Shot across a number of locations in North-West England, the film captures the important role that Sunday League football can play in men’s lives, and how the absence of the game during the UK lockdown may have contributed to mental health issues.
The film combines footage of pitches and dressing rooms that are currently lying dormant with audio interviews where amateur players talk about their love of the game and the effects of the current lockdown.
Sunday was created in response to research by Mind during the UK’s first lockdown last summer, which revealed that almost half (49%) of adults and over half (52%) of young people said their mental health had gotten worse because they weren’t able to play sport or exercise. What also comes through clearly in the film is the important social element that the Sunday League provides.
The film is directed by Charlie Watts, who shot it entirely on 16mm film. As well as a being a filmmaker, Watts is also an amateur footballer.
“I wanted to represent the voices of millions of players up and down the country who like me have desperately missed the feeling of community and connection that Sunday League football brings,” he says.
“The enforced break has helped to crystalise what we really love about the game and all it brings, which we have told through the number of voices heard in the film. I truly hope the film helps to highlight the importance of an honest discourse about mental health, where we can all play a role for our team inside and out of the dressing room.”
This article originally appeared in Creative Review.