Home Lifestyle The 2024 Soccer Film Festival: Where Football, Films, and Culture Converge

The 2024 Soccer Film Festival: Where Football, Films, and Culture Converge

by eyesonhollywood
This March, the soccer world converges with the cinematic realm at the 15th annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, slated for March 14-16 at the Football Cafe in the heart of New York City. Located in the Lower East Side, Football Cafe is owned by ex-pro soccer star Kyle Martino. The venue was gracious enough to house the festival curated for fans of the beautiful game and film enthusiasts alike, the festival stands as a beacon of soccer’s enduring influence on global cultures and individual lives.

This year, the festival spotlights a compelling selection of films that traverse the globe, celebrating soccer’s rich narratives. Highlights include “The United Way,” an enthralling look into Manchester United through the lens of Eric Cantona, “The Home Game,” following a dream of a useable soccer pitch in Iceland, and the nostalgic journey “When L.A. Wolves Conquered the U.S.A.,” revisiting the 1960s resurgence of professional soccer in America. Each film in the lineup not only entertains but also delves deep into soccer’s capacity to forge community, challenge societal norms, and inspire change.

At the heart of the festival’s programming is the “Soccer and the Creative Mind” panel, an anticipated discourse set for the opening night. With a panel comprising Suzanne McKenzie of ABLE MADE, Owen Blackhurst of Mundial, and Pablo Bayona Sapag of Club Eleven, and moderated by the festival’s co-founder Greg Lalas, this conversation aims to uncover the myriad ways soccer influences and is influenced by the broader cultural spectrum, including fashion, film, and photography. As a result, it will open the eyes of soccer and art fans alike to show the overlap and connection between them.

Says Suzanne McKenzie Founder and CEO of ABLE MADE, the luxury soccer inspired clothing brand, “I’m excited to speak on the “Soccer and the Creative Mind” panel taking place on opening night of the 14th annual Kicking and Screening Soccer Film Festival at Football Cafe. As a designer by trade, we have a design and experience-driven approach to scaling my soccer-inspire RTW brand, ABLE MADE. I’m looking forward to talking more about the power of creativity and sport with panelists Owen Blackhurst of MUNDIAL and Pablo Bayona Sapag of Club Eleven, and moderator, Greg Lalas. I’m also excited to talk with pro players, media and the soccer community who will be attending on opening night and throughout the film festival through March 16. ABLE MADE will have a pop up shop at Football Cafe all three days of the festival.”

The transition to Football Cafe as the festival venue marks a new chapter in its evolving story. Founded by ex-USMNT and MLS player Kyle Martino, the cafe embodies the spirit of soccer culture, offering an ideal setting for the festival’s array of events. Martino’s vision for the cafe as a gathering place for soccer enthusiasts aligns with the festival’s mission to celebrate the sport’s cultural impact in a communal environment. With their goals lining up so well, it wasn’t even a question that the Football Cafe would be the perfect spot to host the K+S Festival 2024.  

From its inception in 2009, from a blind date in April 2009 between Rachel Markus and Greg Lalas, the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival has grown from a New York-based event into an international celebration of soccer culture. It has showcased a variety of soccer-themed films, hosted panel discussions with soccer celebrities, and featured cultural events across major cities worldwide, including Washington D.C., London, Amsterdam, Liverpool, Kerala, Rio de Janeiro, and Abu Dhabi establishing itself as a pivotal platform for soccer and film aficionados. The festival has attracted thousands of attendees over the years and, with its renowned success, will no doubt continue to attract a large audience. 

The festival invites soccer fans, cinephiles, and cultural enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a curated selection of soccer stories that transcend the boundaries of the pitch. It’s more than a film festival; it’s a testament to soccer’s capacity to connect people, narrate compelling human stories, and celebrate the unifying power of the world’s most popular sport.

In 2024, the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival promises an unforgettable experience that highlights the intersection of soccer, cinema, and culture, offering attendees not just films, but stories that resonate with the essence of soccer and its global significance. It celebrates the beautiful game in an extraordinary way and welcomes soccer fans of all kinds to partake. 

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