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The Jay DeMerit Story is a true story of a young American's journey to the 2010 World Cup - one never experienced in the soccer world.
The Jay DeMerit Story is a true story of a young American's journey to the 2010 World Cup - one never experienced in the soccer world.
1,937 backers pledged $223,422 to help bring this project to life.

Great News! Another call to action

First off, thanks to everyone for the media outreach. We were able to get over 20 people reviewing and writing about the film in major sports publications throughout the country.  We are promoting the film with no ad budget so everything is appreciated. 

We are getting a ton of interest from sports related features... even though Hollywood still is ignoring the film.  Even though we are now in over 130 theaters, even though we sold out Chicago in 8 hours and they had to expand it (the theater was bombarded with phone calls), even though something amazing happened in Kalamazoo where an organization bought out 2 entire screenings and all they are asking is people bring a donation for charity.  Hollywood is more focused on covering the remake of Footloose than this incredible true people powered story. They just don't get it!

Please continue to get the word out to the media, to coaches, to clubs, and to anyone else who is interested.  We are encouraging everyone to buy their tickets in advance.  Get all the info at

When we pack these screenings and do it in the way that we did, then Hollywood and everyone else will take notice.  Amazing things are happening, with entire teams, supporters groups, and organizations coming out to view the film.  We have two weeks left! Everyone knows the road we have taken to get here.  We are focused, foot to the pedal, looking forward! Thanks for your continued support!

LA Times Review! Rewards update

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  Wanted to let you know we have sent all the autographed cleats and jerseys out! Have sent the first 200 t-shrits as well.  The rest coming soon along with posters.  We have sent the hard drive to the dvd manufacturing company (complete with bonus scenes) and  will send out dvd's as soon as we get back!

Also wanted to let everyone know we just had a review in the LA Times (complete with cliche title about film scoring big :))  The review was great! We are very very happy. There are only 4 of us working centrally to promote this film and time is running out. We know there are a lot more people helping out and we are so grateful for it.  If anyone has any contacts in media (sports, entertainment, etc) that wants to review the film please let us know.  Media LOVE to review films and it is a great way for us to get some publicity about Jay's story to people who may not know about it.  You can email us at and we will send them an electronic copy. This should really help in getting the word out.  If you don't know anyone please just send a few emails to your local media outlets (big or small)  We really appreciate it! And please tell one coach, one player, and one league about the film!

Here is a link to the review and excerpt:,0,858808.column

"The movie opens with this quote:

"The poorest of all men is not one without a cent, it is one without a dream." — Unknown.

Apparently, getting the film made was a story in itself, and one major holdup, according to the Guardian newspaper, was raising more money to secure the licensing of game footage.

That was worth the wait."

Film Review! Film rating and a success with theaters...

Don't meant oversaturate everyone with emails, just had a few quick things. First, we sent the hard drive off to the dvd company today - so things are moving! Bonus features done (including Jay doing a good impression of Justin Bieber)

Very exciting news, we got our first film review of the final cut... and we got 5 stars! We know it wasn't The Hollywood Reporter and we aren't expecting 5 star reviews but 5 stars are 5 stars and we are thrilled.  Here is the link to the review:

We have been asked quite a few times what the film is rated. The film is not rated as there was a long wait to actually get a rating. But the film is for all ages! No profanity, no nudity, just some violent slide tackles.  We have had kids watch it with their parents and they have loved it... some are still talking about it from a few months ago.

Lastly, we have picked up new theaters (in Littleton, CO., Stillwater, OK, and Rothschild, WI ) due to people calling theaters and requesting the film.  If you don't have the film in your city you can do so! The distributors are blown away that this is happening.

Thanks a lot. Everyone have a great weekend and please tell 1 league, 1 coach, and 1 player about the film this weekend!

Here is an excerpt from the review:

"...As one of the professional coaches in the movies says, usually by the time a player is 19 or 20, they pretty much have zero chance at being a professional. Jay was past this magical age requirement, and the fact that such a low percentage of players get to play in England's Barclays Premier League -- the highest level of soccer in England and most possibly the world -- he still persevered.

Seeing how things are set into motion starting from the time Jay was in grade school really gives viewers a sense of just how amazing the journey is. The sheer amount of interview time given to family members, friends, coaches and others who knew Jay -- whether it be the mom in England who took him in as his own and jokes about him stepping in dog poop, or his teammates -- helps to paint a picture of who Jay is.

One of the more interesting aspects of the film is how it delves into the issues faced with being an American trying to break into English football -- or just an athlete in general trying to break into English football. Already shunned by the Chicago Fire while a member of their development team, Jay also had to contend with preconceived notions of just how good an American can be at the sport, and the background given on the many leagues and systems used to spot and cultivate talent is interesting.

