The Kicking & Screening Soccer Film Festival will kick off on May 22 @ Scandanavia House in NYC and on th 23rd will show Messi & Me, we caught up with the producer, Jake Abraham. This is a movie that is the outgrowth of one kick, ok it was a bicycle kick, yes it was a game with Leo Messi et al playing, it did go for a goal, and give the soccer career of the player, Matt Eliason a new life, so yes that one kick thing was a bit of an oversimplification.
Summer of 2013, Messi and Friends, this documentary is a bit of this, much more of Matt and his journey. Like the producer and director, Renny Maslow all three went to Northwestern, the same school that was contacted for players to play this game. Matt was a great player for the team, he is in the Hall of Fame, Is still their leading goal scorer the other two not so much, Jake played in 3 years of varsity high school soccer and is a Spurs fan, not that there is anything wrong with it, well kinda but anyway. He had gotten away from the game a bit until a neighbor moved in right next door from London, leading him back to the beautiful game. He was then learning more of the game as a fan and acquired his affinity for the Spurs. The coach at Northwestern is contacted as this game being played at Soilder Field and they need players who are still active and fit. Matt who was in the MLS combine was still an active player and this luckily fell into his lap. But at this time Matt was making his way in the business world but was located by the coach, that put all the wheels into motion. Matt winds up in this game, he gets a free kick from Thiery Henry takes it off his chest plays it high for the overhead kick and it's in the back of the net, Sports Center Highlights it and it goes viral.
This is brought to the attention of Jack and Renny who had attended school together and remained friends but had not done any business together as yet. They were tasked with determining if there is a story there or not, they agreed that yes there was one as Matt wound up playing pro soccer in Iceland. Putting this together took paitence as they needed to line up investors who would believe in this story. The inspiration for Jake was the player and his coming back to the fold as a top flight soccer player. Many sport films are focused on the rags to riches story of the athlete or just hit on the superstars, this is a bit different. This movie is uniwue in that it shows to players and parents alike that this may be a good ideal to follow, taking advantage of any and all opportunities, not a bad way to live life either? Many Americans have played in Iceland both male and female soccer players, the play there has increased by leaps and bounds since the Euro tourney made famous by their run in it and a lot of flares being thrown onto the field.
Now it was up to Matt to determine for himself whether or not to seek to again take his game to the next level. Please come out and support this film and its ideals.