All I Need is a Ball (2020)

Paloma Freestyle: ‘All I Need is a Ball’ (2020)

Paloma Pujol is on a mission in Madrid. She is a world class, professional female freestyler. But amongst 100 freestylers in Spain, she is the only female. Paloma sets out to change that.

Director Elena Molina has known the player since high school, where Paloma would say, “Yo lo que necesito es un balón para ser feliz”. All I need is a ball to be happy.

In this short film, Molina chronicles Paloma as she teaches her craft to young female freestylers via social media and in-person clinics. The freestylers become a supportive community on Instagram, and Paloma convinces them to participate in the Spanish national championship. If Paloma can get 4 women to sign up, they will have a Feminina category.

The storytelling

This short little film communicates so many stories in a compact way; it is really well-done and a pleasure to watch. We see Paloma as a ground-breaker, as a professional freestyler, as an aging street performer, as a gay woman, and as a feminist athlete. The cinematography is artistically shot with backgrounds that either make the subjects stand out or else convey a subtle part of the story. Even the cell phone shots are well-presented.

The Freestyle Football

El Campeonato nacional de Freestyle Fútbol en España is a national championship organized by the SFFC Spanish Freestyle Football Community. The first edition was held in 2014, so it is not a very old sport, although it derives from footbag or hacky-sack.

In researching this tournament, I wasn’t sure if Paloma’s quest for a female category occurred over 2 years of the tournament. The SFFC youtube channel has videos of Paloma winning at both SFFC 2018 and SFFC 2019.

The other female freestylers include Paula Sanz, Chaima Khagouya, Lucía Muñoz, Alexia Blanco, and Carmen Burdalo.

8 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 8