Like my main character Alex, I come from a sports family and I used to play winter sports professionally as a teenager. In the sporty environment, I often was the only girl among boys, and I constantly felt myself being different, although I really wanted to fit into the group. This feeling inspired Ice Crack – the story about a girl in the “men's world” of ice hockey.
Director, screenwriter: Elvira Dulskaia
Czech Republic, development
Teenage Alex is a single girl in a boys’ ice-hockey team. Her dad Michal, who raised her alone, is the team’s coach. He treats Alex like one of the players, both on the ice and at home. Alex herself resembles a guy - with her short haircut, with body, affected by years of tough training and with her boyish behaviour. Yet inside, she is an average_female teenager, who has a crush on the goalie Daniel and believes that their feelings are mutual. However, just before the play-off match, Alex witnesses Daniel kissing her more attractive friend Simona. Alex finds out that her teammates have never perceived her as a “real” girl. Overtaken by anger, Alex scores an own goal into Daniel’s net. This extreme action won’t help her broken heart, but it makes her father Michal pay attention to her not only as a player, but as to his daughter. While losing her teammates’ respect, Alex rediscovers a connection with the most important person in her life, her dad.
“Ice hockey is a tough masculine sport, high-contact and traumatic, and in adult teams, women never play with men. However, in Czechia, despite the immense popularity of hockey, there still aren’t enough female junior teams, so girls often play with boys. When I spoke with female hockey players, who had such experiences, I was fascinated by the inner conflict they faced. Guys on the team often treat the only girl as one of them and don’t perceive her as a “proper” female. Besides, hockey noticeably affects girls’ bodies. A girl in this sport goes through frustration with herself at least once, as it is even impossible for her to find fitting clothes. For me, such conflict of being a tough hockey player and a female teenager at the same time is the key inspiration for the Ice Crack, and this is the main conflict of Alex", says author Elvira Dulskaia.