Companion photography exhibit, Andrew Dosunmu’s “The African Game” opens March 4

Press Release

Featuring an exciting lineup of five exceptional films about football, New York University Abu Dhabi will soon launch the Kicking + Screening Football Film Festival. Scheduled to run from March 12-14, the festival aims to bring worldwide football culture to Abu Dhabi.

Set to unite football fans and celebrate the athleticism and passion of football games as captured on film, Kicking and Screening’s opening night on March 12 will feature a documentary entitled "Blue Moon Rising", which follows five devoted Manchester City supporters through the 2009-10 campaign, the first season after its purchase and transformation into a Premier League superpower. By turns hilarious, dramatic, moving and uplifting, the film is an exhilarating examination of the power of football to move people and an authentic story of passion and undying faith in a club—win, lose, or draw.

The exciting lineup will include four additional films including "Will" (a family matinee feature film), and the documentaries "Soka Afrika", "Mission Tuvalu” and “Four Year Plan".

As a complement to the films, the Arts Center, in collaboration with the NYUAD Art Gallery, will present an exhibition of photographs by acclaimed fillmmaker Andrew Dosunmu (Restless City.) entitled “The African Game.” Presented in the Arts Center Project Space from March 4 - 14, Dosunmu’s exhibition looks to football as a way to explore modern African life, culture, and identity. A compelling, on-the-ground depiction of Africa’s passion for football, these photographs look at the rich sporting culture that has produced some of professional football’s biggest and highest-paid stars. This show, Dosunmu’s first in the UAE, will be celebrated with an opening reception on Wednesday, March 4, at 5:30pm.

Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director of the NYUAD Arts Center commented: "Kicking + Screening is a major contributor to NYUAD’s ambitious vision of creating a global arts and culture center and helping to redefine the arts in Abu Dhabi. Our goal with this festival (pun intended) is to create a program that not only speaks to fans of contemporary film, but also to tap into the broad passion for football which will resonate through so many communities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE."

Dedicated to showcasing the best of global football films through this emerging film genre, the festival’s roots can be traced to April 2009, when two fervent football and film fans, Greg Lalas and Rachel Markus, hatched an idea for a global festival celebrating football culture. The success of the inaugural, sold-out Kicking + Screening New York 2009 festival has led to Kicking + Screening events across the US including Washington, DC, Houston, Texas, North Adams, Massachusetts, and Portland, Oregon. Globally, the festival has traveled to London and Liverpool in the UK, Kerala in India, Amsterdam and Copenhagen in Europe, and to Rio de Janeiro in South America.

For more information about the festival, to view the complete program, and to reserve your seat free of charge, please visit the website at: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/festivals/kicking-and-screening/

Notes to editors:
Kicking and Screening Film Festival’s full schedule:
The African Game

An exhibition of photography by Andrew Dosunmu
March 04 - March 14, 2015
Project Space, The Arts Center
Opening reception, Wednesday, March 4, 530pm
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/the-african-game/


Opening Night: Blue Moon Rising
Feature Documentary

Thursday, March 12, 2015 8:00 pm
Location: NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/blue-moon-rising/
BLUE MOON RISING | 97 min | UK | 2010

Directed by Stuart Sugg

Diving into football fandom, Blue Moon Rising follows five devoted Manchester City supporters through the 2009-10 campaign, the first season after its purchase and transformation into a Premier League superpower. By turns hilarious, dramatic, moving, and uplifting, the film is an exhilarating examination of the power of football to move people and an authentic story of passion and undying faith in a club—win, lose, or draw.

This film contains adult language.


Will
Feature Film (family matinee)
Friday, March 13, 2015 3:00 pm
Location: NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/will/
WILL | 102 min | UK | 2010

Directed by Ellen Perry

A heart-wrenching and magically inspiring tale of one young fan’s refusal to give up on his dreams. Eleven-year-old Will Brennan’s life is turned upside down when his long-absent father reappears with tickets to see his beloved Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul. When tragedy strikes, Will takes to the road alone, defying fate and fortune in a desperate bid to honor his father’s memory.

Family Matinee, recommended for children 8 – 14


Soka Afrika
Feature Documentary

Friday, March 13, 2015 8:00 pm
Location: NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/soka-africa/
SOKA AFRIKA | 76 min | UK | 2010

Directed by Suridh Hassan

This brilliantly realized feature-length documentary follows a group of aspiring African footballers from across the continent in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The film focuses on two promising young men, Ndomo from Cameroon and Kermit from South Africa, as they pursue by very different means their shared dream of a lucrative European contract, and on a Cameroonian international who makes it his mission to help them.

Shortlisted for Best Documentary
One World Media Awards (Feb.2012)
Winner – Best Picture Award
Palermo International Sports Film Festival (Dec. 2011)
Winner – Golden Whistle Award
Kicking + Screening Film Festival, New York. (Aug.2011)


Mission Tuvalu
Feature Documentary

Saturday, March 14, 2015 3:00 pm
Location: NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/mission-tuvalu/
MISSION TUVALU | 97 min | NETHERLANDS | 2013

Directed by Jeroen van den Kroonenberg

The Dutch student Paul Driessen represents the national football team of one of the most isolated countries in the world. Their training ground is the airstrip of the national airport, and their determination to become the smallest nation on the FIFAlist is singular. Mission Tuvalu tells the unlikely and charming story of Driessen’s accidental introduction to board of the Tuvalu National Football Association (TNFA) and his subsequent obsession with becoming the savior of Tuvaluan football.


CLOSING NIGHT: Four Year Plan
Feature Documentary

Saturday, March 14, 2015 8:00 pm
Location: NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Cente
Link: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/en_US/events/2015/four-year-plan/
FOUR YEAR PLAN | 97 min | UK | 2011

Directed by Mat Hodgson

Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone, Lakshmi Mittal, and Amit Bhatia purchased Queens Park Rangers in 2007 on the brink of relegation and bankruptcy, and allowed filmmaker Mat Hidgson unprecedented access to document to roller coaster ride that ensued. The phenomenon of high-profile billionaires swooping in to revitalize English football clubs with huge infusions of cash isn’t new, but the inner workings of the process has never been seen in such up close and riveting detail.

This film contains adult language.

Winner Best Documentary Award, Marbella International Film Festival October 2011

All events in Kicking + Screening Film Festival are open to the public and free of charge.

About NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center
Presenting music, theater, dance, film and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, the NYUAD Arts Center aspires to be an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on on the resources of NYUAD to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists.


About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and science college (including engineering), and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and NYU Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global network university, with faculty and students from each campus spending "semesters away" at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.