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Football for a Better Life unveils Simone Rota documentary


When the documentary Journeyman Finds Home – The Simone Rota Story is unveiled at the Uptown Ultra Cinema in Taguig on Saturday, February 24, the event also marks the partnership of Football for a Better Life with other sports development programs.

Football for a Better Life, which aims to empower the youth and uplift their lives through the sport of football, is the main proponent of the documentary. Co-directed by Albert Almendralejo and Maricel Cariaga, the documentary chronicles the personal struggles of Azkals’ player Simone Rota — from how he was adopted by an Italian couple, to how he grew up and played football in Italy, and then returned to the Philippines to join the national team and search for his biological mother.

Since the “Journeyman” work-in-progress was shown last September 2017 at the Cine Europa Film Festival in Shangri-La Mall, the filmmakers have added new footage and interviews for the final product.

“We have added the grassroots programs that led to the establishment of the Youth Football League and included the Azkals game, where Simone was called back to the national team. There is also new information about the lady whom Simone believed was his long-lost mother,” said Albert Almendralejo.

The February 24 event also presents the two sports programs that FFABL is supporting: Women Empowerment through Sports, an international youth project whose local organizer is the NGO Bridging the Gaps, and Mindanao1 Futbol, a talent identification mission in Mindanao led by national player-turned-coach Percy Guarin.

“Sport empowers women and develops values in children. This is the advocacy of Football for a Better Life and serves as our humble contribution to national development,” shared FFABL founder and president Mr. Almendralejo.

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Journeyman is set to compete in the European Philippine International Film Festival, which will be held from March 7 to 9 in Florence, Italy. It is also slated to be shown in the 17 regional football association areas where the Mindanao Futbol talent identification search is being conducted.

“We are happy to offer all proceeds of the Simone Rota special film screenings to endeavors that promote sports to women, kids and orphans, particularly to Women Empowerment through Sports, Mindanao1 Futbol and Buklod Kalinga sa Kapwa Foundation,” Almendralejo added.

In a statement, Bridging the Gaps expressed their support is a boost to their goal of “developing, testing, and spreading new educational methodologies for young women empowerment through sports.” BTG has chosen Simone to be an ambassador of their cause.

For Coach Percy Guarin, the tie-up with FFABL complements his program’s vision.

“That is to touch lives through football and give kids plenty of opportunities to play and express themselves and discover new skills.”

In particular, Guarin said that the documentary is going to inspire the youth saying, “Seeing the movie of Simone will give children hope that someday their dream will be a reality.”

Journeyman Finds Home – The Simone Rota Story is supported by the Philippine Italian Association, Elan Vita Diagnostic, Solutions and Puma.

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