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Raise the Bar Hækkum rána

Guðjón Ragnarsson / Iceland, Finland / 2021 / 70 min / Slovene subtitles, Icelandic / 10+

A story of 8-13 year old girls, who wanted to change the paradigm in womens basketball in Iceland. With great sacrifice they faced the challenges they met.


Raise the bar is a feature length documentary about young girls who are training basketball under the guidance of coach Brynjar Karl Sigurdsson. We have been following the girls for four years now and have noticed amazing developments in the mindset of the girls, their behaviour and their basketball techniques. They are unbeatable in mini-basket.

High anxiety and a low self-esteem is a known and growing problem for young girls today. This film is an insight into the mind of young girls and will be portraying their path towards their teenage years. This is a story about growing up, were we explore the ideas the girls have about themselves and what is changing in their lives as they train basketball in a way we have hardly seen in a girls team before. We look at them both as individuals, as girls in sports and as team players. Our aim is to use the basketball as the red thread through the story, but adding the layers of the individual girls into the film to understand how they are taking the tools they are handed and using that in their everyday life. We see the ups and the downs and how the girls adapt and develop into strong characters.

This is an observational documentary film that shows the deep story that lies inside this amazing basketball project. But this project is certainly not without criticism. It is an amazing story, of team that wants to change the world, and decides to do something about that. The girls have their voice in the film and their parents.

It is a controversial observational film about a unique team, fighting the traditional gender division within sports in Iceland, but on a journey that will change the girls lives forever. The final goal is that these girls will become the best national women’s basketball team ever, but moreover, that they become decent human beings.

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