Over the course of the 2016-17 season Reuben Armstrong, filmmaker and Liverpool fan, captured our supporter's club on film. We wanted to share our story because there are 580 million Liverpool fans around the world, and only a tiny fraction of those can get tickets to the match. Most will watch on screens around the world, screaming and singing at the TV, some just as passionate those at the ground.
Reuben describes his aim for the film – "This is a positive story that dispels lazy football fan stereotypes and show how through community projects we can overcome social and political boundaries, reestablishing what it means to be a modern football supporter. It's ultimately about human relationships and the emotional connection this unique set of people have forged through a shared love of football. Celebrating their love for the beautiful game and in the process realising it’s about more than 90 minutes."
Released to coincide with the Brighton vs Liverpool match the film went viral worldwide within hours, with a mention from Jurgen Klopp in his pre-match press conference. By the end of the weekend the film had over half a million views on Facebook alone.
The underlying messages featured in the film of hope, inclusion, LGBT equality, charity, community and love, resonated with a huge audience. Kop Outs, the LGBT Liverpool supporters club called the film “excellent and important”, whilst national anti-discrimination campaign Kick it Out said it showed the “power of football”.
FESTIVALS and awards
Mostra FIRE Barcelona LGBT Film Festival 2018
BFI Flare Film Festival 2018
Pakistan International Film Festival 2018
Brighton Rocks Film Festival 2018 – Nominated for Best Brighton Film
Beer Town Film Festival 2018 – Nominated for Best Documentary Short
Royal Television Society WoE 2018 – Nominated for Best Short Film
The Palace International Film Festival 2018
Liverpool Independent Film Festival 2018
01.12.18 – The Anfield Wrap Live, Brighton, UK.
21.03.18 – BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival, BFI Southbank, London, UK.
29.03.18 – Pakistan International Film Festival, Karachi, Pakistan.
25.05.18 – Brighton Rocks Film Festival, Komedia, Brighton, UK.
26.05.18 – Beer Town Film Festival, Marston's Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, UK.
07.06.18 – Mostra Fire Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain.
16.07.18 – The Palace International Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland.
12.10.18 – Liverpool Independent Film Festival, Liverpool, UK.
“The Brighton Kop - a lively supporter’s club. I watched the video, very nice. Thank you for your support it’s cool!” – Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool FC
“The absolute business, genuinely moving” – Neil Atkinson, host of The Anfield Wrap podcast
“Unique and special” – John Gibbons, host of The Anfield Wrap podcast
“This is just lovely” – Karen Gill, author & Bill Shankly’s grand-daughter
“This is emblematic of everything that we as a club stand for. “Community, Friendship, Fun.” A privilege to have a pre-match pint with The Brighton Kop.” – Peter Moore, CEO of Liverpool FC
“Excellent piece... important messages of inclusion.” – Kop Outs, LGBT LFC Supporters Club
“Brilliant, this. Makes me so proud to be a Liverpool fan when I see people doing stuff like this.” – Chris Pajak, host of Redmen TV
“Amazing video, showing the positive power of inclusion” – Kick it Out, anti-discrimination in football campaign
“Awesome film” – Copa 90, football-focused YouTube channel
“Amazing, lovely film.“ – Danny Pike, BBC Sussex
“You can come hang your banners in our shop!” – Homebaked, Anfield bakery
“The passion [of the Brighton Kop] is every bit as genuine as those live nearby Anfield” – Henry Jackson, This is Anfield
“Hugely intriguing film, fantastic work for charity” – Anfield HQ
“Loved it” – Kelly Cates, BBC broadcaster & Kenny Dalglish’s daughter
“Well crafted and intimate. Restores your faith in humanity. Reminds us of the creativity of football supporters. Simply wonderful.” – Johnny Cantor, Brighton & Hove Albion FC commentator
“Insight into football, it’s fantastic thing, putting Liverpool around the world in a positive manner.” – Gareth Roberts, host of The Anfield Wrap podcast
“Fantastic film, can we use it!?” – Claire Rourke, head of LFCTV
“This week’s Russell Howard Good Deed is a short film about The Brighton Kop. Where everyone is welcome” – Russell Howard, comedian
A film by Reuben Armstrong
Guardian Football Editor: Ryan Baxter
Camera: Reuben Armstrong, Jamie Neale & Christopher Hood
Sound Recordist: Jamie Frye
Illustration: Reuben Armstrong, Caroline Tomlinson & Jonny Burton
Animation: Reuben Armstrong & Jonny Burton
Edit: Reuben Armstrong & Jim Burke
Colour: Laura Pavone
Sound Mix: Jamie Frye
Music: Pascal Wyse
Special thanks to all our members of The Brighton Kop!