ActionAid’s ‘Touchline Tactics’ film was launched for Father’s Day 2018, with the primary objective of engaging a male audience with our work with women and girls. More specifically, we wanted men to feel that they can and should be part of the solution to ending violence against women and girls and tackling gender inequality. As Father’s Day 2018 coincided with the World Cup, we explored this serious subject matter through the lens of football.
Our film opens in close-up, showing a football coach (played by actor James Purefoy) delivering a rousing speech to a substitute player off screen as they prepare to go on the pitch. But as the camera tracks back we see that the coach is speaking to a teenage girl.
After listening to the intense pep talk, the player rests a hand on the coach’s shoulder, takes a moment and then says “Dad, I’m ready.” The final endslate surprises the viewer with a statistic about the prevalence of violence against women and girls, and calls on the viewer to support our work to end this. The viewer realises that the speech was not just football coaching: it was also a father supporting his daughter to feel confident and empowered.
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