When you hear the word Jamaica, aside from conjuring up some sort of tropical beach paradise, perhaps two big names jump right up at you, depending on your age bracket. The names are Bob Marley or Usain Bolt.
Just three years after the West African nation of Senegal tapped 18-year-old Santa Clarita film maker Zuriel Oduwole to tell the Goree Island story in 2017 to better educate young Americans as part of Black History month in the United States, Jamaica is now confirmed as her next focus.
Oduwole is creating a new documentary about the nations women’s football world cup debut. The film would chronicle the unlikely but sensational journey of the country’s women’s team to their first ever FIFA world cup participation in France, that was full of promise and has become an inspiration for the next generation of young women.
That world cup edition in 2019 was won by the USA women’s team.
Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, the Honorary Olivia Grange was pleased to introduce Oduwole to leaders of Jamaica’s tourism and sports industry.
“This young lady brings a unique and fresh approach to what we are trying to show the world,” Grange said.
Four years ago, Oduwole’s second full length film ‘Follow The Ball for Education’ which began production during the 2014 FIFA World cup, was shot across 5 countries on 3 continents, starting in Brazil. Telling the story of a young girl taking two footballs across the globe to get people talking about girl’s education, it opened to critical acclaim when it premiered in 2017 before several diplomats and their wives, global business leaders, representative of major foundations such as the Ford Foundation and Dangote Foundation, the EU, governors, the media and many from the education sector.
A year later in 2018, she was welcomed to Ghana by President Nana Akuffo Ado, where one of the topics discussed was the country’s initiatives to bringing Hollywood talent to shoot movies across Ghana’s historic sites, including the Cape Coast and Elmina castles. Outside of travel and sports, Oduwole was chosen in 2018 by several Island countries (Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Marshall Islands) to tell their Climate Change story to global leaders by film, after the COP 23 conference in Bonn, Germany.
The documentary is scheduled for completion in early 2022, and as part of Oduwole’s global education development initiatives, she plans to show versions of it across high schools in the Los Angeles County area, during that school year.