Force of Blue will premiere at the 32nd annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles Wednesday, February 14 @ 4:00 pm
There will be an encore screening Friday, February 16 @ 6:20 pm
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, in the city of Minneapolis where police were considered persona non grata, a group of dedicated police officers navigated through troubled social times to unite a community and coach their high school football team to championship heights.
In 2020 the Minneapolis North Community High School football team battled to win a championship amid the COVID pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and the resulting riots that set a community on edge and their neighborhood on fire. Even though their coaches, a group of dedicated police officers, were considered to be persona non grata in the city of Minneapolis, the Polar players, a team of predominantly African American student-athletes, from a neighborhood that historically has had an antagonistic relationship with the police, were able to look past the badges and refused to let the issues plaguing society stand in their way on their quest for a title.
Force of Blue follows the Minneapolis North Community High School football team through the 2020 season - A season on the brink. With schools closed due to t the COVID-19 pandemic and a city on edge after the death of George Floyd, the Polars relied on their head coach and three assistant coaches, who happened to be police officers, along with a dedicated group of civilians and law enforcement agents, to guide them through the turbulent times.
Force of Blue studies how a team from a community that has traditionally had a negative relationship with police, rallies around a group of police officers at a time when many in the city of Minneapolis were turning their backs on them. The team had to stay focused on their goals on the field and block out the political noise off the field that could have dismantled their season. Despite the turmoil of the times, the Polars were able to persevere and play ball.
Force of Blue examines how the Polars pushed through a season that was in jeopardy before it even started. The COVID-19 pandemic kept students out of school and disconnected from their peers, but the Polars used football as an outlet to stay academically and socially connected.
Force of Blue is a social analysis, from an athletic lens, of a very unique time period in our nation's history. Navigating through a wide range of issues that surrounded a small high school football team during one season, the North High Polars hit the field running, never looking back as they tackled a season for the ages.
Jeffrey S. Williams is the producer/director/screenwriter of the award-winning short film For Dinner the St. Paul Film Festival’s winner for Best Horror Short Film. For Dinner has been shown in festivals around the world and has over 1.3 million views online. Jeffrey wrote, produced, and directed the well-received film 5ive Man Confession, which has played in numerous film festivals around the country; as well as, the short film Check It Up – To Whom It May Concern, based on the feature film Check It Up, currently in development. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the Howard University School of Communication with an MFA in Film. While at Howard, he won the prestigious School of Communication’s Paul Robeson Award for Best Script and Best Producer. After finishing film school Jeffrey returned to Minneapolis and was the winner of two significant filmmaking fellowships – The Bush Artist Fellowship for Screenwriting and Independent Feature Project-North/McKnight Artist Fellowship. Force of Blue is the first documentary and feature film that he has directed.
Jon Cermin began his professional career as a D.P. and “one-man band” at FlightSafety International’s Center for Instructional Services writing, shooting, and editing aviation training videos for aircraft manufacturers and the U.S. military. After almost three years at FlightSafety. He was hired away by AMS Productions to start their production department. Seven years and hundreds of corporate, agency, and broadcast shoots later, he left AMS Productions to start Cine-Cermin Productions, Inc. Jon’s travels have taken him to all 50 U.S. States and 16 foreign countries. Memorable locations include the World Trade Center Ground Zero, the Oklahoma Federal Building a day after its attack, an orphanage in Damoh, India, and the Phoebe Christian Hospital in central Liberia. He’s been on stage with Toby Keith and Ted Nugent and with the USO in Kosovo, Italy, and Germany. Jon has shot spots for U.S. presidential candidates, state governors, and U.S. congressional candidates. He’s also taped countless interviews of legendary sports figures and recording artists. Jon has won numerous awards over his career and has earned five Telly Awards for his camera work.
In 2020 the Minneapolis North High School football team battled to win a championship in the midst of school closures due to the COVID pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and the resulting riots that set a community on edge and their neighborhood on fire, ironically lead by men who were considered persona non grata in their community - the police!