Roughly 12 months ago, TRF covered the 3rd annual Kicking & Screening (K+S) soccer film festival in New York City. We were and remain fascinated by the idea of a festival dedicated to nothing but football films; full length features, shorts, foreign, home-grown, and many never publicly screened before. At the time, we had a chance to interview Rachel Markus, Kicking & Screening brainchild and co-founder, about the festival’s background, the features and short films being screened, and the detailed festival schedule. So, when Rachel emailed me a few weeks back asking about my participation at this year’s 4th New York festival, I wanted to make sure we included a ‘second act’ interview.
From left: Rachel Markus, K+S co-founder, film/production crew of Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, Greg Lalas (second from right), K+S co-founder, and Alexi Lalas, former USMNT player and K+S film panel participant
K+S New York 2012 Highlight Reel
- World Premiere of “1:1: Thierry Henry” (June 28), “Gringos at the Gate” (June 27) and Rivals: Celtic vs. Rangers
- US premiere of ‘The Four Year Plan and ‘The Last Proletarians of Football’
- Festival Runs June 27-30 at World-Famous Tribeca Cinemas
- June 27 & 28 screenings sold out but tickets still available for June 29 & 30th
- Marquee sponsor KICKTV will stream some of the K+S NYC films in the near future as part of its new YouTube soccer documentary channel
- 10 soccer films including 6 features and 4 shorts from 9 countries. See the complete K+S NYC 2012 schedule here.
- 4 nights, 4 themes: June 27 ‘Enemies Forever: Great Rivalries’; June 28 ‘Yes, I Can: The Individual Spirit’; June 29 ‘Secrets of Success’; June 30 ‘Soccer & Politics’
- Each film night includes post-screening panel discussions with producers & directors as well as an after party at the Varick room
- K+S’s chosen charitable partner for 2012 is the international soccer nonprofit Coaches Across Continents, which uses football to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged children in developing countries.
TRF’s Q&A with Rachel Markus about the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival New York City, June 27-30
TRF: It’s been nearly a year since TRF attended the 2011 K+S Soccer Film Fest in New York City and you guys are now back with the 4th, 2012 edition. What has happened at K+S within the last year?
RM (Rachel Markus): K+S has been extremely busy and closely involved in various national and international football film festivals. After a very successful K+S NYC last July, we hosted our inaugural ’Rewind: K+S London’ football film fest (with a tremendous amount of guidance from UK football media legends Grant Best and Tom Watt) an 8 day fall event spanning dozens of films and uniting football heroes of past and present. In addition, we were asked to help curate football films for the Kerala (India) International Film Fest and ended up adding 7 renowned indie football selections to the sports film program. While NYC and London will remain our two annual staple festivals we are always looking to work with cities with a strong soccer culture to host smaller, satellite festivals. For example, we previously did this in DC, were involved in a similar event in Liverpool, England and are planning a K+S Portland later this fall.
TRF: What are the main film fest highlights this year?
RM: This year we decided to theme each film night (5 total) and screen multiple features at one time due to an increase in fantastic film submissions we received. The first two nights include the highest profile films with ‘Gringos at the Gate‘, a feature on why US vs. Mexico has become the most fiery and socially significant clash in international soccer, and ‘1:1 Thierry Henry‘, a behind the scenes documentary into the French football legend’s move to the MLS’ New York Red Bulls. The Henry film in particular is sure to attract a drove of local Arsenal supporters and Red Bull players and staff. Other incredible features include ’The Four Year Plan’, Queen Park Rangers’ future with new billionaire owners, and ‘The Last Proletarians of Football’, Sven-Göran Eriksson’s socialist-leaning revolution that led IFK Göteborg’s semi-pro squad to the 1982 UEFA Cup
TRF: Last year, we thought the post-screening panel discussions were riveting and very well attended. Are any panels planned for this year?
RM: The panels are definitely the most popular aspect of our screenings since film goers have a chance to meet the producer and directors behind the films as well as football personalities who show up. Several of the films’ directors including 1:1 Thierry Henry director, Austrian Verena Soltiz, will be there.
K+S founder Greg Lalas chats with Simon Laub and Sam Potter, producers of Soka Afrika, during a K+S NY Film Fest panel discussion
TRF: How many film submissions did you have for the 2012 New York edition?
RM: We had a record 50 submission including numerous short films. We ended up choosing 10 selections including six feature-length films and four shorts.
TRF: I know that Wednesday and Thursday are already sold out but if I can only make it to one other night of the screenings which one do you recommend?
RM: Friday or Saturday nights are good options, not only for soccer fans, but film lovers and any one interested in idea exchange and panel discussions.
TRF: We see that KICKTV is a new sponsor this year. Tell us more about this partnership.
RM: Sure. KICKTV, our marquee sponsor, is a digital network dedicated to soccer. Like the site says, it’s YouTube’s global headquarters to the beautiful game. Ideologically, it’s a great fit for both entities and will help broaden the viewership and interest level of soccer films. We know they will soon launch a documentary-type channel on their network so many of the films we feature at K+S festivals will be available there as well. While we continue to value the New York Red Bull’s support and community partnership, we are really excited about what KICKTV will bring to the festival and the global soccer film enthusiast.
While TRF will not be able to attend the 2012 K+S NYC soccer film fest, we will continue to support this worthy initiative from afar and look forward to seeing some of this year’s content on KICKTV in the future.