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Directors Mike Brett, Steve Jamison and Jaiyah Saelua Attend Screening of NEXT GOAL WINS
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Last night RICH MIX CINEMA in Shoreditch was packed to capacity for a special screening of the poignant, uplifting and entertaining British documentary film Next Goal Wins about the 2001 World Cup team American Samoa, otherwise known as the worst football team in the world.
After the screening cinema guests had the unique opportunity to ask its directors Mike Brett and Steve Jamison and star of the film, transgender footballer Jaiyah Saelua (pictured left) questions about the filming process.
Salelua was given a warm Rich Mix round of applause during the post-film Q&A, following a question from a member of the audience who asked, 'are the players in the team aware of how much more pure their attitude to the game is?' Saelua replied: "Football is more pure because they have nothing to gain from playing. They do it purely for the love of the sport."
Brett and Jamison were asked what Saelua's story can hope to achieve in terms of discussions about inclusivity in the sport. Steve replied: "It should be left up to the individual to draw their conclusions and look at the issue because there are safety issues involved in many countries and not as many players live in countries as tolerant as American Samoa on issues of sexuality and gender in sport".
From tomorrow the film will be screened at Rich Mix as follows:
May screenings: 9th at 5pm; 10th at 6.50pm; 11th at 6.20pm; 12th at 6.50pm; 13th at 6.50pm and 14th at 6.50pm
Venue: Rich Mix Cinema, Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Ticket prices: £9.50, Student/Senior £7.00 plus £1.00 booking fee from 020 7613 7498 or www.richmix.org.uk
Certificate/15; Running time/97 minutes
'Next Goal Wins' tells the story of the football team American Samoa, who, after suffering a world record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia in 2001, are still in search of their first ever competitive win. When maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen arrives on the island to help the team achieve this elusive goal, he discovers that his ramshackle team includes an emotionally scarred goalkeeper and the first transgender player ever to play international football. They haven't scored a goal for four years and with the team about to embark on a gruelling World Cup qualification campaign, Rongen has just one month to transform this ragtag of endemic losers into a winning team - and perhaps learn a little about himself along the way.
From the Daily Telegraph: "Next Goal Wins, a film created by the British duo Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, was originally supposed to be a standard David-v-Goliath tale about American Samoa, the world's worst international football team, as they attempted to qualify for this summer's World Cup. As with many of the best documentaries, however, Brett and Jamison stumbled on something quite unexpected...Its undisputed star is Jaiyah Saelua, a member of fa'afafine or "third gender". She starts the film as a bit-part player, an exotic yet apparently insignificant squad member who admits: "I run like a girl." At first, her main contribution is to cheer on her more macho team-mates. Yet something extraordinary happens when Thomas Rongen, a grizzled, chain-smoking Dutchman, is posted to Pago Pago by the United States Football Association as a troubleshooting coach..."