A film about the impact of soccer on women in South Africa and its ability to transcend all boundaries and create change in the world.
"A lot of women soccer players are being killed because they say, 'We'll show you that you are a woman.'" -- Titie
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME is by an Award Winning Team: Directed and Produced BY Danny Turken, Executive Producers Sam Pollard and W. Wilder Knight II, Line Producer Nicole London and Outreach Producer Dollena Campbell.
Thanks for checking out THE BEAUTIFUL GAME. We need your help to tell an important and amazing story that will leave you inspired, highlight the beauty of soccer, and most importantly showcase the spirit of the women who risk their lives to play.
"When I started playing soccer, I was 6 years old and playing with the boys in the street. Soccer is a beautiful game that has taken me away from challenges in life, and it has made into a better person and taught me how to make the right health decisions. I'm working because of soccer, and if it weren't for soccer, I would be someone else today." -- Chika
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME gives powerful insight into the impact of soccer on women in South Africa, demonstrating how the incredible young women who play for City Lads Ladies play not only for the love of the game, but also for the dream that it may help liberate women throughout the world.
"When I was young, I grew up playing soccer with boys. I didn't think girls could play as well. Look at me now, I'm a role model to young girls because of soccer and especially because of my team. Playing soccer to me is like having a second family." -- Nowie
On the field, THE BEAUTIFUL GAME presents the City Lads’ hard victories and difficult setbacks as they struggle to manage their team and excel at their sport while overcoming, off the field, society’s prejudices against women playing soccer. In addition to documenting the team, their male coach and manager and female owner, the film focuses on the lives of five players, Nowie, Ngwenya, Shuffle, Amy and Chika. Each player has endured a painful and troubling past-- including corrective rape, physical abuse, poverty and HIV-related deaths. Yet, these athletes represent the women who strive and survive not only throughout the country, but also throughout the world, as they organize and play in soccer leagues and pursue the belief that the sport they love can be a force for social change.
"City Lads have taken me to another level of football that I thought I would never reach. I became the goalkeeper, which is something I believe I am good at. City Lads have given me a chance to work at Grassroot Soccer and educate young kids about HIV/AIDS and to make a difference, not just on the kids lives but also my own. So I thank the whole of City Lads from management to the players. Up the Gunners!" -- Amy
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME documents these five women as they struggle to balance their need to work and provide with their love of soccer-- a sport that has no professionally paid female leagues in South Africa. Despite their firm belief (and living proof) that soccer can deter women from negative lifestyles such as prostitution, drugs and alcohol, the film exposes the country’s lack of financial and emotional support both toward women’s soccer and teams located in the Eastern Cape. Additionally, THE BEAUTIFUL GAME explores how the women battle severe gender norms, homophobia and discrimination in a society that believes that “football makes you lesbian.”
"I play Defense and also as attacking Mid-Fielder. I love football because it has helped me bounce-back in life when I lost my mom. At that moment I thought I lost everything in this world, and soccer has stopped me from giving up, also from having low confidence." --Shuffle
Although these complex and often conflicting issues are integral toward understanding the importance of soccer and the impact it has on women in South Africa, the intertwining theme throughout the film is the pure and simple love for soccer and its potential to transcend all boundaries and reshape the perception of women throughout the world.
The women in this film are heroes, and they do inspire. With your help, we can finish this film and bring light to this much-needed story that will leave you impassioned, exhilarated and wishing you played THE BEAUTIFUL GAME. '
"I was born and raised in Mthatha and started playing football when I was about 7-8 years old with my brother, cousin and the boys in the neighborhood. I fell in love with the game. I've never played anything else but soccer, its all I know. It was not easy at first as soccer is perceived to be a man's sport and women are supposed to do house chores, but the best man in my life, my Dad, made it easy through his love and support. It has been a tough and an interesting journey at the same time. I've made good friends and travelled the world through this beautiful game. It has taught me so much about life and given me opportunities. Basically I am where I am today because of this game. It sure has its challenges, but they are worth it." -- Ngwenya
WHY WE NEED MONEY
The Beautiful Game finished eleven months of production in August 2012. Currently, we are raising funds for editing and post-production, expected to commence October 2013 and last until spring 2014. We aim to create an updated trailer and rough cut within four months of post-production. This is where you come in. Won't you help us to tell our story? Check out our rewards to the right, and we have pictures of the Jacket, Hoody, and Vests below.
SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
International Soccer Athletes:
NY Red Bulls
join THE BEAUTIFUL GAME as Official Ambassadors. Thanks for speaking out against rape, violence, and homophobia while helping us shine the light on these important issues in our documentary!
Here are some pictures of the amazing rewards you are getting. Thanks so much for your support!
DANNY TURKEN (Director/Producer) is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker. Before graduating from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Ms. Turken directed and produced the short documentary film, Affectionately Known As Alex, which illustrates the escalating xenophobic conflict and outbreak of violence that took place in the Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, South Africa in May 2008. She, along with several South African filmmakers created the collective, Filmmakers Against Racism, which serves as an educational facilitator on xenophobia. Between 2008-2009, Affectionately Known As Alex toured the international festival circuit and screened at Berlinale, the Pusan International Film Festival, the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and the Tri Continental Film Festival. Additionally, the film was distributed to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, DSTV and iWitness, Frontline World, PBS. In 2010, it was both nominated for Best Documentary Short and Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film for the South African Film and Television Awards. And recently, Ms. Turken was awarded a R20,000 Cape Film Commission Prize for her work on the film. Prior to completing Affectionately Known As Alex, Ms. Turken directed and produced, The Hudson Valley Horrors, a short film documenting the world's first non-urban, female roller derby league born out of Hudson Valley, New York.
SAM POLLARD (Executive Producer) is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years. He recently was nominated for an Emmy award for his role as Supervising Editor and served as Producer on the Spike Lee directed HBO documentary, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise, a five year follow up to the Emmy and Peabody award winning When The Levees Broke. His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton's Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads. For one of his episodes in this series, he received an Emmy. Eight years later, he returned to Blackside as Co-Executive Producer/Producer of Hampton's last documentary series I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. For the series, Mr. Pollard received The George Peabody Award. Between 1990 and 2000, Mr. Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee's films: Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. As well, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Lee co-produced a number of documentary productions for the small and big screen: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, a biographical sketch for HBO for which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy, Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings which was nominated for an Academy Award and When The Levees Broke, a four part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. Mr. Pollard recently completed as a producer/director Slavery By Another Name a 90-minute documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Festival in 2012 and also just completed editing the feature length documentary Venus and Serena.
W. WILDER KNIGHT II (Executive Producer) is “of counsel” at the New York law firm of Pryor Cashman LLP and is specialized in media, entertainment and related intellectual property. He works extensively in the finance and production of independent features and documentaries and also teaches film finance and funding at The Tisch School at New York University. Mr. Knight has been involved in structuring investment and finance deals on close to 100 independent films and several Hollywood films. Projects in which Mr. Knight has recently been involved include the documentary film Chasing Ice (Sundance Documentary Cinematography Award), the documentary film Buck (Sundance Audience Award Winner), the feature film Martha Marcy Mae Marlene (Sundance Director’s Award winner), the documentary The Cove (Academy Award Winner) and the documentary The Betrayal (Academy Award nomination, Emmy Award winner).
