With Barca having run away with La Liga and Espanyol playing away this weekend, the best football party in town will undoubtedly be at the Offside Film Fest. Since teaming up with our Collective Member, Panenka, in 2014, Offside has stood out amongst a wave of football-specific documentary festivals, both for the stylistic breadth and geographic diversity of its selections. From ESPN 30 for 30 to Kickstarter indie, Cuba to Tangier, Offside proves for the third year in a row that football as a genre is as rich and diverse as any.
Today’s action kicks off with a film about a club we’ve grown to love over the past week: Monterrey FC. We got a taste of why this city considers itself the football capital of Mexico and if these scenes from their derby match against Tigres last Saturday are any indication, this film promises to be an absolute treat.
Every football club was born with a dream. Monterrey Football Club started playing wearing underwear shirts because they had not uniform, a field even less supporters. 70 years later the dream of the Mexican club has come true building the most modern stadium in Latin America. 70 años llegando a casa is the history of Monterrey Football Club orally narrated by its protagonists: the president who goes bankrupt, the one that wanted to kill a referee, the one who triumphed with modern market areas visions but end up in prison, the only player in history (he and Pele) that has scored eight goals in a game…
Friday’s lineup includes Geraldinos, which refers to the faithful patrons of the Maracana’s standing area, La Geral. The film traces the 65-year history of the iconic stadium, from the Maracanazo in 1950 to its fateful remodeling ahead of Brazil 2014, which effectively priced out the most vibrant atmosphere in world football.
The World Cup theme continues on Saturday, with a film we featured when the FIFA scandal first broke a few months ago. This fly-on-the wall human interest piece on South Africa 2010, whilst very different from Geraldinos, contains many of the similar messages and implicit condemnation of FIFA, without even needing to point the finger at the organization or delve into the corruption indictments that dominate world headlines. The Word Cup’s effects on developing nations are there for all to see with the naked eye.
Calabash is the story of the first African World Cup, told through the lives of its unheralded heroes. A family in the heart of Johannesburg’s Soweto township converts their home into a bed and breakfast, a young footballer is inspired to lift his family out of poverty and a construction worker at Soccer City Stadium longs to return to his family. Meanwhile, a Mexican fan attending his thirteenth consecutive FIFA World Cup traverses the Rainbow Nation satisfying his insatiable love of football, while catching only mere glimpses into the natives’ humble existence. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, each character provides their own perspective on a divided society, where the ultimate showcase of national pride is a mere illusion that reveals its injustices.
And finally, on Sunday the festival wraps at the old Estrella Damm brewery, with a selection of our very own Copa90 documentaries. In collaboration with Offside and Panenka, we’ve chosen 6 of our short documentaries that we feel best encapsulate the spirit of Copa90. We couldn’t be more honoured to participate in this year’s festival and our looking forward to further collaborations with our friends at Offside and Panenka. Look at for more Copa90 films on the new Panenka.org starting at the end of next week!