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Category: Woman film image

Vancouver Premiere

Keynote Speaker: Phyllis Ellis, Director, Category: Woman


When 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya burst onto the world stage in 2009, her championship was not celebrated but marred by doubt, with her personal medical records leaked to international media. With some women’s naturally high androgen levels deemed a performance advantage, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (now World Athletics) ruled that, in order to compete, these female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies. Category: Woman focuses on four athletes from the Global South who are forced out of competition by these regulations. The public scrutiny and policing of their bodies raises issues of racism, sexism and denial of their fundamental human right—who they are. Following up on her award-winning film Toxic Beauty (KDocsFF 2020), Phyllis Ellis exposes an industry controlled by men who put women’s lives at risk, while this ongoing policing of women’s bodies in sport remains, in a more nefarious way, under the guise of fair play.


6:40 pm: Panel discussion/Q&A with Phyllis Ellis, Director, Category: Woman; Travers, Department of Sociology, SFU; Romy Kozak, Department of English and Director of Diversity, KPU; Payoshni Mitra, CEO, Global Observatory for Gender Equality and Sport, Director and Trustee, Centre for Sport and Human Rights, and Film Subject, Category: Woman; Annet Negesa, Professional Athlete and Film Subject, Category: Woman
Moderator: Trina Prince, Manager, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, KPU


Co-presented by


Phyllis Ellis

Country of Origin





In English, Swahili, and Hindi with English subtitles

145 min

Book Tickets

Saturday February 25

5:05 pm
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Book Now


Executive Producer

Howard Fraiberg, Cheryl Staurulakis


Phyllis Ellis, Howard Fraiberg


Phyllis Ellis


Iris Ng


Eugene Weis, Tiffany Beaudin

Original Music

Aaron Davis, Taku Matthews