November 7, 2011
RISE & SHINE
Improbable DeMerit story hits the big screen
The story of U.S. National Team and Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit is an unlikely one, maybe one suitable for a Hollywood script.
|The Jay DeMerit story, Rise & Shine hits movie theatres this month.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
After finishing a four-year career UIC, he looked to break into the professional ranks. Unable to make it in the United States, he took off for Europe, first playing in the local Sunday leagues before catching the eye of Watford, a club in the English Championship. DeMerit helped lead the Hornets into the Premiership, scoring the winning goal in the promotion playoffs, and eventually catching the eye of then-U.S. National Team coach Bob Bradley.
Since then, DeMerit, a native of Green Bay, Wisc., has become a regular in the U.S. defense, was a starter at the 2010 World Cup, and returned to North America to play in Major League Soccer with the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.
Oh. Wait a minute. They did make a movie out of his story, even if it isnít a Hollywood studio blockbuster production. Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit story is a documentary, whose making kind of mirrors the making of its subject's soccer career.
"We financed a lot of it ourselves," said Nick Lewis, one of the movie's producers. "I am a soccer guy, not a movie guy."
The film features footage from the English Premier League and National Team games. The producers got help with the financing from soccer fans, soliciting donations on the internet and raising almost a quarter of a million dollars for the project.
The movie was released in a handful of theatres last week, and will play to nearly 140 screens across the country in the coming week, in most cases with only one or two showings. While the distribution is far from that of a major production, the film will be shown in every MLS city and most other major markets in the U.S.
The producers hope a good turnout will lead to further demand to show the movie in additional theatres.
Nov. 9th AMC Plainville 20 Hartford CT
Nov. 9th AMC Danbury 16 New Haven CT
Nov. 9th AMC Boston Commons 19 Boston MA
Nov. 9th AMC Liberty Tree 20 Danvers MA
Nov. 9th AMC Methuen 20 Methuen MA