Kicking + Screening partners with Sky Blue FC to celebrate women’s soccer during K+S Soccer Film Festival in New York

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This summer, the soccer world will train its eyes on the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Many fans around the globe will experience the talent, the passion, and the fierceness of women’s soccer for the first time.

Whatever. The truth is, women’s soccer has persisted for decades. And it’s awesome!

Which is why Kicking + Screening is proud to kick off a partnership with NWSL club Sky Blue FC in celebrating women’s soccer during the 11th annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival New York, taking place from June 4 to June 7.

As part of the partnership, Sky Blue will support the full festival, with a focus on Night 3, Thursday, June 6, when the film lineup emphasizes women in soccer and champions the theme “Against the Odds.” Sky Blue personnel will participate in a panel discussion and Q&A to bring additional perspective on the women’s game.

“The stories screening on Night 3 are united in showcasing strong, unapologetic female athletes going for broke in pursuit of their passion,” K+S cofounder Rachel Markus said. “It seems perfectly aligned with everything that Sky Blue represents. We are proud to partner with these world-class athletes to celebrate the fierce stories within these films and the fierce women they feature.”

“It’s exciting for us to be involved in this festival, and more so that we can partner on a night to celebrate women and girls in soccer,” stated Sky Blue FC General Manager Alyse LaHue. “Against the Odds is certainly a theme that resonates with our club so having the opportunity to participate specifically around this topic is particularly meaningful for us.”

In addition to promotional support for Night 3, Sky Blue will give K+S festival goers the opportunity to experience a home Sky Blue match. All attendees who purchase a ticket for Night 3, June 6, will receive a complimentary ticket to Sky Blue FC vs Orlando Pride on June 22 at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway. Sky Blue FC will also be providing giveaways and raffle prizes during the evening.

Night 3 of K+S New York 2019 features three films centered on powerful female characters who overcome long odds to pursue their passion for the game. The Night 3 schedule is as follows:


NIGHT 3: Thursday, June 6

Coach 

26 mins | USA + UK | 2019 | Directed by Matthew Ellison + Jordan Axelrod.

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Coach follows Tracy Hamm, who currently leads the women’s soccer team at San Francisco State, in her quest to earn the internationally renowned UEFA A coaching license. Hamm turned to Europe after her efforts to pursue a top license from U.S. Soccer were obstructed by requirements that candidates seeking waivers to bypass lower certification levels must have played three years of professional soccer. When she graduated from college in 2006, no professional women’s league existed in the United States.

Coach is a Growth Through Sport production.

PLUS: 
Yasmina
Short | US Premiere | Fifteen-year-old Yasmina passionately loves football and practices at the Saint-Étienne football club. But she is also a Moroccan who is in France without a visa, with her father and his French girlfriend. After she watches her father get arrested right as she returns from training one evening, she will have to make a decision that tests her love of the game. Directed by Claire Cahen & Ali Esmili.
 
Aim High
Short | US Premiere | Having consistently beaten the other girls’ teams, Lleida’s AEM girls’ football club decided to play with the boys. This documentary tells the story of what happened next. Directed by Rojo Rosenvinge + Sandra Bauera.


About Sky Blue FC

Based in New Jersey, Sky Blue FC is one of the nine member clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which boasts the entire U.S. Women’s National Team and some of the greatest international players in the world. Operated by Sky Blue Women’s Soccer Inc., Sky Blue FC was originally established in the fall of 2006, making its debut on the field with the launch of Jersey Sky Blue in the W-League of the United Soccer Leagues in 2007. Sky Blue FC made its professional debut in 2009, winning the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer championship that year. Sky Blue was also a founding member of NWSL, which launched officially in 2013.

11 films to feature at 11th annual K+S Soccer Film Festival in New York

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This one goes 11!

Pardon the non-soccer film reference there, but it’s true – this year, we are presenting our 11th annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival in New York — or #ksfilmfest, if you will — and we are kicking things up a notch.

Just as a soccer team’s starting lineup has 11 players, so too does our lineup. Eleven films, from full-length features to micro-shorts, will screen over four nights, along with a full slate of complementary events, including panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As, post-screening parties, and raffles.

This year's festival takes place Tuesday, June 4, through Friday, June 7, at midtown Manhattan’s Scandinavia House.

Tickets are available now.

So without further ado, here is the #ksfilmfest 2019 lineup:


NIGHT 1: Tuesday, June 4

Foosballers

New York Premiere | 96 mins | USA | 2019 | Directed by Joe Heslinga

This is the story of a group of professional athletes the world doesn’t know exist: professional table soccer players. Through the nostalgic lens of a forgotten American pop-culture phenomenon,Foosballersshares the stories of six players as they prepare for the sport's most prestigious event, the World Championships.

