RISE & SHINE – The Jay DeMerit Story
NOW AVAILABLE IN STORES!
About the Film
When Jay DeMerit stepped onto the field to represent the United States at the 2010 World Cup it was truly an incredible moment. Jay had literally come from nowhere just years prior to being on the world’s greatest stage.
Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the true story of a young American’s impossible journey – a journey never experienced or heard of in the soccer world. After college, Jay’s dream of playing pro soccer in Europe seemed unreachable. Sleeping in an attic, painting houses and eating beans and toast to survive, Jay took the most unlikely route to the top. After not making the professional leagues in the U.S., Jay left for Europe at the age of 21 without any professional experience – only a passport, $1800 and a backpack full of dreams. The film documents Jay’s journey from the bottom – playing in Sunday park leagues and lower level division London clubs earning 40 pounds a week — to playing in the English Premier League — to starting in the 2010 World Cup. The Jay DeMerit Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and relentless belief in a dream…it is a story that needs to be told.
About Jay DeMerit
A hard-nosed, solid central defender, DeMerit is as fearless as he is committed. He proved his chops in the 2009 Confederations Cup when he was called into starting duty, more than capably pairing with Oguchi Onyewu to form the backbone of the U.S. defense that reached the final. That success carried over to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was one of five players to play every minute. One of American soccer’s great Cinderella stories, DeMerit went from completely off the radar to starting for a team in the Premier League in just a few short years. Moving to Europe on the advice of a friend, DeMerit gained a tryout with semi-pro side Northwood before impressing Watford and then-manager Ray Lewington in a friendly. Rising through the ranks, DeMerit was soon in the starting lineup, and just as quickly became an integral part of the Hornet’s charge to the Premier League in 2006. After four seasons, he joined MLS as part of the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.
About the Filmmakers
Rise and Shine was the result of Jay’s friends wanting to get his story out. 6 months before the 2010 World Cup, Ranko Tutulugdzija and Nick Lewis approached Jay with the idea of documenting his journey. Ranko and Jay had played college soccer together in Chicago and Jay obliged. Neither had any formal film experience (Nick is an attorney and Ranko an acupuncturist) but their love for soccer and their determination to have Jay’s story told made the decision easy. With the help of the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter.com, Nick and Ranko were able to successfully fund their film to its completion, raising more money than any other film fund on the site from nearly 2,000 individual backers!