RAISE THE BAR won the 2021 Best Documentary for Children - The European Childrens Film Association.

Raise the Bar

Category |Conflicts, Current Affairs, Kids, Sport, Women, Youth
Year | 2020
Country | Iceland, Finland
Running time | 70’
Format | 2K
Production | Sagafilm, Pystymetsä
Director | Gudjon Ragnarsson

How controversial can one basketball team of eight-year-old girls be? Very. In 2016, an Icelandic coach decided to train his youngsters unconventionally: he would build mental and technical champions able to channel inner feelings into top physical results and instruct each team member not only as a skilled individual but as a leader as well.

Essentially, he parented each preteen girl into an empowered young woman. It worked. The team quickly dominated their own league, so they asked to play against boys.
For a country that prides itself on gender parity, Iceland's sports culture hadn't gotten the message. Protests led to front-page news, but the girls pressed on, took up space and used their voices to question the rules.

When they took their next shot at a championship game, however, they had to reach deeper than ever into their training to find the final line and, shockingly, cross it.