Independent Melbourne Movie Makers #Jumpwomen Tribute Celebrates Female Sports Role-Models

On International Women’s Day a collection of independent Melbourne-based filmmakers launched an online ‘film tribute to female athlete role models called ‘Dear Michelle’ that reimagines a sporting landscape in which the great NBA player of all time was not Michael but Michelle Jordan.


This alternate reality video journey aims to generate conversation around women’s representation in sport and its objective is also to celebrate the power and passion female stars bring to the world of sports.


Directed by Exit Films director Bonnie Moir, produced by freelance producer Olivia Cheung, production designed by Bianca Milani and edited by The Editors’ Leila Gaabi, ‘Dear Michelle’ takes the viewer on a journey to a reimagined 1996 when Michelle Jordan’s Chicago Bulls dominated US sport and what impact she had young girls.


The film, which features young hoops stars Sitaya Fagan as Grace, Kayleigh O’Dwyer as Gloria and Sida Basketball coach Saratu Isah in the key Michelle Jordan role, celebrates the empowerment that visible role models provide to aspiring oung athletes.



“I feel so strongly about the representation of women in sporting roles and what this offers to young people growing up,” explained director Moir.


“This piece speaks to a much broader conversation, not only about visibility of women in sport, but the intersectional visibility of women in the workplace, our political representatives and more personally for me, equal representation of women in lead roles within the film industry. With this film, I want to celebrate the strength and resilience of women who I’ve learned from by looking up to.”


Producer Olivia Cheung added: “Why is it today that the biggest female sports star in the world, and probably of all time, still gets paid a fraction of what her male counterparts do? Why is it that Sam Kerr, who is probably the greatest female soccer player this country has ever produced, playing for a team ranked 6th in the world still plays international tournaments at stadiums at home with an attendance that can’t crack 10k spectators?


“We’re having the same conversations in the sports arena, as well in every other aspect of life – the presence and visibility of female role models is a social responsibility of the bigger players in the game, including sponsors, investors, media and PR, in tackling issues like pay gaps and increasing numbers of the general public to attend and view women’s sports.”




It’s not just sports brands (see Adidas ‘She Break Barriers’ case study), sponsors (see Guinnness Women’s 6 Nations ‘Sisters’ case study) and rights-holders (see FIFA’s Women’s World Cup #LegendsSquad case study) leveraging International Women’s Day (IWD) trough marketing campaigns, equality initiatives and projects, but creatives themselves.


IDW or not, this is an admiral sentiment and an admiral piece of creative.


The #Jumpwoman ‘what if Michael Jordan was a women’ idea is not a new one.


Indeed, in May 2018 Nike’s Jordan brand leveraged its athlete ambassador alliance with Maya Moore, arguably the biggest star of the WNBA, with a hoops campaign that was inspired by iconic 1989 Michael Jordan/Nike ‘Wings’ poster (see case study).


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