StreetKids United

StreetKids United – official selection at the Berlinale , UK cinema release: Lexi London, Bath Little Theatre Cinema, Norwich  Cinema City, Oxford Phoenix, Canterbury Cinema
Directed by Tim Pritchard

“Up-lifting and empowering; if you are looking for a genuine feel-good film, start here!” – the Lexi cinema

In 2010, as South Africa geared up for the World Cup, another football tournament was taking place, away from the glare of the media and the attentions of big business. The South African city of Durban played host to the Street Child World Cup bringing together the vulnerable and overlooked – street kids from around the world, in search of a better and brighter future.

StreetKids United follows a group of Durban street children as they compete for places in the South African squad.  It’s  the start of a great adventure that offers them a chance to get away from the abusive and violent life they live on the streets and propel them to better things.

The team’s coach, Biza, will choose a team of nine players. But this is not ‘Strictly…Football’. The players need more than fancy footwork to make it through to the final squad. They need to show their commitment to training and be prepared to turn their backs on the attractions of the street: unfettered freedom, raucous parties and 24 hour access to drugs and alcohol. And that’s a challenge. Their lives at home in the townships are often marked by violence, drug abuse and neglect at the hands of their families and the authorities. For some of them, life on the streets is the lesser of two evils.

There’s euphoria and disappointment as the street kids find out if they have made the team. For those who do, there’s an intense football camp where they train hard, as well as learn the practical and psychological skills they need to survive life off the streets. When the tournament finally comes round they have to face the ups and downs of victory and defeat. But how will it prepare them for life once the glitz and glamour of the tournament is over?
Three months later, on the day of the FIFA World Cup final in South Africa, we find out what has happened to our team of street kids. Has the street child tournament, or the money and attention that the FIFA World Cup brought to South Africa, changed their lives? Did they go back home to their families in the townships, or are they still on the streets living one day at a time?

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