'Branded': Director's Moment


About the film

Sports is supposed to be the ultimate level playing field, but in the media and on Madison Avenue, sometimes looks matter more than accomplishments.

"Branded" looks at the double standard placed on female athletes to be the best players on the field and the sexiest off of it.

Through stories of the women who have faced and tackled this question in very different ways, the film explores the question: can women's sports ever gain an equal footing with their male counterparts or will sex appeal always override achievement?

Click here to learn more about the film and its directors, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.


What it was all about

When the U.S. women's national soccer team won the 1999 Women's World Cup, it was a seminal moment in sports. And when Brandi Chastain celebrated her Cup-clinching penalty kick for the Americans, it set off a firestorm. But not one some, including Chastain, expected.

Instead of Chastain's celebration being viewed as instinctive and geniune (and something any male soccer player would do in such a moment), all the world could talk about was her sports bra.

"For us, we felt like that was a low moment -- you could only go up from there," Ewing said. "There was no reason why [her bra] would be the takeaway, it's totally absurd. I think that all female athletes agree with that right now.

"[The U.S. team] had just won after an entire life of practicing and this achievement was sort of mind-blowing. Hopefully, we won't have any more of those trivializing takeaways from something as incredible as that."

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Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady break down an important scene from the film "Branded":

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I don't think selling sex is ever going to be outdated. It's like when people say that breasts are in or breasts are out. Our breasts are never going to be out. That is what it is, so you have to take it with a grain of salt.
Gabrielle Reece, from the Nine for IX film "Branded"

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