Rise and Shine weaves between presenting a very personal story to the broader football aspect in a way that never feels disjointed."

Jay DeMerit vs. Johnny Depp/1 coach, 1 player, 1 league!

Wanted to give another update, things are really moving forward!  We also just were informed that Johnny Depp's film "The Rum Diary" will be opening the same time as Rise & Shine.  I read the book and it is a good read... but did Hollywood really need to pay Johnny Depp $20 million to get drunk and cruise around Puerto Rico?  And put another crazy amount into marketing it?  Some books are better left at that...

So we have DeMerit v. Depp! I think a walk off is in order... Let's show Hollywood that independent film is alive and well as is soccer in this country.

We are asking everyone to contact one soccer league in your area, one coach or former coach, and one other player.  Let them know about the film and Jay's story.  We are getting great response from people on the ground, and it is just a matter of us fully reaching the soccer world.  We are working around the clock to simply get the word out by emailing every soccer league we can find.  

Please help out by contacting one player, one coach, and one league.  Thanks, Rise & Shine

EDITING DONE! More theaters! A request and message from Evan Mundine

The editing of the film is done!!!! It came out great... Jay watched it multiple times and we are all happy with it.  Can't wait for everyone to see it.  Just finishing up some of the dvd features then sending it off to get the dvd's printed.

We are also in more theaters! We just found out we are in Long Beach, CA, Littleton, Louisville, Baton Rouge, Rochester Hills, Ypsilanti, Las Vegas, Hurst, Fort Worth, Fairfax, Toledo West Chester, Milford, and West Charlton.  PLEASE spread the word by going to

We are only a few people and trying to do so much!  Evan Mundine, an awesome 14 year old from Texas has written a message below that he wanted to share.  Evan and all of us are asking everyone to contact at least one soccer league in their area and let them know about the film! Ask them to support soccer and Jay's story and let people know about it! It is a film for all ages, perfect for the youth. If the film is not in your area yet and you want it then please contact theaters and let them know you want it shown there.

This is Evan's message:

My name is Evan Mundine, I'm 14 years old and play with Lonestar FC in Austin,Tx.  Currently I am on medical leave due to a recent health issue that has required two surgeries and at this point my return to playing is not known. I started playing soccer at the age of 3 in Bastrop, Texas and I pretty quickly realized that I wanted to go as far as possible with soccer. My family has always attended, watched and supported soccer teams of all levels. Over the years I have even been lucky enough to get to know players from the USMNT and MLS as friends. That changed my life in a very great way because before this health issue came up , just before my 13th birthday, I was only just making my way back from a very severe leg injury that had left me in a wheelchair and required surgeries and rehab for almost 2 years to get me back to playing. Basically I'm a youth player that for whatever reason is fighting another battle to just get back to doing what I love so much. I've had players encouraging me and supporting me setback after setback and that has made a big difference and honestly its given me the strength to keep fighting for my dream.

Too many people had told me over and over that my dream to represent the USMNT is just not realistic or possible. When you hear that long enough it wears your heart down even if you also have positive support. I almost started to believe that it was over for me too until I heard about Jay DeMerit's story. He's a player I have admired and followed for years , but I never knew what he went through to get where he is until a few months ago. That's when I got involved with Rise & Shine The Jay DeMerit Story. At that time it was about helping to raise funds to get his story released to a wide audience. With support from fans all over the world who believed in Jay's story and the lessons it teaches, the money was raised(and then something pretty amazing happened). It got picked up for release in theaters, over 100 theaters nationwide!  Entire organziations came on board as well as people from all over contributing their time and creativity. I'm writing to ask you to help me get the word out to youth players , coaches and parents that we need to pack the theaters on November 3, 2011. Without our support Jay's amazing story of fighting against and overcoming odds that most people would have seen as impossible might not get a fair chance in theaters. I've watched the rough copy and I can tell you that it gave me so much hope and just made me so proud of Jay too. Before my last surgery on September 12,2011 I watched it again and I told myself that I would be alright. I would be like Jay and just keep fighting and never give up. Rise & Shine is a movie that anyone facing a struggle against odds will find hope and strength in and even though it is about a USMNT player you don't have to be a soccer player to be inspired by the movie. Basically its a story that will leave you wanting to make a difference in life and to make things better in the world. Maybe that sounds funny, but its what 

I felt and what many others who've seen the movie have felt too. Please help me get the word out by linking to the official movie site and letting people know where screenings are playing so that people can find theaters and also just learn more about Jay's story.  Encourage teams to attend together ,represent and support Jay just like he did for youth players and our country at the World Cup in 2010.  Trust when I say you won't regret it.