Ever since its trailer began grabbing attention on blogs and Twitter feeds this spring, Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story has been slowly gathering momentum toward a theatrical release.
The 92-minute film, which was shot and produced by longtime friends of the Vancouver Whitecaps defender, spent the summer screening at select film festivals around the country and is now slated for nationwide release on Nov. 3.
The documentary recounts DeMerit’s career arc from unheralded collegiate player to World Cup defender, and offers a rare and candid look into the life of an American soccer star. Featuring interviews with DeMerit’s friends, family and teammates interspersed with archival footage from his time spent climbing the ladder of English soccer — including the so-called “£40 million goal” that helped promote Watford into the Premier League — the film is a widescreen look at DeMerit’s struggles and triumphs.
“It isn’t about him, but about the journey,” co-producer and director Nick Lewis said, “a message that people can take with them through athletics and other things they pursue in life.”
The funding of the film has been something of an underdog success story in its own right, with a large portion of the backing being crowd-funded from soccer fans in the US and abroad through a Kickstarter campaign. Even Seattle Sounders part owner Drew Carey and Saturday Night Live comedian Seth Meyers, both avid soccer fans, reportedly contributed to the cause.
Major League Soccer will partner with the film’s distributor, D&E Entertainment, to provide marketing support throughout the film’s 130-theater release. The film will be distributed in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and all other US cities boasting a Major League Soccer franchise.
For a complete list of theaters, visit www.JayDeMeritStory.com.