Sideline is a feature documentary film by Joost Wynant , Maarten Goffin and Louis Pons
It is produced by VISUALANTICS and has received production funding from the VAF (Flemish Film Fund), Creative Europe and is a co-procuction with the Belgian TV-station VRT. The film will be released end of 2018.
There are an estimated 20.000 illegal African players in Europe. They can be found everywhere in Cities where they train on little squares in the slums. One of these little squares is “the Luchtbal” in Antwerp. Four times a week, about 20 to 50 African football players come together to train on a soggy field amidst the residential blocks. These footballers have found their own surrogate family at the Luchtbal. A family of boys on the sideline of both football and society. They have united under the name ‘African Professional All-star Belgium’, an unofcial club, without manager or resources. Most of the players are in the Country illegally, they ended up in Europe via a manager who fed them a dream that they were only too happy to believe in: playing in a top European club! But the majority of them play in provincial clubs where they are lucky to earn 75 euro, often illegally and under a false name. Returning home unsuccessfully and without money is not an option for them. In anticipation of their big breakthrough, they often present themselves to the homefront as successful players.
Sideline closely follows three ‘African Professional Allstar Belgium’ football players , each with their own story.We don’t focus on football , but rather on life behind the scenes of their great dream. And how they, despite all the setbacks, still try to maintain a ‘successful’ image of themselves, to meet the high expectations back home.