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As part of our Opening Minds, Transforming Lives project which is funded by Big Lottery Fund, Steve Jamison, one of the directors of football documentary Next Goal Wins, recently partook in a Q&A session with young people in Greater Manchester in the entirely appropriate setting of the National Football Museum.
The Q&A was preceded by a screening of Next Goal Wins, which focuses on the American Samoan football team - officially the worst international football team in the world - and charts the squad's spirit and determination in the face of almost insurmountable odds.
Having seen the film at the National Football Museum, young people from the Greater Manchester area were invited to pose questions to director Steve Jamison, who himself hails from nearby Oldham, about his career progression, the making of Next Goal Wins, and the roles and responsibilities of a director.
This proved a fantastic opportunity to give young people an insight into the role of a director in the British film industry, and to be inspired into filmmaking of their own - something that we support with projects such as Make Film - Greatest Generation and Into Film: Into Space.
Steve Jamison also spoke to us about the depiction of identity in his film, ahead of our focus on National and Cultural Identity throughout the new term.
The greatest thing about making a documentary is discovering new people, places or ideas. In this sense, American Samoa was a very rich environment to film in and we learned a great many new things about the people and their culture every single day. Perhaps the most profound thing we learned was around the existence of a third gender (called Fa'afafine) in Samoan culture. Coming from our own society where we tend to place labels on individuals and a great many people have suffered discrimination due to their gender, sexuality of the colour of their skin, we were truly inspired by Samoan culture and its focus on celebrating diversity. For Jaiyah (the fa'afafine character within our film) to be celebrated because of who she is, rather than what gender she is, sends a truly inspiring message to other cultures around the world and it is the most important thing we learned in our time there.Steve Jamieson, director of Next Goal Wins