2024 Kicking + Screening Festival: Uniting Soccer, Cinema, and Culture in New York City

In March 2024, the worlds of soccer and cinema will merge in a spectacular fashion at the 15th iteration of the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, scheduled to unfold from March 14-16 at the iconic Football Cafe in New York City’s bustling Lower East Side. Owned by the former professional soccer player, Kyle Martino, the venue is perfectly poised to host this unique festival that draws together fans of the beautiful game and aficionados of film, showcasing soccer’s profound impact on global culture and individual stories.

This year, the festival is set to present an enthralling lineup of films that journey across the globe, celebrating the rich and diverse narratives within the soccer universe. Among the notable screenings are “The United Way,” which provides a riveting exploration of Manchester United through the eyes of legend Eric Cantona, “The Home Game,” depicting the quest for a usable soccer pitch in Iceland, and the retrospective “When L.A. Wolves Conquered the U.S.A.,” revisiting the 1960s revival of professional soccer in America. Each selection promises not just entertainment but a deeper look into how soccer serves as a catalyst for community building, societal challenges, and transformative change.

A highlight of the festival is the “Soccer and the Creative Mind” panel, slated for opening night. This discussion will feature insights from Suzanne McKenzieof ABLE MADE, Owen Blackhurst of Mundial, and Pablo Bayona Sapag of Club Eleven, with moderation by festival co-founder Greg Lalas. The panel aims to delve into the extensive ways soccer intersects with various cultural domains, such as fashion, film, and photography, offering both soccer and art enthusiasts a fresh perspective on their interconnectivity.

The choice of Football Cafe as this year’s venue signifies a fresh chapter for the festival, aligning perfectly with the cultural ethos soccer embodies. Founded by Martino, the cafe not only represents the spirit of soccer culture but also offers an ideal backdrop for the festival’s diverse programming, emphasizing the shared vision of celebrating soccer’s cultural resonance in a collective setting.

Since its humble beginnings in 2009, sparked by a chance meeting between Rachel Markus and Greg Lalas, the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival has evolved into a global phenomenon. Spanning cities such as Washington D.C., London, Amsterdam, Liverpool, Kerala, Rio de Janeiro, and Abu Dhabi, the festival has cemented its status as a key platform for soccer and film enthusiasts alike, drawing thousands of attendees and expanding its footprint across the international stage.

The festival extends an open invitation to soccer fans, cinephiles, and cultural connoisseurs to dive into a meticulously curated collection of soccer stories that defy the confines of the pitch. It represents not merely a celebration of film but a tribute to soccer’s ability to forge connections, narrate human experiences, and underscore the uniting force of this universal sport.

With the 2024 edition of the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, attendees are promised an unparalleled experience that highlights the confluence of soccer, cinema, and culture, bringing to life stories that resonate with the spirit of soccer and its enduring global legacy. It’s an exceptional celebration of the beautiful game, welcoming enthusiasts from all walks of life to partake in this unique cultural phenomenon.


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