Less than a month remains before the start of the football championship and the Giffoners, who also follow the most beloved sport in Italy, cheer as they see the ball on the big screen, the dribblings of elusive players. Actually, of female players. THE LIONESS, (Leeuwin is the Italian title), directed by Raymond Grimbergen, is a feature film in competition for the Elements +10 section. In Sala Sordi, the jurors follow the feats of the champion Rosi, originally from Suriname like Gullit, who made Milan great during its golden days”. Rosi, the main character, is a 14-year-old girl; she has more football talent than self-confidence. When she moves to the Netherlands, nothing is the same as before. She struggles to fit in, but the ball becomes her “sponsor” among her peers, making things easier and she quickly gains the coach’s respect. However, her successes arouse envy among the other players and put her recently formed friendship with Jitte at risk. Rosi is not afraid to miss a penalty kick, not even alone in front of a suddenly tiny goal. The ball feels as heavy as a boulder, heavier than a penalty during a game that could win the title, which she will miss at first but then make it. But Rosi is fearless: she is a champion in life too, not pushing friendships into a corner. On the contrary, she presses Jitte because she values their friendship. “My passion for cinema and football come together in a universal story about insecurity, love, peer pressure, and self-confidence – explains director Raymond Grimbergen, who participated in the debate alongside Rosi, the lead actress – Lioness tells the story of today’s youth, mixing everything: social media, friends, first love, parents who don’t understand you, quarrels with your best friend and falling for the wrong guy. However, Rosi doesn’t lose herself. That’s the message: to persevere and have courage are weapons”. Rosi wears the number 15 on her back, scores goals in abundance but she knows that football is a team game. A metaphor for life: alone, you make little progress. So, she leaves the penalty kick – the one during the game – to Jitte, because she believes in her. The substitute becomes the protagonist, finding her own smile again. Their friendship regains strength, and their team climbs the ranks until the final. Who raises her hand to take the penalty that brings glory? Rosi does: for the good of all, it’s her turn with the ball. It’s not just air inside it: it contains the fears of a child and the dream of playing for the National team one day.