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A few weeks back I mentioned that a fantastic documentary on pick-up soccer around the world is coming to the Seattle area. Embedded above is a short montage clip of “Pelada”, which will be a screening Thursday at Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace.
Here’s the post I had earlier with my thoughts on the film and here’s information on the screening again:
Seattle PELADA PREMIERE with a Q&A with director and star Gwendolyn Oxenham
Thursday, September 23rd – 7pm
6009 244th Street SW
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
*per theater policy, this screening will be 21+
* * *
As mentioned above, Oxenham (the film’s star and director) will be on site at the screening to answer any questions you might afterwards. I caught up with her recently for a Q&A about her experiences — check it out after the jump.
Q: What has this cross-country screening tour/media circuit been like for you recently?
Oxenham: We’ve been hopping all over the country, setting up screenings in indie theaters, high school and college auditoriums, soccer-affectionate pubs–anywhere we can. Since we have no money for PR, promoting the film can be a bit tough. Any time we’ve succeeded in getting the word out to the soccer community, we’ve had wonderful turnouts, selling out shows in a lot of different cities. In Vail, one-hundred plus people walked over to the adjacent soccer field and starting playing in pickup games under the lights.
Q: What ultimately brought you to Seattle?
Oxenham: Because of Seattle’s awesome soccer contingent, we’ve been attempting to get here for a long time–it just took us a while to find a theater we could afford. We’re really happy to be at the Cinebarre.
Q: One thing that struck me about your film was you guys didn’t just go to beaches in Brazil and to the Euro Cup, but also went to some potentially dangerous places. Why were you so motivated to push those boundaries?
Oxenham: We just wanted to use the game to see into places all over the world. Often times the poor neighborhoods had the most pickup. Plus, we didn’t want to make a film about the game’s connective quality without going to any of the more difficult places–like Iran.
Q: Did you ever feel particularly unsafe?
The Argentinians who see the film always express a fair amount of shock that we went into Villa 31, a ghetto on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. On our way in, three different policeman tried to stop us, one of us telling us, “It’s your life–not mine.” As we asked for directions, everyone told us not to go. The week before, a news crew had gotten their cameras stolen and “their heads bashed in,” which was an unnerving bit of news to hear as you’re walking in. But as soon as people know you’re looking for soccer, they want to show you their game and the way it’s done in their neighborhood, and they make sure nothing happens to you. While Villa 31 has a reputation for being full of dangerous criminals, the guys we met were some of the kindest people we met anywhere.
There was also a moment in a favela in Brazil where a sixteen year old holding a giant gun called out to us in perfect English, “Welcome to Rocinha, the most beautiful place on earth”… and then started humming the theme song from Kill Bill. That was sort of freaky.
Q: What are one or two places or experiences that will really resonate with you say five years from now?
Oxenham: Our week in Mathare Valley, Kenya. Nothing I could really say here could do it justice. Playing in the prison, playing with the women in Iran, playing with the Arabs and Jews in Israel. Playing with “Ronaldinha.” And the old men in Brazil. And…well, the list could go on for a while.