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Film festival preview: Kicking and Screening - The world's leading football film festival

After its roaring success last year, the top international film festival, Kicking and Screening returns for a second year to London’s luxurious Everyman Cinemas.

The only festival in the world, that is totally dedicated to the beautiful game, kicks-off on Friday, 28 September and the final whistle is blown on Thursday, October 4.

Fans can submit their own movies for the festival, with the deadline for submissions, being on Friday, August 17.

The full line-up will be announced on August 31.

Last year’s success

The Kicking and Screening project was founded in April 2009 and became the first film festival in North America that was devoted exclusively to football.

The success of the festivals in New York has led to other satellite festivals across the United States and most recently has spread into Europe, with London and Amsterdam in the last two years.

Last year’s event was a sell-out and included some great films, including One Night in Turin and Once in a Lifetime which was about the sensational story of the New York Cosmos.

Also, there was The Two Escobars, based around the tragic shooting of Colombian defender Andres Escobar after he scored an own goal at the 1994 World Cup, leading to the team’s early elimination.

There was also a 30th anniversary screening of Escape to Victory, one of the most well-known football movies ever made.

Special guests at last year’s festival included ex-Argentina winger Ossie Ardiles, author Jonathan Wilson, former Valencia playmaker Gaizka Mendieta and Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler.

A few clues

Although not a lot has been given away so far, a couple of films will definitely be screened this year.

In Islington, the first film to be screened at the festival, will be introduced by Arsenal legend and former England captain Tony Adams.

It is marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Nick Hornby’s stunning book, Fever Pitch.

The original Fever Pitch film starred actor Colin Firth, who went onto achieve huge success with his role in The King’s Speech.

Everyman Cinemas’ newest complex in Maida Vale will present the World Premiere of The Beautiful Game.

Directed by Julian Cautherley and Victor Buhler, this will be shown on the final night of the festival.

Supporters & organisers

This year, the PFA have joined Kicking & Screening as a friend of the festival, alongside the likes of the Arsenal Community and Forest Studio.

Past Kicking & Screening festivals have screened more than 30 films from over 14 countries and have included massive hits such as In the Hands of the Gods and The Damned United.

The festival is organised by Grant Best and Tom Watt.

Best is a Brighton & Hove Albion fan and is currently a live match director for Sky Sports groundbreaking Premier League and Champions League coverage.

He got involved within the Kicking & Screening project, whilst working in New York for ESPN and won a Sports Emmy for a role of co-ordinating director on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Watt is an actor, writer and broadcaster and has been a member of the Kicking & Screening advisory board since the first festival in 2009.

Those who want to know more about submitting films, should visit the website

There is no doubt that the Kicking & Screening film festival is unique and it will certainly bring people, much closer to the main national sport in England.

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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