The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is right around the corner. To get you prepped and thoroughly amped, download a movie made for and out of the love of soccer.
In this week’s Friday download: A film about race, class, poverty, faith, hope- and above all else – soccer. The film takes place in Alexandra, the largest and most notorious township in South Africa, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was the first time the tournament was held in Africa in its 80-year history. Soccer City follows five charismatic football players born and raised in Alexandra – a township still transitioning from apartheid and largely misunderstood even by South Africans. In celebration of the New Year and the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Soccer City is now available to all – as a BitTorrent Bundle.
We sit down with film creator Nick Fitzhugh to talk about the importance of storytelling and why he needed to make this film.
Q. What inspires you to make films?
I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I’ve found them and invented them: sometimes in words or images, sometimes in motion pictures. Sometimes these stories are my own, and sometimes I’m helping others share theirs.
Q. So filmmaking is important to you because of your affinity for storytelling. Why is storytelling so important?
Stories allow us to share and understand experiences – which, in turn, enable us see commonalities, where we once saw differences.
Q. Why was Soccer City a story you needed to tell?
Soccer City is my first major film project. There was a lot of news around the first FIFA World Cup to ever be held in Africa. I was fascinated by the stories of the players. The athletes who eventually make up the national soccer team usually come from African townships, or slums. These athletes become celebrities, celebrated throughout the world, and yet no one knows anything about where they came, because no one dares find out.
I wanted to share the untold stories of those who used to be stars, are stars or hope to be stars one day in the birthplace of South African soccer, a place no one else wanted to go.
Q. What about soccer? Why did you want to make a film about the players in this sport?
I’ve been a soccer player all my life. I love it. I captained my high school team to its first ever state championship, played at Brown University for a year, coached a youth premiere soccer club after college, played on a premiere club in the Washington, DC area, and play even now (albeit fairly informally) on a club team in Brooklyn, NY.
“I think the ethos of Soccer City parallels that of BitTorrent Bundle. I like the idea that a tight-knit community reflective of the one it was born out of is formed around the film’s distribution. I like the idea that the individual talents that came together to make the film can be highlighted and their work also distributed through the paradigm of a Bundle”
Q. Can you tell me about your experience with these players and making this film?
It was a joy to work with all of our subjects. They’re incredible people. Charismatic, driven, joyful, and unbelievably dedicated. They’re good human beings. So, they made it easy.
But, there were difficulties. Capturing everything we needed to in just 21 days, in an environment that was new to us. We looked and often felt like foreigners. We worked tirelessly but happily. The film speaks to our love and fascination of the experience.
Q. Why did you want to release this film through BitTorrent Bundle?
I think the ethos of Soccer City parallels that of a BitTorrent Bundle. I like the idea that a tight-knit community reflective of the one it was born out of is formed around the film’s distribution. I like the idea that the individual talents that came together to make the film can be highlighted and their work also distributed through the paradigm of a Bundle. And ultimately, it’s important for these stories to reach the widest possible audience. If I can recoup my costs then I’m happy to release it also for free in exchange for an email address, in exchange for making a new fan.
I owe that to our subjects and to everyone else who helped make the film happen.
Q: What’s next?
I have a number of projects in post-production and in development. Notably, I have a feature documentary, Starboard Light, which is being submitted to film festivals now and is due out in early 2014. Anyone interested in finding out more: please visit my website at redfitz.com. Investors, prospective clients, fans and anyone else should also certainly feel free to contact me.
Download the Bundle to get the complete 60 minute film in full HD and more.
About BitTorrent Bundle
BitTorrent Bundle for Publishers is an Alpha program designed to make direct-to-fan publishing simple. The new platform automates content distribution: allowing creators to build shareable pages in a click, and share multiple files and multimedia content in a single download. Request an invite.