“Is it Spring yet? Has the Champions League been reduced to four teams? Has the first New Yorker gone shirtless in Central Park? Have expectant Brooklynites witnessed the birth of the Brooklyn Museum's cherry blossoms? Has the Tribeca Film Festival kicked off? Has NYFEST been a rousing success?”
These were the sentiments I felt a year ago at this very moment when we were putting together the inaugural NYFEST (New York Film & Entertainment Soccer Tournament) in an effort to connect the worlds of soccer and entertainment to benefit underserved urban youth. To our amazement, over 44 industry teams, 1500 spectators, hundreds of youth players and countless celebrities participated in the first ever NYFEST, making it a wonderful success in its first iteration.
Grassrootsoccer, led by Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn, took home the title in the Industry Tournament, beating out teams from Sony Pictures Classics in the semi-finals, along with The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, CBS Sports and many more. In the highly competitive celebrity match, the white team, led by Claudio Reyna, John McEnroe, Anderson Silva and Steve Nash triumphed with a late goal over the celebrity green team, led by Ethan Hawke, Gio Savarese and Eddie Lewis.
This year NYFEST is back in force with increased energy from the Tribeca side, and with a new name: Tribeca Film Festival / NYFEST Soccer Day. The 2nd annual event will be held on Saturday, April 21, at Pier 40 in Manhattan as an official Tribeca Film Festival event, providing us all a chance to see, dream, excel and perform. The youth showcase will be bigger and better than ever, with over ten skills stations, master clinics and freestyle juggling battles for kids of all ages.
The entertainment industry tournament boasts well over 40 teams, including Facebook, ESPN, Tribeca Enterprises, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features and many more. The celebrity match is again shaping up to be a game to remember with a host of returning and new celebs from the sports and entertainment industries including Detroit Lions Defensive Back Ndamukong Suh, former US National Team soccer players Claudio Reyna, Jeff Agoos, Brian McBride, Eddie Lewis, Chris Armas, along with a plethora of entertainment talent.
Come on out… find us at Hudson River Park’s Pier 40 on April 21… and see what transpires when film meets soccer!!
Jeffrey Saunders is the co-founder and executive director of NYFEST, and the founder of CinemaCapital.
Learn more about NYFEST, including how you can register your Industry team.
Follow @TribecaFilmFest on Twitter for all the latest updates.
Use hashtag #kickit when talking about Soccer Day.
As the event nears, check out hashtag #talksmack to see teams taunt each other...