June on iwonder
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June on iwonder

June on iwonder – highlights include My Mate Manchester United, Dreaming in Exile, Ancona Respect: A New Life, Softball Warriors, Life’s a Pitch, Chasing Great, The Rivals and The Athlete and its Rider.

In recognition of that commitment to the beautiful game and its impact beyond sport, this June iWonder brings together a series of films looking at football’s influence away from the pitch, from the unusual effects of super fandom in ‘My Mate Manchester United’, to the pursuit of freedom and safety, in ‘Dreaming in Exile’ and ‘Ancona Respect: A New Life’, both launching soon.

Then in this month’s iWonder What Top Five, we pull together a collection of films on manner of ball games from softball to rugby, looking at what it takes to hit, kick, or carry a ball of different shapes and sizes to greatness.

My Mate Manchester United

SuperFan #Football #Bulgaria

This charming documentary tells the story of one football fan’s awkward quest to be named after his favourite football club.

Martin Levidzhov’s journey to becoming Mr Manchester United begins back in 1999 when he was watching the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich. In the 89th minute of the match, he vowed to change his name to Manchester United if his favourite team managed to turn around the 0:1 deficit.

The English team did it in the most dramatic of fashions, igniting Levidzhov’s struggles with the Bulgarian legal system for the next fifteen years. Frustrated in all his ambitions, just like much of his country, Martin finally discovers what he is best at: being a fan.

Dreaming in Exile

Football #World #Touching

Launches June 4th

Rustam Khair Khwa is an 18-year-old boy who, like many teen boys, dreams of being a professional athlete. His sport of choice is football and his dedication to ‘The Beautiful Game’ is matched only by his loyalty to his family.

But for Rustam and his family – living as refugees in India after fleeing Kabul, Afghanistan – each day is a challenge. With his mum as the sole parent at home, and four kids to care for with little support, Rustam must figure out how to balance helping at home and pursuing his sporting dreams.

Ancona Respect: A New Life

Italy #Football #Animation

Launches June 6th

Gladys, a young Nigerian woman, becomes a victim of human trafficking after she decides to flee her home country in Africa. She is smuggled into Italy, where she manages to escape the trafficker and starts a new life.
Her life as a refugee is far from what she expected, but at least she has escaped a terrible fate. Keeping her alive is her dream to become a professional soccer player. This documentary follows Gladys as she joins the Ancona Respect, an all-female soccer club, where she begins training and finds her new family.

June on iwonder
iWonder When

Friday 14th June

Euro 2024 will be the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship, one of the world’s most prestigious international football tournament held every four years. Taking place in Germany, this marks the third time the country has hosted the tournament, with previous events in 1988 and as West Germany in 1974. The tournament will feature 24 teams competing in ten cities, including Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt.

Historically, the UEFA Euro has been a platform for showcasing some of the world’s best teams and players, featuring memorable moments such as Denmark’s surprising victory in 1992 and Greece’s triumph in 2004.

With Cristiano Ronaldo selected in Portugal’s preliminary squad, at the age of 39, this will likely be the last chance for fans to watch one of football’s most prolific players, and the world’s highest paid sportsperson, competing on the world stage.

June on iwonder
iWonder Who

Aleksander Čeferin, President, UEFA

Aleksander Čeferin, born on October 13, 1967, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a prominent lawyer, football administrator, and President of European football’s governing body, UEFA.

Čeferin’s administrative career in football began when he became president of the Slovenian Football Association in 2011.

His effective leadership and commitment to transparency and fairness earned him a strong reputation, culminating in his election as UEFA President in September 2016. Under his stewardship, UEFA has focused on combating corruption, promoting inclusivity, and enhancing the competitive balance within European football.

Re-elected in 2019, Čeferin continues to drive initiatives aimed at modernizing the sport, ensuring financial fair play, and advocating for the welfare of all stakeholders in European football.

June on iwonder
iWonder what

Ballers

From softball to football, rugby to American football, this June’s iWonder What Top Five, looks at the humble ball, and the influence it has over the athletes who spend the best years of their adult lives in its pursuit.

1) Softball Warriors

Softball #Gender #Revolution

In the heart of southern Mexico’s sweltering jungle, a group of Indigenous Mayan women is starting a revolution through the game of softball. Maria Enedina Canul Poot and her teammates play barefoot, and in traditional Mayan clothing, going by the name “Las Amazonas.”

In their conservative community of Yaxunah, gender inequality is a constant presence, and playing softball is an act of rebellion. However, many men who were once critical of the players now show up to support the team. Las Amazonas are farmers, embroiderers, shepherds, and cooks—taking aim at Mexico’s macho culture and smashing stereotypes with every swing of the bat.

June on iwonder
2) Life’s a Pitch

Football #World #Revealing

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. “Life Is A Pitch” finds the most interesting football pitches around the world, from stadiums to makeshift plots of land in the middle of an urban sprawl. And all that from a bird’s eye view.

3) Chasing Great

Rugby #New Zealand #Ambition

Chasing Great is an insightful portrayal that weaves Richie McCaw’s life story into his final season as an All Black, revealing the determination and mental toughness of an international sporting legend who still sees himself as an ‘ordinary guy’ from small town New Zealand.

4) The Rivals

American Football #Society #Struggle

Football can be the crucible in which lessons of class, pride and perseverance are learned and disputed – lessons that will last a lifetime.

A moving story of ‘haves’ versus ‘have-nots’, this documentary follows two rival towns in Maine – blue-collar Rumford and wealthy, coastal paradise Cape Elizabeth – whose residents settle their differences on the high school football field.

5) The Athlete and its Rider

Polo #Horses #Behind-the-scenes

Polo is a ball game that is played on horseback, a traditional field sport and one of the world’s oldest known team sports. In this eye-opening documentary, we meet a family bringing the sport to a new generation and learn of the special bond between horse and rider.

June on iwonder

June on iwonder

About iwonder

June on iwonder

Viewers can access 1,000+ other acclaimed documentary films and series through iwonder, free with a 14 day trial and then $6.99 monthly, or $69.90 annually. Subscribers can enjoy iwonder on their mobile phones via iOS and Android apps, browsers at www.iwonder.com, with Telstra TV, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Optus SubHub, Apple TV, Android TV, or through Google Chromecast or Apple’s Airplay.

June on iwonder

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June on iwonder

June on iwonder

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