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Issue 1465 April 22, 2012
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RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY recounts the journey of an undistinguished soccer player who chased his dream to the ultimate goal..

Soccer Club to Screen Internationally Acclaimed Film

April 22, 2012       1 Comments
By: MyBayCity Staff

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Bay City, MI - Every athlete, from the weekend warrior to the youngsters stepping onto their first field of play, has a secret hope of one day making it to the top of their sport.

RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY recounts the journey of an undistinguished soccer player who chased his dream to the ultimate goal. A documentary about the power of a dream, RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY will be screened on April 29th at 3pm at The State Theatre as a benefit for Bay City Central High School Varsity Teams and as an inspiration for the dreamer in all of us.

Jay DeMerit had drawn attention as a high school and college soccer player, but after graduating from University of Illinois, Chicago, was passed over in the Major League Soccer draft. While most would accept this conclusion, Jay did not. Instead he moved to Europe to pursue his sport on a bigger stage. Doggedly and single-mindedly working his way up from the lowest levels of English "football" to captaining England's Watford FC team and securing a spot on the 2009 US World Cup team, DeMerit's Cinderella story is one of determination, focus and what can be accomplished when one believes.

A Truth2Life Productions film, RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY is the creation of filmmakers Ranko Tutulugdzija and Nick Lewis. The 92-minute documentary includes international game footage, interviews with DeMerit's coaches, teammates, family and friends, along with appearances by soccer stars Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Landon Donovan.

The $223,000 project was completely funded through grassroots public support and donations, the most ever raised via "crowd funding" for an independent film. "There were many hurdles along the way that could have stopped us dead, like having to send our 23-year old cameraman/cinematographer to South Africa for the World Cup on his own because of financial constraints," said filmmaker Nick Lewis. "But we feel the project is truly blessed, that it is a film for all ages and one that has the power to inspire. It's not just for those who love soccer, but for anyone who has a dream."

RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from its showings across the US and abroad and is now also available on DVD.

The Bay City Central High School Varsity Teams will show the film on April 29 th at 3pm at The State Theatre of Bay City. Tickets are $5 each and proceeds will benefit maintenance and equipment needs.

DeMerit is currently captain of Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps. For more information about Jay and RISE & SHINE: THE JAY DEMERIT STORY, visit

To learn more about the event, please visit: -

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