CSU, Chico News

Student Film ‘El Clásico: More Than a Game,’ Accepted into Barcelona Sports Film Festival

Date: 03-27-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Matt Robertson
Graduate student and filmmaker

The documentary film "El Clásico: More Than a Game," produced entirely by California State University, Chico students, has been accepted into the Barcelona Sports Film Festival to be held in May in the Barcelona Olympics Stadium. The film was shot on location in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, and explores Spanish history, culture and regional identity through the intense and world-renowned soccer rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

In the spring 2010 semester, nine CSU, Chico students spent two weeks in Spain getting footage for a documentary. CSU, Chico alums Kelly Candaele, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and Cathy Growdon put the project together. The group set out to uncover the deeper social, political and cultural implications of this rivalry that is representative of larger nationalistic tensions. The students returned from their trip with a new understanding of both soccer and Spanish history and hundreds of hours of film. Several of the students spent the next year and several months editing and producing the film and premiered it in October 2011 at the El Rey Theatre in Chico.

According to Candaele, the film has been given a prime spot for screening—7 p.m. on Friday in the Olympic Stadium. On Thursday, May 10, the film will have a special screening with current and ex players.

"It's a real testament to the hard work and talent of the Chico State students who committed their time and energy to this project that we were accepted into the Barcelona Film Festival,” said Candaele. “We will be doing other screenings in Spain, including a special viewing in San Sebastian for leaders in the arts and film community there. We should all be proud of the work we have done and the way in which the students have represented themselves and the University."

"I have always wanted to be apart of a project and have it be recognized internationally, and, now that it is happening, I can honestly say that this is a dream come true,” said Zac Fernandez, one of the student filmmakers. “I am very proud of my colleagues for all of their hard work. I have enjoyed every minute working on this film with them."

"It's hard to imagine a more perfect venue for this film,” said Matt Robertson, a student filmmaker. “We are, in essence, taking the movie home. It’s intimidating to think of showing it to a crowd of people who live the intensity of this rivalry every day. But what an opportunity! We are extremely blessed, and I couldn't be happier for our team. We will make our town, university and indeed our country proud."

Candaele said that the students are excited about the prospect of traveling to Barcelona. Their challenge is to raise money so that as many of them as possible can fly to Barcelona. They are looking for money-raising ideas and venues to show their film.

You can e-mail Candaele at kcandaele@sbcglobal.net or call Robertson at 530-228-7232 for more information on the project.