‘LFG’ directors Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine on ‘huge David and Goliath story’ over equal pay

The HBO Max documentary “LFG” chronicles the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team as they take legal action against the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay. The lawsuit was filed in 2019, but what made Oscar-winning filmmakers Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine get involved in the project? “As we started looking into it, there’s decades behind this lawsuit, there’s a lot of history,” they tell Gold Derby in our Meet the Experts: Documentary panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). “It’s pretty compelling when you find out what they’re doing. And really what we unveiled was this was a huge David and Goliath story.”

Sean continues, “While it plays out in the press, the underlying aspects of it aren’t really understood. The emotional toll it takes on the players, really the reason they’re doing it, and also the facts themselves are quite disputed in the public and falsely disputed. So we felt compelled to tell this story very truthfully and from their point of view, from their perspective, meaning the players.”

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When the judge rules against the team’s equal pay lawsuit, Andrea admits she was caught off guard behind the scenes. “I think we were just as shocked as they were,” she remembers. “It wasn’t like we had some special pulse into knowing more information than they did. I think their law team was shocked. And I think that’s where it just hits that gut punch. At that time, we were already in Covid and we had already sent them little camera packages to sort of keep filming, but we never actually expected that we would be needing to record anything to do with the summary judgment.”

“LFG,” which stands for “Let’s F—ing Go,” focuses on the personal lives of many of the soccer superstars, including Megan Rapinoe and Jessica McDonald. As Sean explains, in order for the documentary to work, “You had to understand how they live, what they do on a daily basis in terms of their soccer career and being a professional athlete, and also what they’re doing with the lawsuit.” He recalls a moment where Rapinoe told him, “Sometimes during that filming I wasn’t always loving the camera was so close, but you actually see what I’m going through just on my face, the expression, without me telling you.”

Also in our exclusive video interview, the Fines talk about how the political landscape and the public sentiment has shifted in recent years, with Andrea saying, “I think people have gotten pretty comfortable spewing some hate and being pretty ugly.” And since the equal pay debate rages on, might we see an “LFG2” in the near future? “We’ll see,” Sean teases. The couple previously won an Oscar for “Inocente” (2012) for Best Documentary Short.

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