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Interview: The Team Behind ‘Pelada’

Pelada

Editor’s Note: This interview ran during our coverage of the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. But seeing as Pelada is currently available on Video-on-Demand from most cable providers (check your own listings), we thought we’d run it again. You should also have a look at Landon Palmer’s review from SXSW.

On Sunday I sat down with the directors and subjects of the SXSW in-competition documentary Pelada, about one couple’s journey around the world examining the regional differences and similarities in soccer pickup games across the globe. I know nothing about soccer and little about other sports, yet I found Pelada to be a revealing examination of the unification of cultures through the singular language of a globally popular sport. It’s an engaging, emotional, and personal look at soccer’s cultural role for ordinary people around the world.

Gwendolyn Oxenham and Ryan White are the couple at the film’s center, the eyes through which we look at pickup games (or pelada, as it’s known in Brazil), and the film is as much about their journey (and the journey of filmmaking itself) as it is about the subject examined. Oxenham and White are also credited as directors, but also behind the camera are fellow co-directors Rebekah Fergusson ans Luke Boughen, who covered the difficult technical and logistic aspects of the production.

Note: There was some confusion before the interview regarding which hotel the interview was at, so I ended up having less time than usual to set up the interview. The publicist suggested the interview be held outside, to which I quickly and unquestioningly followed up on. But several minutes into the interview I realized that the outside noise and the distance from the subjects necessary to get all four in frame made for a haphazard interview (I didn’t want to stop and switch places again in mid-interview since it they were giving such interesting answers and I didn’t want to cut into what little time I had left), so I apologize in advance for the audio problems resulting from outside noise. Halfway through the interview I get closer to the filmmakers and that made their voices a bit clearer.

That being said, sorry for any technical difficulties and enjoy this interview with the team behind Pelada.

Click here for more from SXSW 2010

Landon is a PhD candidate currently writing a dissertation on rock 'n' roll movies at Indiana University's department of Communication and Culture. He enjoys slow films on the beach.

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