PLUS: 
Maintenant On Peut Mourir Tranquille (Now We Can Die in Peace)
Short | During the 1998 World Cup final, a cop and his partner wait in their surveillance van to bring down a "big fish.” Directed by Arnaud Guez.

GOAAL!
Short-short | The universal appeal of Diego Maradona's legendary playmaking in a variety of different languages. Directed by Richards Nimbley.


NIGHT 2: Wednesday, June 5

The Return of the Cup

US Premiere | 89 mins | Germany | 2019 | Directed by Jan Strasheim + Franziska Rappl + Bjorn Tanneberger

In 2018, Eintracht Frankfurt won the German Cup, their first major trophy in 30 years. A film crew accompanied the club on their triumphant adventure, from their arrival in Berlin for the match to the victory celebrations at the Römer in Frankfurt. The result is a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the team and a lasting record of the searing emotions brought on by the historic 3-1 victory over powerhouse Bayern Munich.

PLUS: 
The Lunch Break  
Short | The boys of 5-B plan a soccer game for the lunch break, regardless of the fact that the gym is closed for an after-school teachers’ meeting. But after the principal catches them and sends two of them to the discipline committee, the rest of the kids refuse to leave their friends behind. Directed by Ozan Yoleri.

Saudade
Short | The Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo defined the saudade in 1660 as “the joy that is suffered, and the suffering that is enjoyed,” which perfectly describes the life of a soccer fan. Directed by Pedro Segarra + Jorge Bravo.


NIGHT 3: Thursday, June 6

Coach 

26 mins | USA + UK | 2019 | Directed by Matthew Ellison + Jordan Axelrod.

coach-small.jpg

Coach follows Tracy Hamm, who currently leads the women’s soccer team at San Francisco State, in her quest to earn the internationally renowned UEFA A coaching license. Hamm turned to Europe after her efforts to pursue a top license from U.S. Soccer were obstructed by requirements that candidates seeking waivers to bypass lower certification levels must have played three years of professional soccer. When she graduated from college in 2006, no professional women’s league existed in the United States.

Coach is a Growth Through Sport production.

PLUS: 
Yasmina
Short | US Premiere | Fifteen-year-old Yasmina passionately loves football and practices at the Saint-Étienne football club. But she is also a Moroccan who is in France without a visa, with her father and his French girlfriend. After she watches her father get arrested right as she returns from training one evening, she will have to make a decision that tests her love of the game. Directed by Claire Cahen & Ali Esmili.
 
Aim High
Short | US Premiere | Having consistently beaten the other girls’ teams, Lleida’s AEM girls’ football club decided to play with the boys. This documentary tells the story of what happened next. Directed by Rojo Rosenvinge + Sandra Bauera.


NIGHT 4: Thursday, June

Soccertown USA

World Premiere | 65 mins | USA | 2018 | English | Directed by Robert Penzel

Before they played in the World Cup together, Tab Ramos, John Harkes, and Tony Meola were three kids from the same place: Kearny, New Jersey. A small working-class town, Kearny had a passion for a game that, back then, their country didn't share. It had a vibrant street-soccer scene, a strong youth club, a championship culture at the high school, and a history of soccer dreams. Together, Tab, John, and Tony grew up to form the backbone of the U.S. National Team that willed its way to famous victories and earned the world’s respect in both the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, laying the foundation for soccer’s explosion in American and inspiring future generations to play the game. Soccertown USA was produced by Kiko Doran, Tom McCabe + Kirk Rudell.

PLUS: 
Battle for New York 
Short | New York Premiere | A behind-the-scenes look at the key supporters of the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC as they gear up for their first-ever derbies in 2015. The Battle for New York is in the stands and on the field, revealing the fanaticism and the friction as it unfolds. Directed by Greg Jenkins.

Inspiring film "Messi & Me" now available to stream

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Sometimes, all you need to kickstart your dream is a chance.

In the summer of 2013, Matt Eliason was just a regular guy living and working in Chicago. A former standout college soccer player at Northwestern University, he had largely moved on from the game. Then he got invited to play in a nationally televised exhibition match featuring global icon Lionel Messi and many other world soccer stars.

What happened on that day at Soldier Field is the stuff of Hollywood – Eliason, a nobody among somebodies, scored a stunning bicycle-kick goal and stole the show. (WATCH THE GOAL) The highlight was shown around the world. The goal was named as the top sports play of the week by ESPN.

Messi & Me is the story of what happened next, as Eliason embarked on a soccer quest, giving up the 9-to-5 life, working his way back into shape, and signing with a club in Iceland.

Messi & Me is directed by Renny Maslow and produced by Jake Abraham, with executive producers Tim Lenahan (head coach of Northwestern’s men’s soccer team) and Gregg Latterman.

