Veteran sports filmmaker Evan Rosenfeld has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the production of a feature-length documentary on the Elite Football League of India (EFLI), the first professional American football league in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The filmmakers have until December 21st to reach their goal of $70,000 through Kickstarter to fund all post production.
What if America’s most popular sport was introduced to the world’s second most populous nation? Birth of a Sport will chronicle the EFLI which was founded in late 2011 to create new opportunities for athletes in the region. The first season began a year later and is being broadcast throughout South Asia on one of the leading sports networks, Ten Sports. The league consists of eight teams, five located in various cities across India, two in Sri Lanka, and one from Pakistan. Well-known figures behind the league include NFL Hall of Fame members Kurt Warner, Mike Ditka and Michael Irvin, as well as actor Mark Wahlberg.
The film explores the rift between India and Pakistan through the storyline of players from both countries competing in a vicious American contact sport. India and Pakistan are among the biggest geo-political hot button topics in the world. Both territories have nuclear weapons pointed at each other and have had numerous wars. When the country airs the cricket matches, hundreds of millions of people tune in to watch. The league is hoping to bring these same crowds to football. They also hope to spur peaceful relations.
The movie includes groundbreaking footage of the players from both countries coming together for an Independence Day celebration. This has never happened before and the footage is sure to create controversy in both countries.
Director Evan Rosenfeld worked with Miami based production company rakontur as producer on projects such as ESPN’s The U (30 for 30) and Cocaine Cowboys 2 (Magnolia Pictures). In 2012, Broke, a documentary Evan produced, premiered on ESPN to kick off their second “30 for 30” season. Broke looks at the intersection of money and sports in the last 20 years, and the recent epidemic of big stars losing it all. Broke premiered to 2.53 million viewers,becoming the highest rated film in the “30 for 30” series, besting a previous record set by Evan’s other project, The U.
In 2012, Evan executive produced the short film Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The rakontur documentary he produced, Dawg Fight, a brutal expose on underground backyard MMA fighting in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods, will be released in 2013.