Soccer festival to screen 25 documentaries from 8 nations

By Li Jing | | Updated: 2017-10-11 20:48

Soccer festival to screen 25 documentaries from 8 nations

Yan Xinmin (front left), the organizer of the China Football Film Festival, obtains a soccer coach certificate after a course in London. [Photo provided to]

Over a period of three months beginning on Oct 3, 25 documentaries from eight countries will be shown at the second China Football Film Festival in six cities across the country.

Yan Xinmin, the organizer of the event, chose 25 documentaries from more than 100 she discovered either at film festivals or through friends' recommendations.

Instead of choosing films centering around soccer stars and fans, Yan focused on ordinary people. "Stories are inspiring when they adopt social perspectives," she says. "Refugees, religion, ethnicity and culture -- this is what the films are about. Soccer is the medium, a language with which to tell stories."

Most of the films shown at the festival are from the Europe, with five from Germany -- the most from a single country.

German documentary Beirut Parc - Kids Seeking Refuge in Football, by directors Matthias Frickel and Henning Hesse, was one of six screened at the Goethe-Institute China in Beijing on Oct 3, the first day of the festival.

Beirut Parc is a soccer pitch in Lebanon’s capital, a focal point of the global refugee crisis. Child refugees from Syria meet kids there from Lebanon and Palestine who only know their homeland from stories told by their grandparents.

The film delves into the everyday activities of the youngsters, who normally live very different lives. But for the six weeks of Soccer Camp Lebanon, they come together for the first time.

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