|Produced by||:||Produzioni Fuorifuoco|
|Genre||:||Creative Documentary, Bio|
|Format / Language||:||HD / English (Italian subtitles)|
From genocide to the World Cup, the incredible story of Darfur United
To break the indifference on Darfur humanitarian crisis, an enterprising activist must create an all-refugee national football team and compete in the World Cup.
In Collaboration with
Under the Patronage of
With the Interest of
In 2005 Gabriel Stauring, a young and enthusiast activist from California, decides to create an N.G.O. and move to Africa - always with a camera in his hand - to help the thousands of refugees from Darfur escaping from a cruel, dramatic civil war in Sudan.
Eight years after, Gabriel's enthusiasm is far less: he's risking his life and facing outstanding obstacles, but nobody is any longer interested in his mission. What could he do, to capture the world's attention?
In 2012, he creates "Darfur United", a soccer team made of young Darfuri refugees living in the camps of Chad, representing an unexisting state. "These are not refugees", Gabriel provokes, "don't look at them as refugees, this is just football".
Was it a cinic decision? A way to raise help by sweetening or partially hiding a hard reality? For sure, it worked. For the first time, people and media give attention to them.
Since then, Gabriel has followed the team with his camera, from the tryouts to the very first trainings, to the World Cup. No, not the prestigious FIFA one, but tournaments for unrecognized nations and ethnic groups: Occitania, Kurdistan, Tamil... and Darfur.
Through exclusive access to 500 hours of video footage directly filmed by Gabriel and the other film's characters, Not Just Football follows the vicissitudes of "Darfur United" team and its players. They've never been outside the refugee camps and everything for them is a real adventure, even just taking an escalator, looking at the shops' windows or playing on grass. The tournament goes on and the team is happy and United, but this can't last forever.
Moubark and Ismail, who were part of the team since the beginning, are among the nine players who escaped during a tournament in Sweden. Today they're still living there, trying to complete a long and complex path, from refugees to citizens, while Gabriel- who now is 52 years old - has to accept this "defeat" to continue his efforts to help through football.
Not Just Football.
Gabriel is the Founder and Executive Director at i-ACT, a California based non-profit.
In addition to visiting the refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur more than 20 times, Gabriel has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, and innovative programs like Darfur United and Little Ripples.
In 2012 Gabriel founded Darfur United football team. Not just a football team formed to take part in an international competition, but much more. A team that represents an entire people, and a way to raise attention on Darfuri people, using a simple and attractive language: football. After more than 10 years, he considers the people of Darfur no longer as someone to help, but as his closest friends.
Moubarag is part of Darfur United team since its formation. He is a talentuous soccer player, but his life has been full of sport accidents. In 2014, during the 1st match against Padania, he had a serious injury.
Days after, only 10 team players remained available, since many of them had escaped from the tournament to ask for asylum in Sweden. Moubarag was still injured, but he succeeded in playing, thus becoming Gabriel’s personal hero.
Today Moubarag lives in Ostersund, Swden, where he decided to stay after the match. He is studying enlish, he is a young, brilliant guy who has just received a 2-years valid visa and is trying to insert himself into swedesh society: he is working for OFK (Ostersund Football Club) and every month he sends some money to his family living in the refugee camps of Chad.
Ismail is Darfur United’s goalkeeper. More than a decade ago his mother was walking in the market when their village was attacked by militia.
Her husband was shot and as he lay wounded, he told her to gather their seven children and escape.
Ismail’s mother walked with her children for 20 days across the desert, with no food or water in a bid to reach the border of neighbouring Chad. For almost 11 years, Ismail and his family have lived in a tented refugee camp in eastern Chad.
In 2014 he went with Darfur United team to Sweden for their 2nd international tournament.
On that occasion, one night he run away, and decided to ask for asylum, first in Norway, than in Sweden.
Today he lives in Ostersund, Sweden.
Born in Bra (Italy), 1976.
In 2014 he’s author of Barolo Boys. The Story of a Revolution, one of the most successful italian independent documentaries of the year.
Langhe Doc - Stories of heretics in the Italy of warehouses (52’ - 2011)
The Runner (52’ - 2010)
The People of Terra Madre (26’ - 2009)
Produzioni Fuorifuoco is a video production and distribution house based Bra, Italy
In our filmography there are documentary movies like Barolo Boys.The Story of a Revolution and Langhe Doc. Stories of heretics in the Italy of warehouses, these last two in the nominees for David di Donatello prize, the Oscar for italian documentary movies.
i-ACT is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization based in Redondo Beach, CA
i-ACT seeks to empower individuals within communities, institutions, and governments to take personal responsibility to act on behalf of those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity.
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