Category: Woman – featured image

Category: Woman

by Phyllis Ellis
Sport has a long, insidious history of policing female athletes' bodies. Who is a woman and who gets to decide?
2022  ·  1h20m  ·  Canada
English, Hindi, Swahili
English subs
About the Film

When 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya burst onto the world stage in 2009, her championship was not celebrated, but marred by doubt, her personal medical records leaked to the international media. Was the public scrutiny of her body, driven by racism and sexism, questioning the most fundamental right of who she is and who she was told she should be? The International Amateur Athletics Federation (now World Athletics) ruled that targeted female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies in order to compete. Their naturally high androgen levels deemed a performance advantage.

CATEGORY: WOMAN focuses on four athletes from the Global South forced out of competition by these regulations, the devastation to their bodies, and lives. Their passion for sport is further emboldened by their conviction to stand up for their human rights. Following up on her award-winning film TOXIC BEAUTY, Phyllis Ellis exposes an industry controlled by men putting women’s lives at risk while this policing of women’s bodies in sport remains, in a more nefarious way, under the guise of fair play.

Upcoming Screenings

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Phyllis Ellis
Phyllis Ellis, Howard Fraiberg
Executive Producers
Howard Fraiberg, Cheryl Staurulakis
Phyllis Ellis
Eugene Weis, Tiffany Beaudin
Iris Ng
Aaron Davis, Taku Matthews
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About the Director

Phyllis Ellis

Director Phyllis Ellis

Phyllis Ellis is a Canadian filmmaker, writer, actor, and producer who has worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and the U.S. for the past 35 years. Nominated for the 2021 International Emmys and winner of Best Direction and Best Writing at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSA), her feature documentary “Toxic Beauty” has been viewed by over 44 million people worldwide. Ellis has won six CSAs and was nominated for best direction for her work in documentary film, series, writing, and performance. An Olympian, Ellis is dedicated to telling stories empowering women’s voices around the world.

Other films by Phyllis Ellis