SoCal SC has had a very busy past 12 months. On the field, the California team embarked on its maiden season, managing to reach the playoffs. Off the field, the club engaged with the local community and even managed to star in Jared Sagal’s documentary San Bernardino – Alive and Kicking.
The film, which will have a public showing on December 9, examines how SoCal SC helped to rebuild the San Bernardino community following the Inland Regional Center terrorist attack on December 2, 2015.
The attack – the third deadliest mass shooting in American history – occurred just hours after the official announcement that SoCal SC would be joining the NPSL had been made. Because a large number of SoCal SC’s players and staff are local to the San Bernardino area, the tragic events of December 2 touched them on a personal level.
Although a documentary featuring SoCal SC had already been planned, it was meant to focus solely on the team. However, this soon changed following the terrorist attacks.
“I was lukewarm about doing a documentary about a team from San Bernardino, but after the attacks happened I started seeing that there was another story to be told. An important story about how this team has managed to stitch the community back together after being torn apart,” said Jared Sagal, producer of the film.
But while Sagal saw the importance of telling the story, he admits that it was not an easy subject to approach.
“The process of trying to combine a horrific event like what happened in San Bernardino on December 2nd with the joy of a community launching its first professional soccer organization was incredibly challenging. When I had mentioned this concept/treatment for a film to people close to me they thought I was nuts,” he shared.
Eventually the film was made and Sagal was able to tell the story in a way he felt did justice to the people of San Bernardino. The assistance of SoCal SC’s players and staff was pivotal to the project, and Sagal is quick to recognize it.
“This is a story about how sport can transform lives. I could not have done this without the help of GM Daniel Gamba and many of the players that not only took part in the filming but were instrumental in the editing process as well,” he said.
For midfielder Bryan Guzman – who is featured in the documentary – being in front of the camera made him a little nervous, but he admits that it was an exciting experience.
“It was a new experience for me I have never been in front of the camera doing what I love to do. It made me feel like I was one of the pros that you see on TV. At times I did feel a little nervous having a camera around, but as soon as I stepped on the field none of that mattered, I was only focused on the game,” shared Guzman.
Given the large scope of Alive and Kicking, the film includes not just interviews with members of SoCal SC, but also local workers and civic leaders – those who were affected by and had to deal with the aftermath of the attack. Sagal hopes that the film can have a positive effect on the San Bernardino community, a community he believes is quite resilient.
“My hope is that somehow this film can bring some sort of healing and inspiration to the city of San Bernardino. This town, like its soccer team, never folds.”
San Bernardino – Alive and Kicking will have a public showing on December 16 at 6:30 pm at San Manuel Stadium.