GRANT #358:

Lift Like a Girl

An Egyptian Girl Wants To Be A World Champion Weightlifter. A Filmmaker Wants To Tell Her Story.

Picture it: A 14-year old Egyptian girl is dreaming of winning world weightlifting titles. Zebiba is training, always training, every day training. She believes her coach, Captain Ramadan, can help her get to the Olympics. He did it for his own daughter, and Zebiba is counting on him to teach her to become a champion.

Actually, you don’t have to picture it because Mayye Zayed has already taken care of that – she spent four years documenting Zebiba’s journey. The result is a film that tackles gender, social and class issues in Egypt. “Lift Like A Girl” introduces us to Zebiba as she prepares for her first local championship, and takes us through victories and defeats, including major losses that shape her.

We heart stories of women daring to become athletes in non-traditional ways (and the women filmmakers who tell those stories). “Lift Like A Girl” reminded us of our Awesome Without Borders Grant #255 (The She Fights Foundation, teaching girls to box) and Grant #142 (a female filmmaker chronicles the Somali Women’s Basketball Team).

Mayye Zayed’s first feature documentary could inspire young women to follow their own non-traditional aspirations, but only if they get to see it. This AWB grant will help get the word out.

Watch this short clip from Zayed for Getty Images Creative on Twitter, and follow along with the film’s progress on Facebook.