A documentary about the UEFA-backed Homeless World Cup, an international football tournament which changes lives, will enjoy its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah, in January.
Kicking It, directed by Susan Koch and produced by Ted Leonsis, is an intimate look at homeless athletes who find a greater goal on the football field as they journey with 48 nations to the Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup. The film chronicles the lives of seven players taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their country while overcoming poverty and addiction. The players come from war-torn Afghanistan, the slums Mathare and Huruma in Kenya, the drug rehabiltation clinics of Dublin, the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, the public shelters of Madrid and the rural immigrants' culture in St Petersburg.
Kat Byles, Homeless World Cup media director, said: "That the inspirational story of the Homeless World Cup will be shown first at Sundance is a fitting testimony to the courage, determination and spirit of the players. It is a milestone achievement for the Homeless World Cup and one we hope will demonstrate the power of football to change lives to a wider audience around the world."
'Lives can be transformed'
Koch added: "Soccer is the world's most popular sport and played in virtually every country around the globe, while homelessness is one of the world's most pervasive problems. When you bring the two together, lives can be transformed. We found extraordinary people who for the first time were given the chance to stand tall and not be invisible."
Uniting 48 nations
The Homeless World Cup, based in Scotland, was founded by one of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, Mel Young, also co-founder of The Big Issue Scotland, International Network of Street Papers and New Consumer magazine. The Copenhagen 2007 Homeless World Cup united 48 nations this summer.
Click here for more information on the Homeless World Cup
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