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Finally, the Film “Pelada” Comes to the Twin Cities and You Are Invited

2010 June 2
by Brian Quarstad

Some 18th months ago I ran into a Facebook page for a movie called Footplay. The film was a documentary in the making. Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham who originally had the premise for the film were still looking for funds to complete the piece. They had one more trip to take and that meant more footage to edit before canning the film.

Footplay which has been renamed to Pelada, is about Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who couldn’t quite make it to the pros. Now in their mid-twenties and working 9-5 jobs, the two soccer has-beens decide they aren’t ready to quit the game. They take off around the globe, exploring the other, less glorified side of soccer: pick-up games, impromptu contests that happen anywhere and between anyone. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from the futevolie tricksters of Brazil to Chinese monks who play in their traditional robes, Pelada follows Luke and Gwendolyn’s adventures around the world through 25 different countries and the people they meet through the game.

“Pelada” is the Brazilian word for pickup game which literally means “naked”—the game stripped down to its core. And that is exactly what this film is about. It’s about the game broken down to it’s core. Where the money, the glamor, the cultures and the countries all break down to the people who are playing the beautiful game and the joy it brings them.

IMS was one of the first soccer websites in the country to really latch onto this movie and publicize it. Luke and Gwendolyn where looking to win the MelroseMac Creativity Pays Contest so they could get the equipment and funds to finish the movie. I was so impressed with the trailer that I reached out to Luke Boughen. Luke explained their situation and soon I was emailing soccer bloggers across the US, urging them to watch the trailer and make a post so Pelada could win the contest and the crew could finish the movie. I may have encouraged others to watch the trailer but the preview sold itself and within no time Pelada was showing up on soccer blogs all across the US.

Pelada (Footplay at the time) won the competition and Luke and Gwedolyn finished their movie. I’m rather proud to have played a small part in their finishing of this film and I’m very excited that it’s coming to the  Twin Cities. The film has now been warmly received and written about in publications such as Variety, CNN International, BBC, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated to name a few.

So please join me at for this very special Minnesota premier of Pelada at Brits Pub on June 10, for a 7 p.m. screening.

Tickets for the screening are only $10, and all proceeds will go to the filmmakers. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with Gwendolyn Oxenham, one of the stars of the film. For more information about the film, please visit the film’s website.

The NSC Minnesota Stars will co-sponsor this event along with Keeper Konnection, Schwans USA CUP, Crispin Cider and Brit’s Pub.

Space for the screening is limited. To make reservations, please Email Stars Media Coordinator Alex Haueter or call (763) 792-7333. Reservations will also be accepted at NSC Minnesota Stars home games on May 29 and June 9. Remaining tickets will also be available at the door the day of the screening.


2 Responses
  1. June 2, 2010

    Don’t miss this film, it’s outstanding. I agree with one reviewer who likened it to the most inspirational Nike commercial you can think of, lasting for 90 minutes.

    Nice work by the team to sponsor the showing, I wish we’d had something like that here in Austin.

    Brian, I’m glad you’ll finally (yes, finally!) get to see it!

  2. June 10, 2010

    It is also available on DVD through their website. I can’t make tonight’s screening but watched the DVD earlier this week. Luke and Gwendolyn capture the soul of soccer, and what it means to play the game. You will be moved!

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