Football film festival comes Kicking and Screening
Kicking and Screening found success in the somewhat unlikely destination of New York, where the brainchild of founders Rachel Markis and Greg Lalas has been thriving since it began in 2009. Two years later, and with satellite festivals appearing in Washington, Houston and Amsterdam – the film festival comes to the English capital, sharing a city which is home to Wembley, five Premier League sides and then countless more filtering down the divisions. Football is coming home once more.
With something of an ode to it’s beginnings, the festival opens tonight with Once In A Lifetime, charting the rise and fall of the legendary New York Cosmos of the 1970s. Directed by Paul Crowder and John Dower, the film charts the team’s beginnings on the dirt pitches of Queens to a time when the likes of Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto dazzled on the pitch and danced in Studio 54.
It seems now is the perfect time for a football film festival. The ever growing appeal of the national game has seen it morph into a form of entertainment as much as a sport. An afternoon at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium can feel as cultural and inspiring as any trip to the theatre. In recent years there has been the critical success of the eerie yet profound portrait of French football star Zinedine Zidane in Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait and closer to home, the adaption of The Damned United into a feature length film starring Michael Sheen as Brian Clough.
A festival of this kind feels like a logical step in the ever intertwining worlds of sport and entertainment.
Tomorrow will see the premieres of Match 64, which turns the spotlight on last year’s World Cup in South Africa and Rise and Shine: The Jay Demerit Story, the tale of a young Wisconsin native’s improbable journey from nowhere to the World Cup. How Spain conquered the world, a look at ‘the other Chelsea’, a tale of two Escobars and a 30th-anniversary screening of the most famous football film ever made are just some of the highlights next week.
The event is in conjunction with the Everyman cinemas located across north London and tickets for some of the screenings, many of which feature introductions from journalists, directors and film-makers, are still available. Bare in mind, as football fans in the stands around the country often need reminding, there’s no standing allowed.football, kicking and screening
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