Soccer and film

A tender bond has turned into a fierce love affair.

Soccer and film discovered their similarities – the “soccer film” has established itself as a genre in its own right. The astonishing variety of film themes shows that the social phenomenon of “soccer” has now grown far beyond its historical dimension. The films show the social and cultural backgrounds of sport, which can mean norm and rebellion, wealth and poverty, community spirit and fanaticism in different places at the same time.

Viewers are now prepared to get involved with soccer films, with soccer film material. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that soccer is reaching ever broader sections of society.

And good stories are now also being told. There are wonderful pictures, actors for whom you have great sympathy or antipathy, there are victories, triumphs, bitter defeats, tragic heroes – everything is there in both. Soccer is one of the few remaining overarching topics in society. All vested interests disappear behind the ball. Patterns and identification models can also be found here to tell cinematic stories.


In 2004, the Berlin-based International Football Film Festival “11mm” took place for the first time, the first of its kind in the world.

Many soccer films also offer the opportunity for follow-up communication and intercultural dialog: Talking about the sport, exchanging specialist knowledge and footballing opinions across social boundaries, also provides the most diverse viewers with an unproblematic form of communicative intercourse.

Soccer speaks the same language all over the world – and therefore enables cinematic access to problems and ways of life, and is therefore also a basis for intercultural learning. Soccer is much more than a game – soccer in film is a wonderful way to bring culture into play.

Jan Tilman Schwab, author of “Football in Film” – Encyclopedia of Football Film
Birger Schmidt, Festival Director 11mm – the International Football Film Festival