NICOLE LONDON (Line Producer) is a Brooklyn-based documentary producer/director currently developing her first documentary short on Guyanese cultural traditions. She first cut her teeth as an Associate Producer for PBS's To The Contrary and spent several years as Production Coordinator with the vaunted Emmy-winning PBS series American Masters, working on such films as Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built, Marilyn Monroe: Still Life, Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film, Bob Dylan: No Direction Home, and Marvin Gaye: What's Going On, where she served as Associate Producer. Recent credits include Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale(2010) and Capitalism: A Love Story (2009), Byron Hurt's Soul Food Junkies (2012), Sam Pollard's Slavery By Another Name (2012), and The Rada Film Group's American Promise, which won the Special Jury Prize in Documentary competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently involved with several productions including Sam Pollard's upcoming documentary for American Masters August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand.
IVAYLO GETOV (Cinematographer) was born in Bulgaria and raised in Los Angeles, Mr. Getov lives and works out of Brooklyn NY. In 2008, he studied in Cuba at the University of Havana and with the Ludwig Foundation, where he completed a short experimental documentary exploring the experience and commonality of a handful of individuals in and of the Cuban capital. In 2009, he graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU with a BFA in Film and a minor in Philosophy. His student work Pose recently received the Audience Award in the 2011 international Brooklyn Film Festival. As a cinematographer, he has earned credits on numerous shorts, music videos, and documentaries as well as shooting films and photo essays across three continents and countless countries. Most recently, he shot Bye, a short documentary about a young boy with Autism, which can be seen on PBS’s P.O.V. program, and just finished production on Haunters, a feature-length doc following the creators of a haunted house attraction in small-town Michigan.
DOLLENA CAMPBELL (Outreach Producer) is credited as Producer for The Anderson Monarchs, a feature length documentary film created with the help of Sundance Film Institute Directing and Fellows Program which had a successful premiere at Docuweeks, She is Producer (Outreach) for the award winning film The Pier which has been accepted into over 30 international film festivals, she is Producer (Outreach) for El Sistema USA, and is currently Producer for Searching for Terry: Discovering A Guitar Legend. Past projects include working as Producer (Outreach & Social Media) for America Works which is a documentary about unemployed veterans, and Outreach & Social Media Production on Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. In addition, she has a Social Media & Outreach Production Consultant credit on The Cradle of Rhythm, and holds two credits (Social Media Producer and Associate Producer) on the documentary feature The Whole Gritty City which is currently gearing up for it's festival run. Dollena has various Social Media & Outreach consultant credits in other films, through her work with charities, and publishing including developing outreach for Oprah Book Club selected writer Lori Andrews.
Samantha Nell (Photographer) is a South African writer, director and cinematographer. In 2009 she received a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She is currently pursuing an MFA from New York University’s satellite campus Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore. She has directed short films on three continents and has received recognition for the short documentary A Kosovo Fairytale (2009) – co-directed with Mark Middlewick and Finnish director Anna-Sofia Nylund. The short played at festivals in Europe, Africa and Asia and won the student film prize at the 2010 Tampere International Film Festival in Finland. She has also worked as a cinematographer on several films both in South Africa and Asia. In 2012 her short film script One-Way Ticket was selected for the Focus Features’ Africa First Program through which she receive $10 000 towards the production of the film. Production was completed in August 2013 in Johannesburg.
***The Beautiful Game would like to thank the following people for making our Kickstarter introduction possible:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
A challenge we may need to overcome in completing THE BEAUTIFUL GAME will be in reference to fulfilling your rewards in a specific time frame. Once we receive funding from kickstarter, we will have create a rough draft edit, and/or depending on how much we raise also a final edit, and begin to apply for film festival distribution while arranging theatrical distribution. Because of this, that time frame may change (for theatrical premiere rewards, DVDs, and digital downloads) and we will make certain to update our backers, as well as honor their rewards (making sure to tell you in ample time so that you can still attend our premiere, and be aware of when you will receive these rewards) via updates.
