‘Marinette’, Virginie Verrier’s biopic about the great French football pioneer Marinette Pichon, is the Thinking Football Film Festival’s 2023 Audience Award.

The film, based on the player’s autobiography “Ne jamais rien lâcher” (Never give up), depicts Pichon’s life and career, from a tough upbringing – due to an alcoholic and abusive father – to her retirement as a football legend.

She scored 81 goals in 112 appearances for the French national team. While in domestic football, after a spell with Saint-Memmie Olympique, she went on to triumph in the United States with the Philadelphia Chargers in WUSA (Women’s United Soccer Association) and then the New Jersey Wildcats in the USL W-League.

Today, Marinette Pichon is an icon in the fight for women’s rights in sport. As director Virginie Verrier pointed out in the Q&A following the screening of the film, Marinette’s struggle “is a story that conveys hope”.

Without a doubt, the Thinking Football audience appreciated that the film touched on several themes which go beyond the main character and concern society as a whole. “Contemporary issues that are more relevant than ever: equality in sport, sexual diversity, sorority, gender violence, etc,” said the French director.

Virginie Verrier
France, 2023