When showing how a worldwide sport can help beat worldwide issues, it is only right that what you show is shown worldwide.
So, this is why I recently spoke with Chilean magazine, I Love Chile, and provided them with the project’s journey so far, my involvement and how The Homeless Goal started.
It is the basis to what is hoped to be the first of many advertisements of The Homeless Goal documentary and project.
Below are my thoughts not long after arriving back in England from the Homeless World Cup in Poznan, Poland.
My time with Futbol Calle
About a year ago I was involved in my first documentary– an award winning one, nonetheless. On that occasion, I had six other people helping to produce it.
One year on and I am in post-production for my second documentary. This time it is just me producing it, however.
The Homeless Goal takes you through the 2013 Homeless World Cup campaign of Chile’s sports social program, Futbol Calle. There is a specific focus on two players – Carlos Guzman and Priscilla Ibacache – with details on their life and their tournament progression.
It all started at the beginning of 2013 when I went to a workshop about the opportunity of filming a solo documentary in a “developing country”. After initial interest, I began to search for story ideas.
One of my ambitions is to show how football is not just a sport, but it is something that can reach out to people and help. On top of this, I have always wanted to go to South America. You can see where this is going.
I took to Twitter and searched for my story. After a number of suggestions, taking me to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, I come across I Love Chile’s very own, Daniel Boyle.
After telling Daniel what I was searching for, he gave me a few options. Futbol Calle was the immediate standout for me. I grew up in an area that has a reputation for drug abuse and many other social problems, so it was understandable why a sports social program would stand out.
A few discussions took place with Futbol Calle and before I knew it, I was applying for funding to head off to Chile and film my first solo documentary. I am sure I do not need to tell you whether I was successful in getting the funding or not.
In July, I came to Chile and started the filming process. It was a very daunting situation for me. Not only was I filming my first solo documentary, but I was also in another country on my own for the first time, too. I should also point out that I know very little Spanish, so you can see the sort of problems that faced me.
The trip to Chile was important, because it meant I had met with the staff of Futbol Calle and I got to see how the program works first hand. As we all know, plans change quite often.
Initially, I was going to do the documentary about the actual program of Futbol Calle itself. How it is run and how it helps people, etc. However, it soon came to my attention that I needed to do something a bit better and so I looked at going to Poland to film the 2013 Homeless World Cup.
Several meetings with Futbol Calle later, and I managed to bag myself exclusive access to the two Chilean teams in Poland. I was fortunate to be able to stay in the same accommodation as the team. In fact, I slept in the same room as Juan Erazo, the head coach of the male and female teams.
Again, this was a daunting experience for me. This time I knew no-one and had only spoken to three of the staff members in person. Not even Daniel could help me now! I knew this would always be a problem, the language barrier was the worst, and getting my point across for what I wanted in the documentary was a challenge.
However, this all changed in a very small amount of time. I started to bond with the players and staff as the tournament progressed and I appreciated how patient they were with me.
I know deep down, Futbol Calle were bitterly disappointed about how the tournament finished. The Chilean hombres were looking good until they faced eventual winners, Brazil in the semi final. They were unable to pick themselves up and lost the third place play-off on penalties to Russia.
As for the Chilean mujeres, I really thought they would win the tournament. To see them lose in the final to Mexico was a real shock to everyone in the camp. They probably played the best football in the entire tournament, but I believe nerves got the better of them in the end.
When leaving Poland, I felt I made some great friends, but most importantly I gained an experience in broadcasting that I never thought I would have. I will always be grateful to everyone that has helped with the documentary – particularly Carlos Guzman and Priscilla Ibacache who shared their difficulties in life with me.