Soccer in the City explores the complicated relationship between the world’s most popular sport and inner-city America. The character and story-driven documentary, akin to Hoop Dreams and Waiting For Superman, examines how soccer is the easiest way to provide city kids with teams, and how, in turn, increased participation by urban youth could deepen the talent pool and possibly improve America’s fortunes on the pitch as it prepares to host the 2026 World Cup.
The film is currently in production in Washington DC, with additional filming to occur in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Manchester (UK), Paris and more. Soccer in the City plans to feature international superstars, some of the biggest names in U.S. soccer (including Christian Pulisic, Tim Howard, Matt Miazga, Alex Morgan, Bill Hamid, Ali Krieger, Auston Trusty and more), as well as “generation next” – undiscovered rising stars who may help America finally break through on the sport’s biggest stage. World-class athletes like Odell Beckham Jr. were in the pipeline for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but were blocked by America’s oft-pervasive “pay to play” system, while newcomers to the game – like Roc Nation’s Jay Z – are working to ensure that America’s best talent isn’t relegated because of a lack of access to the sport. Soccer in the City will also shine a light on unsung heroes: coaches, volunteers, and others dedicated to providing opportunities for kids regardless of socio-economic background. The film will also introduce audiences to organizations like Washington’s DC SCORES, which provides free soccer teams to over 3,000 kids a year in the most economically disadvantaged parts of the city, and is often the only structured activity in kids’ lives.
Washington DC production company The Content Farm, is producing the film. Michael Holstein is the Executive Producer & Director of Soccer in the City, and has worked on projects including The Wire, the documentaries of Ken Burns, as well as content for Travel Channel, National Geographic, Bravo and more, said, “As a life-long soccer player and fan, I’m excited to explore how we can break down barriers and make it easier for kids in cities to play soccer, and to ensure that we’re not leaving behind a locker room full of superstars.” Soccer in the City has a deep bench: Director of Photography Mike Greenberg recently completed F2: Finding Football, a YouTube Premium tent-pole series shot in 8 countries and starring A-list musicians, which earned over 5 million viewers, and was nominated for two Streamy Awards. Senior Producer Judy Plavnick served as Head of Production & Development for ESPN Classic, where she was responsible for development and production of original programming. Principal screenwriter Ahsan Naeem brings a cinematic element from his work in scripted films, and adds soccer knowledge, honed from running the most downloaded Manchester City Football Club podcast, 93:20. Other production staff – including an Emmy-winning editor and a well-known narrator – will be announced shortly. Music for the film will come from well-known soccer-friendly performers and hip-hop legends, including Flo Rida and many more.
Soccer in the City is slated to premiere in late summer of 2019, with a “red carpet” event planned for Audi Field, home of D.C. United, one of Major League Soccer’s newest stadiums, and a monument to the power of soccer in the city. The film has already secured offers for distribution on digital platforms and U.S. public television, with other opportunities pending, including a theatrical release, cable acquisition and international distribution, will be a major player on the festival circuit and in consideration for all relevant awards.
Partial production funding for Soccer in the City comes from the Washington DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, headed by Director Angie Gates. Limited additional sponsorships, partnerships and event opportunities remain available, with information on the film’s website, or by contacting Anthony Francavilla (email@example.com). Crowd-funding opportunities are available via IndieGogo, with donor benefits ranging from social media “shout outs” to Associate Producer credits. Law firm Arent Fox will host a sizzle screening and panel discussion about the film in Washington DC on April 30, 2019.
The teaser trailer for the film can be seen at bit.ly/SITCMovie, and on its website, www.soccerinthecity.net. Social media accounts can be found on Instagram (@SITCMovie); Twitter (@SITCMovie); and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SITCMovie). For media inquiries or other requests, please contact Michael Holstein (firstname.lastname@example.org).