“DreamTown” Shines Light on Afro-Ecuadorian Struggle to Escape Poverty Through Soccer

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

The stories of three Afro-Ecuadorian players, all who come from a place known for producing soccer talent, the El Chota Valley, are the focus of a documentary called DreamTown from award-winning Ecuadorian-American filmmaker Betty Bastidas.

Bastidas aims her lens at El Chota because the region’s success breeding soccer stars is changing it and the prospects of its people.

“In a part of Ecuador where viable economic opportunities are scarce, success in soccer provides public recognition and a highly unlikely, but appealing exit strategy,” said DreamTown director Betty Bastidas. “The success of star players from El Chota has had an unprecedented impact on the area, planting the seed to transform the widespread social, political and economic discrimination that Afro-Ecuadorians face.”

Among the film’s three main characters is Ulises de la Cruz, who represented Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup.

DreamTown is unfinished and is looking for backers through Kickstarter. Despite that status, it already has a documentary prize to its name.

Visit the doc’s website for more info.

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