Charity Spotlight: Film inspired by Homeless World Cup set for Netflix release

Charity Spotlight: Film inspired by Homeless World Cup set for Netflix release

Bill Nighy (Mal) during the filming of The Beautiful Game in Rome (Image credit: Netflix)

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The Beautiful Game, a film inspired by the Homeless World Cup, will launch globally on Netflix on 29th March 2024.

The project, which began filming in 2021, has been produced by Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Ben Knight for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri outfit Blueprint Pictures, Anita Overland (Small Axe) and In Bruges and The Batman star Colin Farrell (a long time supporter of the Homeless World Cup who narrated the 2008 Sundance documentary Kicking It, which is also about the Homeless World Cup.).

Mal (Bill Nighy, Living, About Time) is the manager of England’s homeless football team, taking his players to Rome with the hope of being crowned champions of the Homeless World Cup, a global street soccer tournament.

At the last minute, he decides to bring with them a talented striker Vinny (Micheal Ward, Empire of Light, The Book of Clarence), who could give them a real chance at winning, but only if he’s ready to let go of his past and become part of the team.

Made with the support of the Homeless World Cup, The Beautiful Game is a film of second chances - where homeless teams from around the world find that all roads lead to Rome, and everything’s to play for.

Thea Sharrock (Wicked Little Letters) directs from a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce (The Railway Man).

Also starring are Susan Wokoma, Callum Scott Howells, Kit Young, Sheyi Cole, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Robin Nazari, Aoi Okuyama, Cristina Rodlo, Tadashi Watanabe, Kazuhiro Muroyama and Valeria Golino.

BluePrint Pictures, who produced the film, met with many former players before filming and their real-life stories inspired the characters you get to meet in The Beautiful Game. Filming out in Rome also included Homeless World Cup teams and players from the Homeless World Cup’s global network of Member Countries who spent time in the Italian capital and played alongside the actors in specially designed Homeless World Cup-inspired pitches in Rome.

Homeless World Cup president and founder, Mel Young, said: “We are incredibly honoured to be the focus of the upcoming film The Beautiful Game and thrilled to know that the whole world can watch the film on Netflix from Friday 29th March. The Beautiful Game is about succeeding against the odds and that is exactly what the Homeless World Cup tournament is all about. The film shows the hope, sporting drama and the joy of this real-life tournament and the huge potential of people left behind by society.

“We have impacted the lives of over 1.2 million homeless people since 2003. The Homeless World Cup is our contribution to tackling the homeless problem across the globe but there is so much more to do. We have proved just how powerful football can be when it is applied to a social problem and we will keep striving to do more. We hope that the work we do being told in The Beautiful Game inspires more people to join in and support future Homeless World Cups and together we can all aim to end homelessness forever.”

The Homeless World Cup Foundation was established in 2001 with the first Homeless World Cup taking place in Graz, Austria in 2003. The Foundation’s mission is to use football to support and inspire people who are homeless to change their own lives; and to change perceptions and attitudes towards people who are experiencing homelessness.

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