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Video: Gwendolyn Oxenham and 'Pelada'

April  12, 2012

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Filmmaker, author and soccer enthusiast Gwendolyn Oxenham shares details of her travels around the world, what she learned about the global culture of soccer and her experience in making the documentary Pelada. The talk was given at Augustana's convocation April 12, 2012.

Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn't quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.

Oxenham received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, where she won the Nicholas Sparks Prize, a post-graduate grant to finish her first book. A 2004 graduate of Duke University's programs in English and documentary studies, she made Essence Game and DWS, two short films centered on identity in sports.

At 16, Oxenham was the youngest Division I athlete in the history of the NCAA. A Duke captain, she made two All-ACC teams, led the Duke team in assists, and was named Most Inspirational Player. She played professionally for Santos FC in Brazil in 2005.