In Football We Trust is the yet-untold story of five
talented, young Utah football players who are Tongan and Samoan. With
unprecedented access, this feature length documentary intimately explores their
lives within the tightly-knit Polynesian community, capturing the high stakes
world of recruiting, nature of competitive athletics, complexities of cultural
identity, and pressures of family responsibility.
Through these young athletes, In Football We Trust explores
how Polynesians are changing the face of high school, college and professional
football. Despite overwhelming
obstacles, they are “56 times more likely to make it in the NFL than any other
race,” (CBS’s 60 Minutes). Last
year 291 Polynesian athletes played at 55 Division 1 schools, an approximately
fifty percent increase since 2005.
Some refer to this phenomenon as a calling or a gift from God, others
credit genetics, or socio-cultural influences; regardless of the theory,
Polynesians are making unprecedented strides in football.
Although Pacific Islanders have achieved tremendous notoriety through
football, most young Polynesian men are raised by parents that depend on them
to “make it in the NFL, at the cost of everything else,” Vai Sikahema, former
Philadelphia Eagle. Many NFL players regret that football was the only
option. “I don’t think I want my kids to play football…,” says Haloti Ngata,
Baltimore Ravens. In Football We Trust examines how football
for many families is thought of as the ticket out of poverty and gang life, yet
ironically this unwavering fixation with football can keep families entrenched
in those conditions.
In Football We Trust has initially survived off of
community support. Crew members
have donated their time, local businesses have provided supplies for
fundraisers and film shoots, professional athletes have given us their
memorabilia to use as kickstarter incentives, and our subjects have welcomed us
into their families. In Football We Trust's "guerilla filmmaking" fundamentals have established
credibility within the industry and created a worldwide fanbase via facebook,
twitter and youtube. Ultimately In Football We Trust will pursue all possible distribution
options to ensure global exposure. Simply put, we want to get the
film out to as many people as possible.
Our subjects’ lives revolve around football; they believe that
football is the only way to obtain an education, provide for their families,
and make a name for themselves outside of the gang culture that surrounds them.
The football "seed" is planted quite young and our subjects have been
taught from day one that they are to become professional football players. We
have followed these young athletes for the past two years, and plan to continue
documenting their post-high school experiences as they negotiate the destiny that society has dictated for them.
Their life experiences
combined with shockingly honest interviews about the professional sports world
from today’s best known Polynesian
athletes tell an American immigrant story of raw passion for football,
dedication to preserving one’s culture and the enduring quest for a prosperous
future. With your assistance through Kickstarter, and our angel donors who have
pledged to match what we are able to raise, In Football We Trust’s unprecedented
access has the potential to ultimately challenge viewers notions of the
professional sports world and today’s America, inspire youth to follow their
seemingly “wildest” dreams, and reveal the unique complexities of
Tongan director and Utah native Tony Vainuku, award winning
producer Erika Cohn, Academy Award winning executive producer Geralyn Dreyfous,
and former VP of NFL Films/thirty-time Emmy winning executive producer Phil
Tuckett, bring you this timely story…
Kickstarter features creative productions from all over the
world and promotes a new form of commerce and patronage in which project creators keep 100% ownership and
control over their work.
Potential donors (worldwide) are offered incentives, as opposed to profit
percentages, and a project must
reach its funding goal before time runs out or donations will not be
released. This method protects all
involved: creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds,
and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk. Some of the
incentives that we are offering include personally donated and autographed
memorabilia from today’s best-known athletes, SoulPro and Skullcandy apparel
and accessories, and vacations to the “Homeland” (Salt Lake or Park City).
There are incentives for donation amounts ranging from $5-$10,000 (see right
side of the page for specifics), however we hope that the motivation stems from
a natural interest in the project and the desire to participate in the film’s
HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUT GOAL:
don't reach our goal ($40,000 over 40 days), none of the donations will be released. Donors pledge the amounts,
but don't actually pay until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has
passed. We want to avoid this so please spread the word. Everything
helps! When we meet our goal, we can immediately begin delivering merchandise.
YOU CAN HELP:
film will only be possible with the help of you (sports fan, independent film
fans, scholars and anyone who identifies with the immigrant experience or loves a compelling story).
We want this to be your film just as much as it is ours. The more people
who Participate the better chance we have of getting the story out. Please Twitter
it, "Like" us on Facebook, and email this Kickstarter link to your friends, teammates, supporter groups, and co-workers to inform them about the film and
this campaign. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
THE FUNDS WILL BE USED FOR:
collected from Kickstarter will be used to sustain production as we continue to
follow our subjects through the next years of their lives and to begin
post-production (specifically to organize the hundreds of hours of footage,
create an assembly cut, and start the archival research process).