Goal Goa begins in present-day Goa where football pitches have been shut due to lockdown for close to 18 months.
With vaccination drives taking place on football pitches, there is something that makes that sound so off.
Through flashbacks we see how football came to Goa and how women footballers competed nationally.
Goal Goa features the first ‘woman’ coach for the women’s national team, national team players, and girl athletes who are excelling at grassroots level.
The key Goan football names featured in the film include, Savio Medeira, Current Technical Director (Interim), India National Football Team, Maymol Rocky, First Female Association Football Coach and Former Head Coach, Indian Women’s National Football Team, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Former Captain, Indian Football team (1983-1986), Swati Salgaocar, Vice President, Salgaocar FC and ShrinivasDempo, Chairman, Dempo Group of Companies and Owner, Dempo SC Academy.
Not revealing more than that, the movie sends us a message that says if everyone who can ‘take the shot’ does so, then one day soon, we can all go back outside to play football together.
We spoke exclusively to Lisa Heydlauff, the Director of Goal Goa. We asked her about why make a Goa-based film that encourages youngsters to get on the football field?
Let’s get started!
Lisa, can you tell us a bit more about Goal Goa? How did the idea come about?
The idea was inspired by a football pitch in downtown Candolim that was used for a vaccination drive. It was wildly popular, with over 45,000 vaccinations happening on the pitch.
People felt safe going there, they knew where it was, it was outdoors and they got to walk onto the pitch, which gave us the idea that perhaps football was one way out of this, an inspiration to take the shot so we can get back out there.
Goal Goa is a feature film that begins in present-day Goa where football pitches have been closed for 18 months. Vaccination drives are taking place in football pitches where young people once played football.
The story goes back in time to explore how football came to Goa and how women football players came to compete nationally.
Present day Goa, with girls at the centre of the story, the film features the first ‘woman’ coach for the women’s national team, women national team players, girl athletes who are excelling in grassroots football played on the beach.
Running through the story is a quiet message, and ask, if everyone who can ‘takes the shot’ one day soon, we can all go back outside to play football together.
By taking the shot and reclaiming public spaces for sport, there’s a way forward after the time we’re in, to equip girls and young women with the skills they need to take on the next challenge and compete globally with a run for the World Cup, proving just how powerful, and world-changing, young women who play football in India can be.
Tell us a bit about the cast of the film?
They are all football players, past and present, team owners, sports writers, we learned a lot from everyone and importantly, from Remy Fernandes, a football player from Morjim, Remy Fernandes says the way forward is about revitalizing the grassroots, from panchayat grounds, to SHG grounds, harvested paddy fields to the beach.
It’s about inspiring football everywhere, talking to parents to girls and boys can come out and play, and figuring out how to coach, train, for excellence where children are.
And, Shrinivas Dempo believes football should start as young as possible, and at school, for both girls and boys, that there are models for football skills at school we can be inspired by for Goa, Japan, Germany, that it should be both football and entrepreneurial skills to become problem-solving entrepreneurs.
What challenges do you see currently prevailing in women’s football?
In Goa, there is only one tournament for girls and countless for boys.
First we need more tournaments for girls, at the same time, we need to invest in making grassroots football equally open to girls as well as boys, in every village, panchayat and school.
When you introduce football skills for girls at school you equip them with the skills they need to complete their education and transition from school to sustainable enterprise of their choice.
Over 10 million adolescent girls across India have dropped out of school and are probably not coming back to school, brick and mortar style, e-learning hasn’t been successful for many now sadly proven reasons.
What is proven is that girls learn skills through team sports, especially football.
Playing football outside enables girls to get back into a learning environment where together, they can learn skills that equip them to take on the next challenge: Climate Change.
Football, outdoors, is Covid-19 safe, it’s not affected by schools opening or closing and can continue, enabling girls to learn both football and skills ‘at school’
What are the issues/challenges that the film will address?
What will the audience feel/take home when they come out of the theatres?
To overcome your hesitancy to take the shot so we can all go back outside to play football together AND to invest in girls and women’s football, from grassroots to school to have a chance to have a team qualify for the World Cup.
Where will the film be screened? Only on DD India? or any other platform/channels?
Goal Goa will be screened this Sunday on the beach in Morjim, outdoors. Goal Goa the firs 30 minutes will be aired on DD National on October 28th at 6.30pm, October 29th at 6.30pm the second 30 minutes and on October 30th from 6 to 7 pm the whole feature film.
In November Goal Goa will air on BT Sport in the UK.
Goal Goa is made by Going to School, a creative not-for-profit trust www.goingtoschool.com
Supported by BT in India. GG will air on national TV in India reaching millions of people. GG is slated to air on BT Sport in the UK in early November.
Anything you want to tell the viewers/audience before they go watch the film?
That perhaps the great game can get us out of this.
We all want to go back outside and play football or watch football.
To do that, we need to take the shot.
So perhaps the great game is reason enough to overcome our fears so we can all go back outside and play football together.