potential to change things for women in sports around the world.
This story will make you feel, think, cry, laugh, reflect and connect about what it means to let go of fear, overcome challenges and go after your dreams.
As a team, we believe in the power of these women and their ability to connect people from all over the world. We would love for you to join us on the journey! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
- Lori Schmon
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
Your donation is tax deductible! JORDAN FOOTBALL DREAMS is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of JORDAN FOOTBALL DREAMS are payable to IDA and are tax deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.
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About This Team
LORI SCHMON- DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
Lori Schmon is an NYC-based filmmaker and producer with a decade of experience working in production. She specializes in producing character-driven digital and documentary content. Lori currently works as a Senior Producer at Vevo, where she directs and produces digital video content with artists. Prior to working at Vevo, Lori traveled the country as a shooter/producer for MTV’s MADE, where she captured stories as a one-woman-band in the field. Lori's goal as a filmmaker is to push the creative boundaries of non-fiction filmmaking and produce content that makes a real impact on the world.
BRIAN J. LEITTEN - PRODUCER
Brian J. Leitten is an Emmy®-winning producer and director who has worked with MTV, Vevo, Universal Sports Network, Fullscreen and Spotify. In 2010 he formed his own production company, Hyperion XIII, which creates stories in outdoor adventure, sports, music and documentary films. Brian co-founded the Production Master Class at the University of Cincinnati and has directed its six documentary projects.
ALYSSA AHRENS - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/AUDIO ENGINEER
Alyssa Ahrens is a NYC-based video producer who has worked for Paramount Pictures and Vevo. Alyssa has experience shooting and editing sports documentaries that have aired on Universal Sports Network, Sky Sport UK, Fox Sports Europe, etc. Prior to her work in NYC, Alyssa worked in Cincinnati where she headed the audio recording, editing and mixing for the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music performances.
DINA NASER - PRODUCER
A Jordanian director, writer and producer with Palestinian roots, Dina holds a BA in Art and Graphic Design. An alumnus of DOCNOMADS Mobile Documentary School, her first works are deeply inspired by stories from her homeland. The award winning film ONE MINUTE, tells the story of a woman living in Gaza while it was under the 2014 attack. TINY SOULS, a documentary project first materialized as a short film, will be Dina’s first feature length film and is now in post production.