Brazil will host the World Cup this summer and football (or soccer for our American readers) fans the world over are marking down the days with as much excitement as fanboys have for the next tentpole or we have for the next Claire Denis film. In an effort to capitalize on this worldwide excitement, Variety reports Mexican director Daniel Gruener is shepherding a new omnibus film centered around the sport and he’s bringing along some interesting names.
According to the trade, the 31 directors—spanning four continents—that will direct segments for “Short Plays” include Gasper Noe, enfant terrible Vincent Gallo, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and “Post Tenebras Lux” filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, as well as Carlos Moreno, Fernando Eimbcke, Sebastian Cordero, Brit Duane Hopkins, Mascha Halberstad, Buthina Cannan Koury, Kiki Sugino,Dorris Dorrie, Yang Ik-june, Bobo Jelcic, Abner Benaim, Rune Denstad Langlo, Juan Carlos Valdivia, Emnet Mulugueta, Menelaos Karamaghilois, Victor Kossakovsky, Felipe Gomez Torres, Alejandro Valle, Pablo Fendrik, Pablo Stoll, Matias Cruz, Faouzi Bensaidi,Luca Lucini, Pedro Amorim and Gruener himself. In all, the lineup features “six winners at Cannes, four Sundance winners, and two at Berlin, Venice and San Sebastian.” That’s an all-star lineup if we’ve ever seen one.
All the directors’ segments must follow these simple rules: be between three and five minutes long “and largely dialogue free, offer an analogy to some aspect of soccer, but feature ordinary people from the director’s own country.” While Variety notes that “the producers are considering different options for distribution,” the best chance to watch the shorts stateside will likely be on the Spanish-language network Univision, which acquired the U.S. broadcast rights. Currently half the shorts are completed with the entirety of “Short Plays” aiming for late April as the end date.