EURO 2008: Anti-racist film turns half time heads at UEFA EURO 2008™19 June 2008

Take one American film director, a German film company and European actors from across the continent. Throw in one of the world’s biggest sporting events for good measure and the result is a piece of film that encapsulates just how football, and UEFA EURO 2008™, can be a force for good.

‘Different Languages – One Goal: No to Racism’, is currently making a huge impact on this summer’s festival of football in the stadia of Switzerland and Austria. The work of John Buché and the Embassy of Dreams production house in Munich, the film is being played before, during and after each fixture as part of FARE’s (Football Against Racism in Europe) ‘Unite Against Racism’ campaign.

Buché, a Washington DC born football fan, was chosen by FARE to produce the film after the group picked up on his first foray into documenting the sport, ‘Sold Out’. Made in 2001, it was a hard hitting expose on the murky world of human trafficking in football, featuring the likes of Franz Beckenbauer and Samuel Eto.

Buché, a European resident for almost 15 years, said:
“Living in Vienna, I was aware of FARE’s Austrian members, Fairplay, not to mention the unavoidable excitement already generating around the tournament. I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.”

And so in October 2007, work began on ‘Different languages – One goal: No to Racism’, a 30 second film that was to become an integral part of FARE’s tournament long campaign.

“The aim of the film was to encapsulate the inclusive, multi-cultural nature of the Euros in a bite sized format,” continues Buché. “It’s one of the few sporting events that brings together so many people together in one place, at one time. It was this unique aspect that we wanted the film to celebrate.”

The casting process was swift but ensured a true ‘mix’ of people, both trained actors and raw hopefuls were used and a range of backgrounds represented. “Everything in the film is symbolic. Romanian actors represented eastern Europe, we used Dutch actors as a reference to colonial times, and Turkish actors were involved to signify their omnipresence throughout many parts of Europe at this point in time.”

The film, which captures the emotions of different fans moments before a goal is scored, was shot over 2 days primarily in 1860 Munich’s Allianz Arena stadium and an authentic Romanian restaurant in the city centre, and in studio. “The film culminates with wild celebrations and shows the word goal to be truly universal.”

And when the curtain comes down on the competition at the end of June, the film begins another journey. After being adopted by UEFA ‘Different languages – One goal: No to Racism’ will now be screened at every Champions League match throughout the course of next season.
“UEFA, along with the European commission, helped to finance the film. Without this backing, it may not have been possible. Now that the initial response has been immense, we hope the goodwill will carry on throughout the course of next season too.”