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Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story (2011)

A documentary on the rise of professional soccer player Jay DeMerit from being overlooked in the U.S. to struggling in England to World Cup player recognition.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen DeMerit ...
Jay's Mother
Todd DeMerit ...
Jay's Brother
Michael J. Jameson ...
Jay's Track Coach & Family Friend
Kevin Phillips ...
Jay's Basketball Coach
Aldo Santagá ...
Jay's Soccer Coach
Mike Matkovich ...
Chicago Fire Assistant Coach
Brett Hall ...
Chicago PDL Coach
Keiron Keane ...
Jay's Friend (as Kieren Keane)
Brothers Grant ...
Jay's Childhood Friends
Dennis Bainborough ...
Southall Town FC Coach
Henry Weatherly ...
Former Arsenal FC & Fulham FC Scout
Jordan Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate
Courtney Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate
Ashley Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate


Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the true story of a young American's impossible journey. After college, Jay's dream of playing pro soccer in Europe seemed unreachable. Sleeping in an attic, painting houses and eating beans and toast to survive, Jay took the most unlikely route to the top. After not making the professional leagues in the U.S., Jay left for Europe at the age of 21 without any professional experience - only a passport, $1800 and a backpack full of dreams. The film documents Jay's journey from the bottom - playing in Sunday park leagues and lower level division London clubs earning 40 pounds a week - to playing in the English Premier League - to starting in the world's greatest sports stage - the 2010 World Cup. The Jay DeMerit Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and a relentless belief in a dream...it is a story that needs to be told. Written by Anonymous

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The Fight For A Dream


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Release Date:

3 November 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This film raised over $223,000 on kickstarter.com, making it the most successful independent film via crowd funding. See more »


Subject of film: Remember that the poorest person isn't the person that doesn't have a dollar. It's the person who has given up, the person without hope, the person without a dream.
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User Reviews

The Jay DeMerit Story could be my story... Or yours!
5 November 2011 | by See all my reviews

Rise and Shine, The Jay DeMerit story is an excellent documentary not only about Jay's soccer journey, but about hope, faith and dreams... A journey that starts in Green Bay, Wisconsin and continues to London and then to the World Cup. Playing soccer in England at the lowest level for no money, to get to score the most important goal of your career in the most important game, to be named the captain of your team, then to play top teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham or Arsenal, tells how much Jay wanted to make it, to fulfill a dream. His dream! And what greater finish for any soccer player in this world, than to represent and play for his country at the highest level possible? Jay did it! The World Cup 2010 in South Africa This movie should inspire kids, teenagers and adults as well, to follow their dreams no matter the obstacles in life. To believe and to go on! Jay believed in his dream and followed his dream. Nick Lewis and Ranko Tutulugdzija believed in their dreams and directed this unbelievable story of life. Great job guys! Make sure you watch it, it's worth it! Believe in your dream when nobody else does, follow yours when the road is hard and ave faith! It's Jay's story!

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