It is the fourth film distributed or marketed by the Kicking + Screening Media Group, the world’s only soccer-specific film-distribution company. The film made its world premiere at the 2018 Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival in New York, thrilling a sold-out audience with Eliason’s inspiring story.

Messi & Me is the kind of film that thrills soccer fans and non-soccer fans alike –  everyone dreams of their ‘Messi & Me’ moment,” says KSMG co-founder Rachel Markus. “Which is why we are thrilled to be helping it find an audience. Matt’s moment with Messi will go down in history, but it’s his afterstory that deserves to be remembered. He chased his dream! Hopefully, this film will inspire others to do that, too.”

"From a cubicle in downtown Chicago, to the pitch at Soldier Field, to a pro team in Iceland, Eliason went on an unreal journey," says Abraham. "All thanks to the game of soccer. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this most unlikely story."

Messi & Me is now available to stream for just $2.99 through the KSMG website. The film is also available for theatrical screenings, festival screenings, event screenings, and further digital distribution opportunities.

Catch the soccer film "The Drummer & the Keeper" at ReelAbilities Film Festival in New York

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The 11th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York kicks off on Tuesday, April 1, running through Tuesday, April 8.

This year’s lineup features an amazing and powerful soccer film.

The Drummer & the Keeper is one of those films that no one would categorize purely as a soccer film. It has so many other themes, including mental health, acceptance, and friendship, among others.

The film stars Dermot Murphy (Bob Geldof in Bohemian Rhapsody) as Gabriel, a drummer in an up-and-coming rock band. He suffers from bipolar disorder and is forced to attend therapy sessions at mixed-ability soccer games. While playing footy, Gabriel meets Christopher, a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome, played by Jacob McCarthy. The story follows their “friendship.”

The Drummer & the Keeper screens several times over the week of ReelAbilities:

Wednesday, Apr 3 | 5:00 pm | Lehman College: Music Building
Saturday, Apr 6 | 3:00 pm | NYPL: Mid-Manhattan Library
Sunday, Apr 7 | 3:00 pm | Cinema Arts Centre
Monday, Apr 8 | 5:00 pm | St. John’s University
Tuesday, Apr 9 | 7:00pm | IAC Building

GET TICKETS NOW.

About ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York

Founded in 2007 by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The weeklong festival is renowned for its wide-ranging international film selection, riveting conversations, and performances, presented annually in dozens of venues across the New York metropolitan area. In 2010, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York expanded into a national program, presenting its one of a kind programming in cities throughout the United States. Learn more…

"American Fútbol" now available on demand and DVD

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Seven thousand miles. Eight countries. One goal: Find the soul of fútbol.

The Kicking + Screening Media Group, in conjunction with Freestyle Digital Media is thrilled to announce that the soccer film American Fútbol is now out on demand and DVD to the U.S. and Canada on March 12.

American Fútbol takes us on a four-month adventure through Latin America with a group of American friends and filmmakers as they discover the unique power of soccer to unite people and transcend sports. Like food and music, soccer – or fútbol – is a universal language, and as they travel down through Central and South America, the crew use it to better understand and connect with their neighboring cultures. From Mexico to Colombia to Brazil, their adventures immerse audiences in the infectious passion and inspiring stories of the beautiful game.

“Soccer was our passport on this journey,” said director/producer Petar Madjarac. “It helped us cross the U.S./Mexico border, bonded us to a team once run by a Colombian drug cartel; introduced us to a blind soccer team in Bogotá, and explained how soccer impacts racism in Ecuador. This was the trip of a lifetime, and it showed us – and hopefully the viewers will see this – the power of soccer to be more than just a game.”

The film, which was shot in the run-up to the World Cup in Brazil, was co-produced by Madjarac, Sam Mathius, Austin Ahlborg, and Peter Karl, who is also the film’s writer and co-director.

American Fútbol premiered last year at the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, the premier festival dedicated to soccer-themed films. K+S is still involved with the film, providing promotional and marketing support.

American Fútbol tells one of those timeless stories that transcend the game and seem so needed today with its themes of friendship and cross-cultural exchange. We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with the film and couldn’t think of a better time for it to be released – in a year where the Gold Cup, the Women's World Cup and Copa America will all be played simultaneously around the world.

The film is available now on the following platforms:

  • iTunes

  • Amazon Instant Video

  • YouTube Movies

  • DirecTV

  • Dish Network/Sling TV

  • iN Demand - Comcast, Cox, Time Warner/Spectrum

  • Vubiquity - Verizon Fios, etc. 

  • Google Play

  • Hoopla

  • Sony Playstation

  • Vudu

  • Xbox

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