Inspiring film "Messi & Me" now available to stream


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


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


Special Screening of "Messi & Me" this Saturday, January 12, in Chicago

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Kicking + Screening Media Group will screen the short documentary Messi & Me, directed by Renny Maslow, on Saturday, January 12, at the United Soccer Coaches annual convention in Chicago.

The screening is presented in partnership with Tim Lenahan, head coach of men’s soccer at Northwestern University.

Messi & Me tells the story of Matt Eliason, a former college standout at Northwestern, who burst onto the world stage when he scored this amazing bicycle kick goal while playing in an exhibition with superstar Lionel Messi:

From there, Eliason decided to pursue his dream of playing professional soccer. His journey took him to Iceland, where he learned what the pro life was like and had the experience of a lifetime.

Messi & Me had its world premiere at the 2018 K+S Soccer Film Festival in New York.

Screening Details:

Messi & Me @ the United Soccer Coaches Convention
WHEN: Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 4:00PM CT
WHERE: McCormick Place - West Building | 2301 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago | Room CCW185BC

Special guests will include Matt Eliason and Tim Lenahan

This special screening is free to USC convention passholders. Anyone without a convention pass who wants to attend the screening can do so by picking up a free pass in the Skyline B Room, located on the 3rd floor of the convention center.

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Introducing the K+S Film Club

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For the past decade, Kicking + Screening has organized the premier soccer film festival in North America. We're proud of this.

Recently, we've started to expand our thinking about what K+S can be and what it can provide for people. Truth is, we've always seen K+S as a big community project, not just as a festival or a film distributor.

Today, the K+S Media Group is doubling-down on our passion for the community with the launch of K+S FC -- the Kicking + Screening Film Club.

Although we believe that the FC stands for Film Club, in reality, the "FC" could stand for many other things — Football Club, Fan Community, Football Culture, Fuzzy Cleats. The point is, it's meant to be flexible and reflect anyone’s POV. Your POV. That's why we have chosen K+S FC as the embodiment of our efforts to support and grow the soccer film and soccer culture communities going forward.

K+S FC is an ambitious project we are launching to help connect the community of soccer film fans in new and interesting ways and to deliver more soccer films to more people.

Over the next few months, as we roll out K+S FC further, we will share more info and you will receive more chances to engage with us. For example, we're planning an official K+S FC logo, and we want your help designing it. We're also scheduling social meet-ups, designing fresh gear, and, of course, organizing film and cultural events.

Subscribers to our newsletter are automatically members of K+S FC. (Congratulations!) Membership includes:

  • a monthly newsletter;

  • exclusive access to films, articles, and experiences;

  • special offers on films, event tickets, gear, and more;

  • opportunities to engage with tastemakers in the soccer industry;

  • an open invitation to help us shape K+S going forward.

We are very excited about K+S FC. We love the North American soccer community we're part of, but we think we're all only getting started. Together, we can make this community bigger, better, and more worth everyone's time, and we hope K+S FC can help.

So please spread the word to anyone you think might enjoy it. New members of the K+S FC who sign up before January 1 will be automatically entered in a raffle to win a super cool K+S gift, such as a K+S Media Group cap and tickets to K+S Soccer Film Festival in New York.