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African Boots of Beijing in Milan

Beijing's African footballers on the big screen in Italy

Afrika United FC is a football team composed of African players who live in Beijing. The team members come from all over the continent: dreadlocked manager Sam is from Ethiopia, Coach Kagashani is from Tanzania, while longtime captain and mainstay of the team Jose is from Congo. The rest of the players and supporters are from Nigeria, Benin, Zimbabwe and many other countries.

A documentary about the team called African Boots of Beijing, directed, filmed and edited by Luke Mines will be screened twice this week in Milan as part of the Sports Movies and TV Film Festival which is "the most important Worldwide Festival dedicated to sports television and movies" (according to their propaganda).

African Boots of Beijing is 49 minutes long, and follows the team through a few mid-season matches, while telling the stories of several players: how they came to China and what it's like being African in Beijing. The film was produced in Beijing in 2005 (disclosure: your correspondent is co-producer).

If you're in Milan this afternoon, you can watch African Boots of Beijing on large outdoor screen on the Piazza Duomo, the main square of the city, today (October 27) at 16:30.

There is another screening at Milan's Sala Parlamentino on Sunday October 30 at 19:45 p.m — as advertised on the image to the left (click to enlarge).

In Beijing on November 15 at at 21:00, there will be another screening as a fundraiser for the Afrika United team at Lush in Wudaokaou (Contact Lush: 8286 3566 or see

The film was also nominated for the Web Audience Award, so if you have a moment, please vote for "African Boots" at this web page: ''Sport Movies & TV 2005 — Enel Gas WEB Award.

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