5th Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival
June 21, 2013 by Keith Widyolar
The 5th Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival is much more than a few film screenings. The Tribeca Cinemas are set up with screening rooms and a bar where people from all over the world hang out to network and make friends who share the same passion for soccer and film.
One of the first people I ran into was New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke. Mike brought his kids to see the film, “Tim Cahill: The Unseen Journey” which is about the Red Bulls star midfielder. “I work with Tim every day and know 80% about him. Watching this film, I learned another 10% about a great football player and a great man.” Petke said. “I thought I was just coming to see a movie. I had no idea there would be so many interesting people to meet and a great soccer art exhibit too. Next year, I’m getting a babysitter and coming with wife.”
Michal Bielawski, director of “Mundial: The Highest Stakes,” visited from Poland. His film is the story of the Polish national team’s surprise 3rd place finish in the 1982 World Cup when the country had just imposed martial law to shut down the Solidarity movement. It is really a story about how a few soccer players inspired an entire country at a very difficult time. Bielawski said, “I’m glad there is a festival focused on soccer which is not very common in the States. The most interesting thing about the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival is that the films are not only about soccer.”
I asked festival director Rachel Markus about her film selection process. Markus explained, “I only choose films that stand on their own, even if you don’t like the game.”
The walls of the Tribeca Cinemas’ Varick Room were hung with an exhibition of soccer art. Futbol Artist Network director Trevor Slavick explained, “We are a Los Angeles-based art gallery for art inspired by soccer. Works from 25 of our 70 artists from around the world are here in this room. The festival has given us great exposure.” You can order prints and gifts of your favorite soccer art from www.FutbolArtistNetwork.com
Steve Sander, director of the closing night film, “Tim Cahill: The Unseen Journey,” visited from the UK. Sander commented, “Getting your film in front of an audience that’s passionate about soccer is fantastic. There’s no other place you can do this.”
So there is a lot more going on at the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival than just watching movies. There are interesting people who share your passion, there is great art, and of course films that are not just about the beautiful game, they are films that show something about the beauty of life.
Congratulations to Rachel Markus, Greg Lalas and Oliver Parman for hosting a great festival. I already can’t wait for next year.
Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival
June 18-21, 2013