Shooting for Socrates

Film charting Northern Ireland’s journey to the World Cup including David Campbells’ international debut playing against Brazil in the 1986 World Cup Finals.

Premiere at the Belfast Film Festival – Friday 24th April 2015

A feature film set in Belfast at the time of the 1986 World Cup finals, when Northern Ireland then the smallest nation to qualify for the World Cup Finals played the greatest team on earth, has had its premiere at the Belfast Film Festival.

It was a chance meeting between former Northern Ireland International footballer David Campbell, and film director James Erskine, twenty five years on from the Mexico World Cup Finals, which set the ball rolling for the film, Shooting for Socrates.

The film was brought to life when the multi-award-winning director asked David what was his greatest moment in sport. David said it had to be making his full debut for Northern Ireland at the World Cup Finals in Mexico against the best team in the World (Brazil) in front of a 50,000 stadium audience and covered by World-wide TV.

1986 World Cup Finals, Guadalajara, Mexico, 12th June, 1986, Brazil 3 v Northern Ireland 0, Northern Ireland's David Campbell is tackled by Brazil's JuniorSeen by many as football’s ‘Billy Elliot’ story, David’s amazing journey has now been turned into the cinema release feature film premiered in Belfast in 2015 with the World Cup Trophy and heads of FIFA in attendance, along with a personal message from the FIFA President.

Shot against the backdrop of the troubles in Northern Ireland in the eighties, the story tells of a momentous time in Northern Ireland’s football history through the eyes of players, fans and the media. The team went on to play the greatest team on earth (Brazil) in a match that was applauded by the Brazilian squad which included world legends Socrates and Zico.

The film stars John Hannah (Four Weddings) as legendary manager Billy Bingham, 2014 BAFTA Nominee Nico Mirallegro (The Village, The Ark) as David Campbell and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) as BBC Reporter Jackie Fullerton.

David Campbell was brought on board as a consultant for the film, re-creating the football scenes with such accuracy it is hard to differentiate between the original footage.

Speaking about the film, David Campbell said, “Football is a sport that brings people together, it unites us. It’s also a game that creates amazing opportunities to educate and inspire which is what we do every day in David Campbell Soccer. I am really proud to have been part of bringing this story to the big screen.”

Following the premiere at the Belfast Film Festival, Shooting for Socrates went on general cinema release and is available on DVD from autumn 2015.


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