// 18th of May, 2010

Film and Music Entertainment to Bolster Expanding Documentary Roster with New Feature Documentary If You Accept (working title) currently starting production - whilst Wales-based Production Outfit Elfin Productions boards South African world cup soccer documentary Streetkids United.

Film and Music Entertainment’s (F&ME) rapidly expanding documentary arm, currently in production in South Africa on world cup doc Streetkids United, has boarded another, totally complementary, sporting documentary: Dejan Acimovic’s If You Accept - the true story of one of the world’s greatest paralymic sportmen, Darko Kralj, which has just started shooting in Croatia. Both films will be delivered by the end of the year.

Kralj is a Croatian paralympic athlete with 100% physical disability. His limb loss came in 1991 as the result of injuries received during the war in Croatia. Despite this, he has become, against the odds, the European, World and Olympic champion in Shot Putt. He is the only sportsman in the history of sports who has beaten a world record in his category four times in a row at one world championship. It was at Paralympics 2008 in Beijing.

"I want to tell the story of a simple man, who, having had his whole world devastated returns from the brink to achieve greatness." Says director (and noted Croatian thesp) Dejan Acimovic, "There is huge nobility of spirit in Kralj and there is a lesson in his strength and will to succeed for all of us."

Acimovic is no stranger to features, as an actor he was in The Peacemaker and Oliver Parker’s Fade To Black before turning his hand to direction in Je li to Jasno Priatelju which won two Golden Arenas at the Pula Film festival and I Have To Sleep My Angel, which bagged the audience award at the Munich Film Festival.

"Dejan is following in the footsteps of the great documentarists of our time, like Werner Herzog, by choosing a simple subject and finding within it strength of human endeavour of epic proportions," says producer for Film and Music Entertainment Mike Downey, "at one point early in the shoot Kralj said: ‘If you accept life, it will give you everything. If you refuse it, it takes you all. I accepted it. I have never surrendered, and I will never do.’ Hence the current working title."

The film will shoot throughout the summer and autumn, with Kralj at home and on the road to various competitions, and in his mountain environment hunting wild boar around Grubisno Polje. Post production will take place in Zagreb and London at the Molinare facility during the winter with delivery in time for Sundance 2011.

Acimovic is supported in his endeavour by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Croatian National Television, the city of Zagreb, the Croatian Olympic and Paralympic Committees as well as the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Croatia. Noted music editor Suzana Peric (Silence of the Lambs, The Pianist, The Lord of the Rings) will handle music supervision on the film.

Meanwhile Wales-based Elfin Productions, run by producer Cat Cooper, has boarded Streetkids United, Downey and Taylor’s concurrent feature documentary, bringing further equity and closing finance on the film. The film will be produced in association with Elfin Productions and with Cooper taking an executive producer credit. Noted documentarist, Tim Pritchard, much of whose previous work has featured streetgangs from all over the world is currently editing material from the first part of the shoot in London, while preparing for the second part of the shoot in Durban to start next week. Pritchard has spent much of the first part of this year following the lives of a group of streetchildren in Durban, South Africa in the run up to the Street Child World Cup in March. Staying with the group through the triumphs and tears of the world cup tournament, and their return to the streets, Prichard will now return and spend two months with the kids in the run up to the World cup, during the event and its aftermath.

"Streetkids United is a film which explores how a simple sporting event can change lives and raise the hopes of an international group of homeless children," says F&ME’s Sam Taylor and shows how a soccer tournament can empower the player both on and off the field."

Robbie Little of the Little Film Company will be screening a promo of the film during the Cannes Film festival. The film is being co-produced with Rachel Young’s Cape Town-based Razor Sharp Films and distributed in South Africa by Young and Tendeka Matatu’s Ten10 Films.

F&ME are no stranger to working in South Africa having completed the Khayelitsha township-shot Son of Man, which screened in Sundance two years ago, directed by Mark Dornford May. Dornford May’s new theatre troupe, Isanga Portobello whose Fugard Theatre opened its doors in South Africa last month will provide the music soundtrack for the film.

Speaking at the event, Bishop Desmond Tutu said:

"The Street Child World Cup demonstrates the tremendous potential of every single child, and especially street children, who are so often treated as less than human. I am proud that the first ever Street Child World Cup will take place in South Africa - and I urge all governments to guarantee the rights of this most marginalized group of their citizens to lives in which their promise is fulfilled."

The competition has attracted attention from top sportsmen and politicians. David Beckham, Pele, Gary Lineker and Sir Alex Ferguson have all pledged their support. The Prime Minister and Chancellor have become involved and the event has landed the prestigious sponsorship of Deloitte.

Film and Music Entertainment are also currently eyeing several other feature documentary opportunities, more specifically in the nature documentary area, following the sales, festival and box office success TURTLE: The Incredible Journey which was released worldwide to great critical acclaim last year.

For further information:
Please contact
Film and Music Entertainment
Katy Moylan +44776868509