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World Football Film Festival kicks off in Denver in June

Just in time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Denver Film Society and America SCORES Denver are teaming up with the Three Lions pub and SOCCER ELECTRIC to hold Denver's first annual World Football Film Festival.

The festival, which is set for June 5 to June 8 at the Sie FilmCenter, will show eight to ten films focusing on soccer (not, not American football), with everything from family-friendly movies to documentaries.

See also: Denver Film Society successfully raises $3.5 million for Sie FilmCenter

"We plan to program a couple of family-friendly films into the mix and encourage parents to bring youth to see those films as the idea of teaching, friendship and acceptance comes through strongly in the storytelling of these films," explains Patrick O'Brien, development associate with the Denver Film Society who's programming this first-time event for Denver.

The opening night will include a fundraiser called a Black Cleat Affair, during which the first documentary of the three-day festival will be shown. The festival's kick-off film will be Next Goal Wins -- a documentary about American Samoa's soccer team and how it became known as the worst soccer team on the planet after compiling a 0-31 record.

Another documentary in the lineup is the locally produced The Life and Times of Paul and Psychic Octopus. The movie tells the story of how Paul the Octopus -- yes, a real octopus -- was used to predict the outcomes of international soccer matches. How did it work? Two boxes of food were put in front of him, with a flag from one of the two competing soccer teams on the box. The octopus chose the winning team in many of Germany's matches. The director of the film, Alexandre O. Philippe, will be on hand to discuss his movie.

All the proceeds from the festival will go to America SCORES, to help create more programs for the next school year. The organization offers soccer, poetry and service learning for more than 300 student in ten Denver Public Schools.

After the World Football Film Festival, SOCCER ELECTRIC will host a Summer Soccer and Movie Kickoff Camp from June 16 to June 20; kids attending the camp will learn soccer skills from licensed soccer coaches in City Park. When the lessons are over, they'll head to the Sie FilmCenter to catch a soccer film.

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The complete schedule for the World Football Film Festival, which slated to become an annual event, will be announced on May 19. Tickets to individual films are $12 or $10 for Denver Film Society members. Tickets to the closing night film and its pre-reception are $15, or $12 for DFS members. And tickets for the Black Cleat Affair Fundraiser and Opening Night will be $100, but all proceeds will benefit America SCORES.

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