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Director Statement

When my daughter Sophie was 6, she decided to try out and play soccer in our neighborhood. But there was one tiny problem. She didn't like her coach and decided she would not listen to him. So, with her permission, I started to help out. Now, I was a total novice. I stuck with it, and by age 9 we had a travel or select team together. And we were pretty good! And then we started to play this team called The Anderson Monarchs. And they would beat us 5-0, 4-0, even 8-0! Every time we played them my team would go, "oh on, not them!" They were always so amazing. So, I got to know the coach, Walter Stewart, and by the time the girls were 12 and 13, the girls from the two teams started to become friends and see each other at games and tournaments. I dug deeper, and realized The Monarchs were the only all girls African American soccer club in the US. As I was doing research for the film, a writer from Sports Illustrated came by the field one day, and started to ask questions about the team. Two weeks later he had nominated them for Sports Team of the Year. That is when I knew this was something special. I made plans to start filming.

The Anderson Monarchs would be a feature length documentary about this all-girls soccer team competing, living, and thriving in an at-risk urban neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Anderson Monarchs are underdogs fighting a battle to change their lives. But the Anderson Monarchs are not just a soccer club. They are a sisterhood. They represent social justice. And they are strong American girls that we never get a chance to see and hear. Over 3 years, we follow the girls, their families, and their dedicated head coach, Walter Stewart. Coach Walt gave up a partnership in a Philadelphia law firm to become a teacher and coach all 3 teams of The Anderson Monarchs year round. His story and the story of the girls who play on the Monarchs are intimate, moving, deeply personal, and profound. Their story, told over time, seeks to be universal about urban girls and what they have to overcome to play competitive soccer on the national level. From their historical ties to Marian Anderson, The Anderson Monarchs' story is now becoming part of the national conversation on race, education, and equality for young women, not just in the United States, but everywhere.



Soccer Sisters United, home of The Anderson Monarchs

Urban Soccer Collaborative

US Soccer Foundation

The Girl Effect


The Good Pitch

Sundance Documentary Institute

Scribe Video Center

The Philadelphia Foundation

Texas Filmmakers

             about the film....

The Anderson Monarchs

76 minutes, HD video

in Stereo and 5.1



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