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Pelada USA


Directors: Gwendolyn Oxenham, Luke Boughen, Ryan White, Rebekah Fergusson Excutive Producer: Les Allan Producers: Francis Gasparini, Ryan White


Cinematographers: Rebekah Fergusson, Ryan White


Editors: Luke Boughen, Rebekah Fergusson, Gwendolyn Oxenham, Ryan White 2009/color/92 min.


LUKE BOUGHEN


Currently a law student at the University of California–Irvine, Luke Boughen attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate, where he studied anthropology and helped the soccer team win tournament titles, as well as an award for National Team of the Week.


REBEKAH FERGUSSON


A recipient of the Julia Harper Day Award and the Benson Arts Grant, Rebekah Fergusson is a graduate of Duke University in English and documentary studies. Based in California, Fergusson has produced video segments for The Center for Documentary Studies and the US Soccer Federation.


GWENDOLYN OXENHAM


A Duke graduate and captain of the Division 1 soccer team, Gwendolyn Oxenham received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, where she won the Nicholas Sparks Prize to finish her first novel.


RYAN WHITE


Ryan White is a graduate of Duke University, with degrees in documentary studies and film and video. He has worked on documentaries for PBS and CNN, mostly concerning political topics.


119 Sponsored by Colorado Rapids Soccer Club In cooperation with Spring International Language Center


The word pelada means “naked” in Portuguese, but in Brazil, it also refers to a pickup soccer game. In Trinidad, such games are known as “taking a sweat.” No matter what they’re called, they’re played all over the world—down alleyways, on rooftops, in backyards and prison yards and anywhere else that can serve as a field. For every impromptu match documentary filmmakers Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham joined on their journey around the world, they remind us, millions more more were taking place.


Both passionate college soccer stars, Boughen and Oxenham (who also played professionally in Brazil in 2005) set off to discover the meaning the game has for its enthusiasts around the globe. Whether in an open field, in the street or on the beach, from South America to Africa to the Middle and Far East, they found men, women and children alike living, breathing and playing soccer. The game proved a universal language through which the filmmakers (aided by their behind-the- scenes colleagues, Rebekah Fergusson and Ryan White) were able to communicate with their subjects even when no words were exchanged. While they played, they learned about their teammates’ lives and the importance of soccer to the structure of their communities.


Ultimately, Pelada reminds us that play, for adults as well as kids, is the common denominator of cultures that differ in every other respect. Just as they can set up a field and kick the soccer ball, so citizens of the world can learn to respect and understand the game and one another.


—GIGI HAYCOCK


DOCUMENTARY


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