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A modern American story about four young Polynesian NFL hopefuls using football as a way out of poverty and gang violence.
380 backers pledged $41,403 to help bring this project to life.

About

In Football We Trust - a Sundance documentary premiere project video thumbnail
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$41,403

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We are fortunate to have been selected to World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and aim to make it our "kick-off" for a year long national -- and maybe, international -- screening tour. Sundance is arguably one of the top film festivals in the world and is where films like ours are discovered. We are so humbled by this opportunity and invite you to come make history with us!

In exchange for your support, we are offering some fun rewards in addition to our heartfelt thanks...check them out on the right hand side of the page. 

Our outreach and engagement campaigns will ensure that IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST reaches a wide audience, specifically in new-immigrant communities and for underprivileged youth. Our subjects were vulnerable during the most challenging times of their lives. Their trials and tribulations changed us as filmmakers and inspired us to continue providing a platform for stories like theirs. We hope that youth who see the film will learn from our subjects’ experiences and that parents will better understand the pressure that their teenage kids are up against. In addition, the film aspires to create awareness about Polynesian culture and to encourage viewers to confront their own expectations of the ‘American dream.’

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST is a contemporary, non-fictionalized American story about culture and youth; the highs and lows of high school adolescence; race and privilege; and ultimately, faith, family and football. Over a four-year period, we were given unprecedented access with four incredible young men who are being heard for the first time not only by their parents, but by those outside the tightly-knit Polynesian community as well. Often viewed as the "salvation" for their families, these young men reveal the culture clash they experience while entrenched in the high stakes world of collegiate recruiting, the rigors of societal expectations and the pressure-filled landscape of competitive modern athletics. Finally, we capture the story behind the headlines, amid the rise of the Pacific Islander presence in the NFL, through an every day portrait of our subjects’ lives, ultimately opening a window into a culture that is relatively unknown.

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST is slated for a national broadcast with Independent Lens. Our goal is to supplement a successful public television run with a strong festival presence, limited theatrical release, an educational distribution deal to compliment our social outreach strategy, home video rights, VOD, and address the global interest in the film through foreign broadcast markets in countries with substantial Pacific Islander communities. In addition, we will create an online interactive website/app where our target audience will be able to view and respond to how the film’s subjects have dealt with life’s challenges. This will be entitled the “Make Your Own History” campaign, which endeavors to be an outlet for youth around the world to share their aspirations and accomplishments. Your support will go toward the following:

  • Community screenings and Q&A with the filmmakers, subjects and NFL players
  • Web-discussion groups prompted by questions relating to the Film’s themes. 
  • Short Educational Video modules. 

Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn are both from Salt Lake City, where “In Football We Trust,” their first project together, takes place. Their executive producer, Geralyn Dreyfous, introduced the two filmmakers at the start of Utah’s competitive high school football season, and they decided to partner on a film that would tell a new-immigrant story from the communities they grew up in.

Tony Vainuku comes from a culture of third world traditions and a family of athletes. After graduating with a B.S. in Business Marketing from Westminster College, Tony founded a multimedia company called Soulprofile Productions, specializing in creative directing, web ads and music production. In addition to his directorial debut, IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, Tony founded and launched the Soulpro brand in 2011: a lifestyle apparel brand built on the philosophy of Passion is Purpose®.

Erika Cohn has received numerous accolades for her work, including a Director’s Guild of America award for her film, WHEN THE VOICES FADE, and recent admission into the CPB Producer’s Academy. She attended Chapman University, where she graduated with degrees in Film Production and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, Erika is an avid documentary photographer.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Thank you for helping us "move the ball down the field!" We will add you to our exclusive online newsletter, where you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    We'll let you in on an old family popcorn recipe, so that you can enjoy a tasty snack while watching the film! Plus a thank you tweet and newsletter access.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Face paint for tailgating and cheering on your home team! Paint the number 25 or whatever number your favorite player is wearing! Plus a thank you tweet and newsletter access.

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    17 backers
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    LOCALS ONLY, 21+ VENUE

    Admission to Salt Lake City, post-Sundance exclusive screening and after-party on Saturday, Feb. 7th, 6pm. Upon donating you will receive an email with further details.

    Note that no one under 21 will be admitted due to venue regulations.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 43 or more About US$ 43

    #43 for Troy Polamalu featured in the film! “Make Your Own History” like he did. We will send you a limited edition button to pin on your favorite shirt. Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post and newsletter access.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    “The past is gone, the future lies out there on the 50 yard line!” If you love this movie as much as we do, this quote will be a favorite from the movie. Especially, because you get a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the movie! Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post and newsletter access.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 92 or more About US$ 92

    #92 for Haloti Ngata featured in the film! Which is why we must go BIGGER! Why settle with a digital download, when a DVD adds to your collection, has extras, and a cover! Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Our boys in the film love Soulpro, the lifestyle apparel brand! Let's get you outfitted with apparel, custom made for our boys in the film...an original snapback hat and an exclusive movie T-shirt! Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post, instagram shoutout, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    You need a home theatre worthy movie poster...signed by all of our NFL players...AND main characters on the film! Yes! Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post, instagram shoutout, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Okay! You must really want to watch this movie...so we're inviting you to celebrate the next screening of IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST with us. You'll get 2 tickets to a screening near you, dinner with cast and crew, and invites to the after party! Congrats, you earned it! See you there, wearing the exclusive IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST Sundance beanie that we’ll send you with the tickets :) Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post, instagram shoutout, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

    note - travel is not included. estimated delivery is based upon future screening dates.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Maybe you live in a small town and would prefer to skype in with us! In addition to a DVD copy of the film and an exclusive IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST Sundance beanie, you'll get your own personal skype Q&A with Tony and Erika, one of the subjects and an NFL player. Plus a thank you tweet/facebook post, instagram shoutout, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    We have nothing left to give you! Wait, memorabilia from some of our NFL players and their teammates seems appropriate! These players include Haloti Ngata, Troy Polamalu, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Star Lotulelei and many more! Plus a DVD, thank you tweet/facebook post, instagram shoutout, newsletter access and a "Make Your Own History" button.

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Funding period

- (30 days)