Friday, October 29, 2010

Film offers plenty of kicks

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Aguaquiza, Bolivia

It’s the most popular sport in the world, enjoyed in countries ranging from Spain to Kenya to Iran to, yes, the United States. And the beauty of soccer is that it can be played not only by World Cup superstars but by any kid with a ball. It’s this street-level version of the game that’s the focus of Pelada, a documentary helmed by Charlotte native and Duke University graduate Rebekah Fergusson.

Fergusson, producer Ryan White and former college soccer stars Gwendolyn Oxenham (like Fergusson and White, a Duke grad) and Luke Boughen traveled to approximately two dozen countries to film — and, in the cases of Oxenham and Boughen, play with — ordinary folks engaging in pick-up games whenever and wherever the mood struck them (pelada is Portuguese for “naked,” referring in this case to the game stripped down to its essence). A self-financed production (donations are accepted on the movie’s website), Pelada has already played festivals and been covered by (among others) The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.

Nairobi, Kenya

Now the film, which premiered locally for a one-time showing this past summer at the Neighborhood Theatre, hits Charlotte for a full-week run. It begins today at Crownpoint Stadium 12, 9630 Monroe Rd. For more information, call the theater at (704) 847-2024 or go to the film’s website here.

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