On Wednesday night, the ADC Gallery was abuzz with excitement as guests awaited the premier of Pass the Ball, the documentary short about Charity Ball, the soccer charity founded in 2010 by then ten-year-old Ethan King. The production company Dress Code directed the film and received support from Sappi Ideas That Matter, a grant program that recognizes designers that are solving communications problems for nonprofit organizations. Sappi was there with free copies of the beautiful Pass the Ball book, as well as a photo booth and mini soccer field for guests to act like footballers for the night.
Dress Code cofounders Andre Andreev (Young Guns 5) and Dan Covert were in the house, kicking around inflatable soccer balls and making friends with attendees. Their collaboration with Charity Ball began with a simple email to Ethan. “He wrote me back within about half an hour!” Dan says. “Really getting Ethan’s story out there was the primary motivation because he’s such a cool kid and his family is so awesome. And the more and more we talked to them the more we fell in love with them.”
Prints from photographer Ian Allen’s trip to Mozambique with the film crew in June were on display and available for purchase, with all proceeds going directly back to Charity Ball. After everyone grabbed a Fatboy ® bean bag chair, a beer and a bag of popcorn, we were treated to a curator-selected program of short films all about the Beautiful Game. From the story of a team of tots who have never scored a goal to some arresting animated pieces inspired by the excitement of a match.
Pass the Ball premiered at the end of the line-up to great reception and was followed by a Q&A with Andre and Dan of Dress Code, Ian, and Ethan himself, who flew in with his family from Michigan for the event.
Asked whether he knows what he wants to be when he grows up, Ethan handled it with more poise than your average fourteen-year-old: “I…am not 100% sure. Back when I started Charity Ball, I had no idea that I’d be here and have done the things that I’ve done today, and gotten to meet and work with these really cool people. I do love soccer so I want to do that as well. But yeah…I have no idea!”