Searchlight has just released the new trailer for Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins. While it looks like an underdog story about soccer — it is, there is an adjunct part to the film that will make it very big with Film Twitter and that is the arrival of the first transgender actress (potentially) in the Supporting Actress race.
The film stars Kaimana as Jaiyah Saelua, the first transgender football player to play in a men’s World Cup qualifier. Both are members of the fa’afafine (described as a third gender in Samoa and American Samoa). This stands out, I think, as one thing to watch for in the coming season for obvious reasons, both because it is smack dab in the middle of a raging culture war, and because the Academy – and all of the communities that survive off of it — are always wanted to make history with their votes.
Obviously, I have no idea how big Kaimana’s part is, but it’s worth making a note on this detail now, as it a pretty big deal historically.
Here is the trailer:
The film’s synopsis: NEXT GOAL WINS follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this heartfelt underdog comedy.
The film stars Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Kaimana, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Chris Alosio, Taika Waititi, Will Arnett, Rhys Darby
Here is the description of the British documentary, Next Goal Wins:
In 2001, American Samoa lost 31–0 to Australia, the worst loss in international football history, and have been dogged by defeat ever since. They want to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but continue to lose on the pitch. To help turn their luck around, the Football Federation American Samoa hire Dutch-born, America-based coach Thomas Rongen.
Over the next three weeks, Rongen trains the team, and introduces some players based overseas, until they can acquit themselves with pride at the qualifiers at the OFC World Cup Qualification.
Jaiyah Saelua, a member of the squad since 2003, is a fa’afafine and is the first transgender player to compete in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Directed by Taika Waititi – won 1 Oscar for writing Jojo Rabbit
Score by: Michael Giacchino – won 1 Oscar for Up
Production Design: Ra Vincent – nominated for 1 Oscar for Jojo Rabbit
Costumes by: Miyako Bellizzi
Cinematography by: Lachlan Milne
Here is a clip from the British documentary:
And here’s a film about Jaiyah Saelua:
In this case, a transgender female (or third gender) is playing with men rather than with women in sports, which should provide the season with an interesting debate, I figure.
At any rate, it looks like a fun, funny, entertaining film.
The film opens November 17.