In 2016, on United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (ISDP), 6 April, the 11 children, from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States, will come together in Monaco, to play a match against a Monaco team, bringing to an end the filming of Eleven.
Born out of the interest of a group of filmmakers to create social meaningful projects, the Eleven documentary follows the lives of 11 children, and their passion for football, in a unique journey from their native countries to Monaco. It aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion and answer to questions on whether sports can or not bring people together.
The not-for-profit initiative, a collaboration between 11 filmmakers, is divided in two main parts: the first focusing on the individual stories of each children and the role of football in their lives, and the second on their time together in Monaco, evolving from a group of strangers to a team. All children share in common their age (11 years old), passion for the sport and the journey.
“[At the age of 11] a child transforms from being a passive observer into a more active and analytical one. One’s character is clearly shaping at a rapid speed, with our physical and social environment as main influences.
“With Eleven I ask: what are the various challenges that 11 year-olds from different circumstances usually face? What are the simple everyday problems, as well as grander social issues, that affect them? Eleven will explore this and show the bigger picture through their personal experiences.” said Eleven director Mihalis Monemvasiotis.
The number 11 present in several aspects of the documentary is a reference to its importance in football – 11 players in a football team.
Playing against exclusion
Over the last 15 months, the 11 filmmakers and their teams have been documenting the impact of football in communities across the world through the experiences of the 11 children, also exploring the different realities faced by each of them.
On the documentary’s final stage, a match will be played at the Stade Louis II – home of the UEFA Super Cup, and the children will champion together the power of sport as an international language and a medium for sustainable conflict resolution.
The documentary is expected to be launched in 2016, all distribution profits will be used to support the charities Eleven worked with throughout the journey.