Mariya Ilyas ’13, Ellery Gould ’12 and Kelly Pope ’12 were invited to speak on panels following the screenings of two of the eight films shown. Ilyas was invited to lead a discussion on Tahaan, a story about Tahaan, a little boy in Kashmir who’s searching for his lost donkey. Gould, a basketball player, and Pope, a soccer player, discussed women in sports after a screening of the movie, Kick Like a Girl, a film about an undefeated third-grade girls soccer team that competes in a boys division.
“I was asked to talk about my experience and journey as a female athlete and what it takes to succeed as a student-athlete at Bowdoin,” Gould explained prior to the panel discussion. “I think this will be a great occasion to celebrate women and girls in sports and talk publicly about the difficulties and triumphs of female athletes. Hopefully we will be able to make an impression on young girl athletes and inspire them to embrace the rewarding opportunity to be part of athletics.”
Ilyas said she was excited to engage with a younger audience about the themes presented in Tahaan, which she describes as embedded with universal themes such as loss, perseverance, determination and ethical dilemmas – especially ones that come from living in a war-torn region. “By facilitating a conversation about war, culture and perception, and sharing my background and experiences in Pakistan, I wanted to bridge the realities of Tahaan’s world with our own,” Ilyas said. “Though Tahaan may live in a different world than ours, his emotions, circumstances, and situations are things we can all relate to.”