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Soccer-based Film Festival Opens in New York
New York Times, June 30th, 2009 3:30PM



The first film festival in the United States dedicated to soccer movies, the Kicking and Screening International Soccer Film Festival, will unspool at five locations July 14-18 across New York City. "Soccer and film are passions - they crystallize things and make us feel," said one of the event's founders, Rachel Markus. "When we watch them, we're looking for a story; to identify with the characters and to live that drama with them. So you don't have to be a fan of either to enjoy this festival."

The five events in the first festival are "Les Yeux dans les Bleus," a documentary about the 1998 French team that won the World Cup (at Opia, July 14); "Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos" (TriBeCa Grand Hotel, July 15); a panel discussion titled "Beckham in America," followed by a viewing party of the Red Bulls-Los Angeles Galaxy game (Slainte, July 16); "FC Barcelona Confidential," a look at a team that is a sporting and cultural symbol, (Spanish Benevolent Society, July 17); and "In the Hands of the Gods," about five soccer players on a search for Diego Maradona (Central Bar, July 18).

Part of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to Grassroots Soccer, a nonprofit organization that seeks to use soccer in the fight against H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa. "Next year, we're hoping for some film narratives," Markus said. "Something like a midnight showing of 'Victory' and 'More Than Just a Game.' We want to raise the bar for people who are into soccer and film. And it's a way to get people more excited about the sport."


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