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Six-Pack Interview: LADUMA

LADUMA is now available for sale on DVD, BluRay, and HD Digital Download. Check out www.laduma-film.com to get a copy. Also, LADUMA will be screening in Columbus, Ohio on August 12th at the Arena Grande at 2pm. The event will be hosted by One Goal artist Dean Parham, who worked on the animation in the film and designs all of One Goal's posters.

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In 2010 the U.S. national team traveled to the World Cup with high hopes. Equally important was the historic decision to award South Africa the hosting rights, the African continent's first. LADUMA, the Zulu word for "goal" or "golazo" is an American documentary about the twin stories of the USMNT, its supporters, and the South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Free Beer Movement interviewed Ashwin Chaudhary (who along with Jon Korn filmed and produced their movie) about what LADUMA is all about, their experience in South Africa, and plans for Brazil in 2014.

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Free Beer Movement: Why did you want to make this documentary despite the disappointments of both the film's main focuses (South Africa's first round elimination and the USMNT falling to Ghana)?

Ashwin Chaudhary: In the soccer sense, LADUMA is the Zulu word for "GOAL!" or "GOLAZO!", and it's said with that same exuberance by South African soccer commentators when somebody scores. It literally translates to "it thunders," and it has a connotation of achievement. We felt it was the perfect name for our documentary, because the film is about the great achievement of South Africa successfully hosting the World Cup, and the USMNT winning the group. It's about that one moment where everything comes together, the one moment you'll never forget. For South Africa, it was the Tshabalala goal against Mexico. For us, it was Donovan's group winning goal against Algeria.

FBM: Describe the gameday experience before, during, and after a World Cup match.

AC: Although the end result for both South Africa and USA was disappointing, that's not really what the World Cup is about. Once you're there, and meeting soccer fans from all over the world, you really that the World Cup is a a celebration of what we all have in common, no matter whether we're from Ghana, Chile, Japan, or Mexico. We wanted to show what the World Cup EXPERIENCE was like, regardless of what happened on the pitch.

FBM: Why was it important to tell South Africa's (the team and the nation) story as well in LADUMA?

AC: We wanted to include South Africa's story in the film because we were completely taken by the culture, the people, the music - everything. This was no "ordinary" World Cup - it was the 1st ever World Cup in the continent of Africa, and we felt the setting of this story was just as important as the story itself. Those people know how to party, but there's a humility and warmth to the way they celebrate. Also, in South Africa, soccer is the black man's game, whereas rugby is the white man's game. Hosting the World Cup was affirmation of this soccer culture which is such a big part of South African identity. There's really no way to describe it, but everybody needs to visit South Africa at some point in their life.

FBM: One of the coolest things about LADUMA was the fact that you used still photography (as certain parts of the pictures grew or came into focus) where others might have used film clips. Talk about the decision to go that route and how it affected the film.

AC: The decision to use photos in the game scenes as opposed to video was initially budget driven, since a second of FIFA footage pretty much costs more than the whole film's budget. But with the animated stills, we were able to create sort of an alternate, dream-like universe. You can always look up the actual highlights on YouTube, but the LADUMA experience is unique.

FBM: How was the beer in South Africa?

AC: Ah, the beer! As far as South African brews, we mostly drank Castle, which is pretty common over there. It's pretty hoppy and tasty. Also, sadly, lots and lots of Budweiser. We actually did some corporate video work for Budweiser at the World Cup which helped cover some of our travel costs. Plus, Bud was the only beer they sold at all the games, but at least we felt pretty patriotic while drinking it.

What are your plans for this next World Cup qualifying cycle? Will we see another documented journey through the Hexagonal? Perhaps one with American Outlaws in Brazil as well? Or are there other soccer-related projects you're brainstorming?

AC: For Brazil 2014, we're focused on the World Cup more so than qualifying. We want to raise money and get sponsors before the tournament, as opposed to after. With better preparation and preproduction, and (hopefully) a deep run by the Yanks, the Brazil film can be even better than LADUMA. But we'll still be traveling to Qualifiers and documenting the journey to the World Cup, so stay tuned to our website www.onegoalusa.com as we announce the games that we'll be at. We're planning on being in Jamaica later this year, and possibly Antigua. We're always looking to coordinate with new Outlaws and US Supporters, so email us - info@onegoalusa.com to let us know what matches you'll be at!

LADUMA is now available for sale on DVD, BluRay, and HD Digital Download. Check out www.laduma-film.com to get a copy. Also, LADUMA will be screening in Columbus, Ohio on August 12th at the Arena Grande at 2pm. The event will be hosted by One Goal artist Dean Parham, who worked on the animation in the film and designs all of One Goal's posters.

Tags: Six-Pack Interview Series, USMNT, World Cup

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