Sport: Vanuatu beach-volleyballers feature in new documentary
A documentary profiling Vanuatu beach volleyball duo Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata is to be screened at a major film festival in the United States.
Vanuatu beach volleyball duo Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata feature in a new documentary film that follows athletes from developing countries as they attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
The documentary film, A Fighting Chance, also features athletes from Lesotho and the Dominican Republic.
The President of Vanuatu Volleyball, Debbie Masauvakalo, told Vinnie Wylie the film was screened at the South by South West Festival in Texas and will feature at next month's Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
DEBBIE MASAUVAKALO: The girls are currently ranked 17th in the Olympic ranking. They take the top 15 and we've got another ten events to go.
VINNIE WYLIE: So when is that final cut-off date?
DM: The final cut-off date is on the 12th of June and then if we're not in the top 15 on the 12th of June we will fly Vanuatu Team 1 over to Sydney for the Asian Continental Cup final, where they will be met by Team 2 of Vanuatu and then we will play in the Asian Continental Cup final, with all the other top Asian teams. If we win that event we could go through to the Olympics, taking the Asian Olympic berth, but if we come second or third we then have to fly both teams over to Russia for the World Cup. If we come first or second from that World Cup in July then we take the last two spots for the Olympic Games so it's a bit of a very very long, hard, expensive process...We're only two spots away so it's really a very huge realistic dream and we're just so thankful to the local support and the support internationally to getting these girls to the Olympics.
VW: Ten tournaments to go between now and that cut-off date - that's only less than three months away so that's quite an extraordinary workload?
DM: It's a very extraordinary workload and it's a very expensive workload. We're still struggling financially to get to all the events. We're still having fundraisers here locally in Vanuatu but now with the announcement of our major sponsor Samsung International that has helped us enormously to be able to afford to attend these events...it's covering probably about quarter of the amount needed so we're still short so we still have to find some funding.
VW: And now there's this documentary coming out to be released at the Tribeca Film Festival. I guess all exposure is good exposure and acknowledgement of what they have achieved to date but very exciting.
DM: Yeah, we're very excited that our story could be told to the world and can inspire others from other developing countries or other people that are in the same situations as us, where they don't have the resources, they don't have the support that other developing countries have from their governments. We struggle ourselves so we want to tell our story and we want to get other - especially women - that if they have a dream that they can achieve it and through all the struggles that we've been through we hope that we can inspire more.
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