About Adriana Yanez
A native of Brazil, Adriana Yanez has worked as director and screenwriter at production companies including Cinemá, Sambi Filmes, Firma and MTV Brasil. She has worked on institutional videos, documentaries, short films, television series, and Internet series. Since 2008 she has been a screenwriter and director at Brazil's bigBonsai company.
Yanez graduated with a degree in social communication at PUC-SP. She took the "Documentary" course at PUC-SP and the "Direction for Video and Television" course at Senac. She also attended the post-graduate course "The Non-Fiction Audiovisual Production" at the Universidade de São Paulo.
In the Director's Own Words
What inspired you to take part in this project?
I found the idea of the series very interesting: six female directors portraying the various aspects of female soccer, in six different countries. Besides, it felt like I was privileged for having the opportunity of working on a film about "Marta," who was elected FIFA’s female player of the year five times in a row.
Marta's life reflects a remarkable history which alone,is worth being presented with kindness and consideration. Nevertheless, if we look around, we find that this is a very symbolic history. On one side, it is an universal history -- the arc of big stars, who were born talented and gifted, and who, since very early in life, knew of their responsibility and place in the world. On the other hand, Marta's life history reflects, in some way, the condition of the Brazilian woman.
Marta was not the first woman to struggle to get into and develop in a mostly male environment, and, certainly, she will not be the last. But her story culminates in a big success. Today, the girl of poor origin, who grew up playing soccer among men, is worldwide acknowledged.
We consequently find that there is a positive repercussion in Brazilian women’s soccer. Marta'a success raises the discussions about the precarious condition of this sport here.
How did you go about telling the story?
We have chosen to tell a meaningful event in Marta's life -- when she left Brazil and moved to Umea, Sweden.
Marta was born in Dois Riachos, a very small city in the backwoods of Alagoas, in the northeast of Brazil. Marta left for Sweden when she was 17 years old, looking for opportunities to make soccer her way of life and improve as a player. She knew nothing of the country, would not speak Swedish or English, and the weather she knew up to that moment was that of our tropical country.
Since she was a very small child, Marta learned that being a soccer player was not a possibility for her. She nevertheless went her way. She faced prejudice, financial troubles and all uncertainties with the courage of an untouchable certainty.
To tell this history we went through this route -- from Dois Riachos to Umea -- and were introduced to the various landscapes and to the people who lived this change with Marta.
The history unfolds from reports of these people, which constitute the points of view from here and there, from the moment of Marta's first work offer to play in Umea IK.
Most important was to hear from Marta her own experience, because more relevant to know what happened, was to learn how this event happened to her -- her vision, her feelings and thoughts.
Based on such findings, my proposal was to present, within these short eight minutes, a bit of Marta's origins, the people and landscapes that composed her childhood and growth, all placed vis-a-vis the new country, its different landscapes, and the new manner of viewing soccer.
What excited you most about the project?
I was very happy with the opportunity of telling the history of a Brazilian woman who passed beyond the limits imposed to her, definitely marking the history of a sport. Moreover, I was happy to place this history next to the history of other women who also excelled themselves within the prejudices of our society.
These are times when Brazil has elected a woman for Presidency, for the first time ever; in a period in time when oppression against women and inequality of opportunities between genders and races are less and less endured.
Great individual efforts and histories of courage that opened doors and modeled as examples were necessary to allow us to get here. I see beautiful histories of women that changed laws and cultures by means of examples -- not by means of power or war -- and it is my belief that this is the woman's most natural path.
The fact is that there still is a long way to go and be conquered, not only with respect to female soccer, but with respect to other areas in life as well. Equal opportunities for men and women is an essential principle of democracy -- although, in practice, we still have to work hard.
To tell the history of these heroic women is, somehow, to contribute to this long way.