Save perhaps being in the stadium for a FIFA World Cup match, there may be no better place to experience the passion for the sport than New York City. Home to a community from nearly every country on the planet, New York offers the ability to plug into not just one or two team’s fan’s frenzy, but nearly every one in the tournament. In a co-branded World Cup short form docu-series for Verizon and FOX Sports, Picture Farm Production took a look at the different ways these passions run deep in the Five Burroughs.
The campaign, titled “Home Turf,” celebrates New York culture through the lens of soccer and the World Cup, exploring the experience of local Argentinian, Brazilian, Mexican and Colombian communities through emblematic characters from each. The short films showcase how individuals from each country embrace soccer in their lives as a connection to their families and heritage.
To facilitate authentic portraits of the communities and passions that surrounds the sport and the of cultural connection it provides, Picture Farm’s executive producer Chris Bren and creative director Toddy Stewart proposed to Verizon and FOX Sports the idea of handpicking directors from each of the represented communities to capture the cultural nuances and genuine understanding of the depth of devotion.
The directors became the key voices in the process, working hand in hand with the PF team to cast, then crafting the stories around the characters. “Argentina” was directed by Argentina native Inés Gowland and directing partner Francesca Mirabella, “Brazil” was directed by Brazilian director Gabriel Rinaldi and directing partner Ilie Mitaru, and “Mexico” was directed by Mexico City-born Daniel Uribe. “Columbia” was directed by Colombia-born directing duo Neuplot.
Another key part of the PF process included bringing in Venezuelan filmmaker Lorena Alvarado, winner of the Picture Farm Film Fest’s filmmaking mentorship award, as project production coordinator, and Giovanni Autran, an award-winning filmmaker of South American descent as supervising editor. They helped shepherd the project with Bren & Stewart and the Picture Farm production and post production teams, working closely with the directors shooting in the field, guiding the conversation, setting the commercial tone and working tirelessly on behalf of the director’s vision, while production continued during the FIFA World Cup itself. The series has so far garnered over 4.5 million views and over 20 million impressions on Facebook and Your Tube alone.
Picture Farm’s Bren & Stewart previously created documentaries about football passion with ESPN & Bacardi on a series called “Untameable Spirit” during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and “No Sitting Allowed” a series for the MLS. Picture Farm also recently produced the webumentary series “From the Start Line” for Fox Sports about the Daytona 500.