us-homeless-worldcup.jpgKICKING IT is an intimate film that chronicles the lives of seven homeless athletes who achieve goals on the football field while overcoming poverty and addiction, and further representing their countries on the way to the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town.

The film portrays the seven on a once in a lifetime journey alongside homeless athletes from 48 nations. The players come from war torn Afghanistan, the slums of Kenya, the drug rehab clinics of Dublin, Ireland, the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, the overflowing public shelters of Madrid, Spain, and the shadow culture of the illegal rural immigrants to the big city of St. Petersburg, Russia.

KICKING IT is directed by Susan Koch and produced by Ted Leonsis, AOL vice chairman emeritus.

”Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and played in virtually every country around the globe, while homelessness is one of the world’s most pervasive problems,” said Koch. “When you bring the two together, lives can be transformed.  We found extraordinary people who for the first time were given the chance to stand tall and not be invisible.”

“That the inspirational story of the 2006 Homeless World Cup will be shown first at Sundance is a fitting testimony to the courage, determination and spirit of the players, said Kat Byles, Media Director, Homeless World Cup. “It is milestone achievement for the Homeless World Cup and one we hope will demonstrate the power of football to change lives to an even bigger audience around the world.”

AOL Vice Chairman Emeritus Ted Leonsis, whose first documentary Nanking won one of the major awards at the 2007 Sundance Festival, said of Kicking It, “Films can bring people together, and amplify passion. We are thrilled to help spotlight these compelling individuals – and to show sports’ powerful ability to give hope, focus and balance to us all.”

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