Trailblazing 'Lost Lionesses' to take centre stage at Hebden Bridge Film Festival's opening night screening of Copa 71 documentary

A special screening of the documentary COPA71 will be held on the opening night of the 2024 Hebden Bridge Film Festival.
Photo by Ritzau Scanpix _ TopFoto courtesy of New Black Films LtdPhoto by Ritzau Scanpix _ TopFoto courtesy of New Black Films Ltd
Photo by Ritzau Scanpix _ TopFoto courtesy of New Black Films Ltd

The screening will be followed by a live and in person Q and A, featuring the ‘lost lionesses’’ from the film, Chris Lockwood, Gill Sayles and Leah Caleb from the original 1971 England Women’s World Cup team.

They will be joined by two ex-England players - the first black woman to represent England and still one of the highest goal scorers in the women’s game, Kerry Davis and Hebden Bridge’s own Issy Pollard.

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COPA71 uncovers one of sporting history’s best kept secrets and showcases the awesome talent that women’s football had to offer, 20 years before it was recognised as an official sport.

The 1971 Women’s World Cup is one of the highest-ever attended women’s sporting events with sell out games played to over 100,000 fans in Mexico but little was known about the event, until now.

COPA71 features emotional insights from the players and explores the highs and lows they experienced on their journey. As well as taking on international teams in the tournament, the young team battled for the future of women’s football, which today is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK.

“We are excited to bring the incredible story of COPA71 to our audiences, and to have three of the original COPA 71 players who were silenced for decades, sharing their stories with us in person is a great honour,” says festival director Louise Wadley.

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"This film will appeal to anyone who loves a compelling story, whether you’re footy-mad or not.”

The festival will take place from the March 15 to 17 at the Picture House Cinema and Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Tickets for individual films and weekend passes can be purchased at