BURLINGTON – Vermont Green Football Club started as a vision, became a reality, and then blew away expectations during its first season. Now that inaugural season to remember will live on in a new documentary titled “Up the Green.”
“Before they had even played a single game, it was clear that something really impactful was happening here,” said the filmmaker, SunCommon’s senior manager of storytelling, Patrick McCormack.
The Green succeeded on the field with an improbable playoff run, and off of it, publicizing its mission to fight for environmental justice.
“The film kind of unfolded exactly how you would hope if you were making a documentary,” said McCormack. “I felt like this was a story worth telling, but I believed in the mission and I believed other people in Vermont would lock onto the mission as well. And I felt like this was going to be a great season.”
McCormack spent that season on the sidelines documenting the team. The result was the 12-minute film.
“We’re so grateful that they saw the potential for this story from the get-go and that the story itself unfolded in a way that really made it such a great film,” said Patrick Infurna, a Vermont Green co-founder.
“Up the Green” showcases the support the team had locally from the first kickoff.
“The fans in the stands waving the banners and the flags and the drums and the local news media covering every game, [it all] just made you think that this is a phenomenon, Vermont Green FC really is a phenomenon.”
Green may be the team name, but that also describes its earth-first mission.
“People don’t think about sports and climate justice in the same sentence,” said McCormack. “But Vermont Green FC proved that creating this call to action and creating their shared feeling of belief, it brought more people into the stands I think and it inspired the players.”
That mission is on full display in the film.
“I think the part that really stood out to me was when we were speaking with the students at King Street Center here in Burlington and, in a way only children can, they broke down the thesis that taking care of the planet is taking care of each other,” said Infurna.
The film will debut on June 1 at South Burlington’s Higher Ground accompanied by global soccer podcasting group Men in Blazers.
“The fact that Men in Blazers and Roger Bennett took notice of this club, it’s such an honor, because he’s really locked on to the bigger picture of what we’re trying to do here,” said Infurna. “And he’s used his platform and his medium to share that with a wider soccer audience.”
The event at Higher Ground has already sold out, but following the films’ release, you can find it on the SunCommon YouTube page.
The Vermont Green FC began its season with back to back wins as the team looks to head back to the playoffs.