Football enthusiasts—from small children to adults—gathered at NYU Abu Dhabi from March 12-14 for the Kicking + Screening Football Film Festival organized by the NYUAD Arts Center.

The festival began with the screening of Blue Moon Rising, a documentary that follows the transformative change of Manchester City in 2009-2010 through the eyes of a group of fans.

Following the introductory film, there was a panel discussion featuring a group of elite football experts including George Quraishi, editor-in-chief of Howler Magazine, Joe Prince-Wright, soccer writer and analyst for NBC Sports, and Greg Lalas, film festival founder and director. Discussion topics included foreign ownership and global branding of football with the huge influx of money into the sport.

NYUAD Arts Center Director Bill Bragin said, “Kicking + Screening demonstrated how a diverse roster of films focusing on the world’s most popular sport, football (or soccer, as New Yorkers call it), can offer a fantastic lens into other issues like globalization, corporate management, global migration, dreams and aspirations, and of course, the passionate world of the fans.”

Over the course of the weekend, five documentaries were shown, each exploring different intricacies of the game and provoking thoughts and discussions about the global spread of football fandom. The festival also featured The African Game photo exhibition by Andrew Dosunmu, which explores modern African life, culture, and identity through football.

2015 KICKING + SCREENING Feature Film Line Up:

Blue Moon Rising
The Four Year Plan
Soka Africa
Mission Tuvalu