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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:
Subject of film
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: At the moment you're in the top thirty players in the whole of the country of - how many? - 300... 400 million people. You know, it's like when you think about what that means, and what that means to put on that shirt and... and to play against all the rest of the best of the other countries, you know, it really defines what this sport's all about.
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User Reviews

A true story of beating the odds and living the dream!
6 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rise and Shine The Jay DeMerit, at first glance, might seem like just another feel good sports movie. Good guy works hard and wins the big trophy in the end, but this movie is far from that version. This is the true life story of a young American soccer player with a big dream in his heart and a mountain of obstacles in his path.

Born and raised in the heart of football country and struggling to find a way into the the American professional leagues, Jay chose to do the unimaginable. He headed to Europe with hardly any money, but with pure determination to make his dream come true. From the lowest version of league play he worked, trained and believed his day would eventually come. Hearing about his journey and seeing where it leads is something even the youngest viewer will find inspiration in.

Anyone who has ever had to fight against the odds will be able to relate to this movie. You'll leave feeling like anything is possible and I promise you that you will walk out of the theater with a smile of your face and new strength in your heart!

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