The Jay DeMerit Story – Help Get The Film Out There

Regular AFTN readers will know how much we love the new documentary “Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story” and how much we want to help get it out there for the general public to see. Well now we can all help.

I’m proud to have Jay DeMerit as a Whitecaps player and his story is inspirational to all the young players out there who want to carve our a career as a professional footballer, especially those that feel that their time may have passed. It’s a story of never giving up and it’s not just a football tale, it’s a story of lessons in life.

Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the story of a young American’s impossible journey – a journey never experienced or heard of in the football world to such an extent.

After college, Jay’s dream of playing pro soccer in Europe seemed unreachable. Sleeping in an attic, painting houses and eating beans on toast to survive, Jay took the most unlikely route to the top. After not making the professional leagues in the US, Jay left for Europe at the age of 21 without any professional experience – only a passport, $1500 and a backpack full of dreams.

The film documents Jay’s journey from the bottom, playing in Sunday park leagues and non league level and earning  40 a week, to playing in the English Premier League and starting in the 2010 World Cup.

The Jay DeMerit Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and relentless belief in a dream. It’s a story that should be told and now you can help get that story told.

We caught up with one of the Co-Producers and Directors, Ranko Tutulugdzija, back in March and in an interview with AFTN back in March, he told us that funding was proving to be a particular stumbling block for getting the film out there.

Game footage and photographs are the biggest expenses. A minute’s footage from the World Cup, for example, costs $50,000.

That’s why the filmmakers are taking a radical approach and asking football fans and film lovers to be part of its release using, with the ultimate goal to raise $215,000.

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food, and other creative fields.

Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires and the same is true of this one. If the funding is not there by July 18th, then the project will not proceed and no one will be charged any money.

So how can you help? How can we all help?

The producers have put together various funding options ranging from just $1. Anyone can donate whatever you can afford and the more you donate, the more reward you will get for your generosity.

There are dvds, posters, exclusively designed Jay DeMerit tshirts, an autographed jersey, credit in the film and even executive producer status up for grabs. Two lucky people can also get a pair of cleats worn by Jay in the 2010 World Cup.

Full details can be found HERE.

Every little helps and every donation is vital. If you can’t help in a monetary sense then please do what you can to help spread the word and raise donations via social media.

The film has a Twitter account and Facebook page. Please follow, like, retweet and post the message and help get this film to a wider audience.

The producers hope to take the film on a cinematic grassroots tour. If any supporters groups would like to be involved in this and have the film stop in their city then please let us know and we can pass the details on to one of the film-makers.

Likewise, if anyone in Vancouver would like to get involved at grassroots fundraising level, then please get in touch at:

Co-Producer Nick Lewis told AFTN “We [the filmmakers] wanted to take this project to the fans. It’s a community project and aligns perfectly with how we want to get this film distributed and have Jay’s story told.”

“This film is not just for those who love soccer, but for anyone who has a dream. No matter who you are or what your passion is in life, Jay’s story is one that will inspire.”

We totally agree. Please help get behind the project in any way you can. Monetary, via social media or both.

So head over to the special page of the film at Kickstarter today and let’s get Jay’s story done the way it deserves to be done!

Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Anonymous at 03:26

    The Whitecaps should sell some t-shirts.

    $20 a shirt. $5 from each shirt to this project, another $5 to the Whitecaps community development program….

  2. Anonymous at 03:26

    The Whitecaps should sell some t-shirts.

    $20 a shirt. $5 from each shirt to this project, another $5 to the Whitecaps community development program….

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