We have an Award Winning team which includes Executive Producer Sam Pollard (Of 4 Little Girls Acclaim) in place that has a successful track record of completing award winning documentaries, and are determined to finish THE BEAUTIFUL GAME. With your help we can make it happen. Thanks so much for checking us out and hopefully donating!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
FAN PACKAGE---- E Thanks Cards. Thanks so much for your support! Welcome to The Beautiful Game Family ( we will need your email and will contact you to receive it so that we can send you an email thank you card)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
SUPER FAN--- You are a sport! You will see your name on our website on the Supporters Page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
PREMIUM FAN--- Enjoy a Digital Download plus your name on our website on the Supporters Page for going the extra mile. Enjoy the film with our sincere thanks!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
CRAZY FAN--- For your unwavering support you will receive email progress of the film, Digital Download, your name on our website, and a heartfelt thanks for being a part of the team!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
DIE HARD FAN--- You are a Key Player on our team! In addition to all of the above, we'll be proud to put you on our Key Player Team List to be displayed on our website and Facebook (if you want to remain anonymous that's okay too!). You will also receive a digital download of the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
MASCOT--- Thanks for rooting for us! You will receive a Special Edition Signed Photo of the Soccer Ladies (you pick from pics on campaign!). You will also receive a signed DVD of the Film.Estimated delivery:Add $12 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
EQUIPMENT MANAGER--- Can't get enough? We appreciate you too! You will receive a Limited Edition Signed Photo of the Ladies on Soccer Team by the director 11X 14 (You choose)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
UNOFFICIAL PLAYER--- For going above and beyond we have a special gift. You will receive a Limited Edition Signed Photo Book of the players which includes quotes from the City Lad Ladies, and your name listed on a special page as a Team Player, PLUS a team Vest with the City Lads logo, City Lads colors, and your name embroidered (see description for pics) in your size (we will contact you via email for your size); digital download and Signed Special Edition DVD with bonus footage.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
ASSISTANT COACH--- More support equals more perks. For your generous donation you will receive all of the above PLUS an invitation for two to The Beautiful Game Premiere & After Party for music and drinks a Team Hoody with your name embroidered (see description for pics) in your size (we will contact you via email for your size).Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
COACH--- Thank you for your amazing contribution to the team! Please enjoy dinner with Director & Crew at Premiere, your name embroidered in a Padded Jacket (see description for pics) in your size (we will contact you via email for your size), Tickets to the Premiere and After Party (You provide transportation and lodging), Special signed DVD with bonus footage, Limited Edition Signed Photo book, your name in the special thanks section on our film, Email updates about the progress of the film, and a listing of your name as a Gold Team Member in our team list on our website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
GENERAL MANAGER--- For your out-of-this-world generosity, we will rent out a theater near you for you and 50 of your friends to see the film. For remote locations please allow for the closest nearby city which will allow. PLUS City Lads Vest & Hoody with your name and embroidered logo, Dinner with the Director and Crew at the premiere (you must provide lodging and transportation), Limited Edition Signed Photo Book with your name as a Platinum Team Member on a special page, Special signed DVD with bonus footage, and your name in the special thanks section on our film, listing as a Platinum Team Member in our team list on our website, and email updates about the progress of the filmEstimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)
SPONSOR--- We are overwhelmed and appreciative. There are no words. Please enjoy our deepest, heartfelt thanks and a film credit! You will receive Producer's Circle film credit, Invites (for 3) to all events and all premieres, seating by director and cast, and We will rent out a theater near you for you and 50 of your friends to see the film. For remote locations please allow for the closest nearby city which will allow. PLUS City Lads Vest, Hoody & Padded Jacket with your name and embroidered logo, Dinner with the Director and Crew at the premiere (you must provide lodging and transportation), signed DVD with bonus footage, in addition to your name in the special Producer's Circle Thanks section on our film, and as a Producer's Circle Friend in our team list above platinum donors, Special Signed Photo Book with your name listed inside as a Producer's Circle Friend in a highlighted section for all to see (we can also keep you anonymous if you prefer), Limited Edition Signed Photo Book with your name as a Producer's Circle Friend on a special page, Email updates about the progress of the film, and a heartfelt thanks for being part of the team.Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)