RISE & SHINE - The Jay DeMerit Story


About the Film

When Jay DeMerit stepped onto the field to represent the United States at the 2010 World Cup it was truly an incredible moment. Jay had literally come from nowhere just years prior to being on the world’s greatest stage.

Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the true story of a young American’s impossible journey - a journey never experienced or heard of in the soccer world. 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 2010 World Cup. The Jay DeMerit Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and relentless belief in a dream…it is a story that needs to be told.

About Jay DeMerit

A hard-nosed, solid central defender, DeMerit is as fearless as he is committed. He proved his chops in the 2009 Confederations Cup when he was called into starting duty, more than capably pairing with Oguchi Onyewu to form the backbone of the U.S. defense that reached the final. That success carried over to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was one of five players to play every minute. One of American soccer’s great Cinderella stories, DeMerit went from completely off the radar to starting for a team in the Premier League in just a few short years. Moving to Europe on the advice of a friend, DeMerit gained a tryout with semi-pro side Northwood before impressing Watford and then-manager Ray Lewington in a friendly. Rising through the ranks, DeMerit was soon in the starting lineup, and just as quickly became an integral part of the Hornet’s charge to the Premier League in 2006. After four seasons, he joined MLS as part of the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.

About the Filmmakers

Rise and Shine was the result of Jay’s friends wanting to get his story out. 6 months before the 2010 World Cup, Ranko Tutulugdzija and Nick Lewis approached Jay with the idea of documenting his journey. Ranko and Jay had played college soccer together in Chicago and Jay obliged. Neither had any formal film experience (Nick is an attorney and Ranko an acupuncturist) but their love for soccer and their determination to have Jay’s story told made the decision easy. With the help of the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter.com, Nick and Ranko were able to successfully fund their film to its completion, raising more money than any other film fund on the site from nearly 2,000 individual backers!

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  1. Kenneth Newman says:

    Great trailer!!! I hope to see it, as I was a UIC Flame once.

  2. Chris Brewer says:

    Jay is a Whitecap! Our captain! Why no screenings or showings in Vancouver? The city loves him and would sell out a theatre in no time!

  3. shellie says:

    If we missed it at the theatre, how can we see it?

  4. D & E Entertainment says:

    Where are you located at? We are adding additional screenings by popular demand!

  5. Mary says:

    Went to go see it and was sold out, will you be able to buy it or will it come to Milwaukee/Brookfield, WI area again????

  6. Rox Tisch says:

    Saw it in Green Bay, it was great! I’m married to a Bayport Grad who went to school with Jay and it was great to see is story on the big screen!

  7. Holly Lifke says:

    My son and I were unable to see this last night. Will it be shown again in Appleton or Oshkosh WI areas? Can it be purchased?

  8. JD says:

    Is there going to be a screening in San Diego or Chula Vista area? I have a socce team and this looks like a great movie for those kids

  9. Isaac Hampton says:

    Need a showing in the Dallas Ft.Worth area?

  10. Steve says:

    I live in venture county outside LA where is the spot to see the film? I am looking!

  11. Dickerson Family says:

    Would love a screening in the Kansas City metro area.

  12. Dan says:

    I didn’t find out about your film until after its most recent run in the Los Angeles area. I know a lot of soccer people who would love to see Rise and Shine in the San Fernando Valley/ East Ventura County region of the greater Los Angeles area. Give us another chance. I’m spreading the word.

  13. Steve M says:

    Is this going to be available in the UK at all?

  14. D & E Entertainment says:

    Yes, we will be showing it at Odeon Cinemas starting late January 2012.

  15. Tim Miller says:

    Any chance there would be a screening in San Diego?

  16. Karen Howard says:

    Missed the Pittsburgh show - Can you purchase a copy?

  17. Adam says:

    It’s too bad you only had 1 showing in Chicago and that sold out quickly. There are lots of suburban showings, but no more in the city itself. Sad!

  18. nab says:

    COME BACK TO PHILLY PLEASEEEEE!!! or actually, there’s an AMC theater in West Chester and that would be really amazing if there was a showing there

  19. J.P. Terrasi says:

    I just emailed as well about working on getting a screening down here in SW Florida. I KNOW I can help make this happen as I own a marketing company and with my media and soccer connections. Please contact me asap so we can get this started. SW Florida is a hotbed of soccer enthusiasts. Let’s make it happen here and everywhere. This story needs to be heard, especially now with the way things are. People need to believe again! Thanks so much for your efforts!

  20. DCLee says:

    Please come back to DC or can er purchase a copy on DVD? Love the trailer!

  21. Tammy says:

    Need a showing in Dallas, Texas.

  22. Chet Young says:

    Saw the film in Addison, IL. Loved it. I’ve told others about it and they want to see it. Any other Illinois showings planned?

  23. Tom Parker says:

    Portland, OR? It would be great to see this film — I was very bummed I missed the Kickstarter project.

  24. jason broyles says:


  25. Tim Allen says:

    Any idea on when the CD’s will be mailed? I’m still waiting on mine and haven’t heard any updates in awhile.



  26. Karole Carroll says:

    Thank-you Jay for the autographed photo…delivered by your grandmother. Is there a chance that this documentary will play again in the Madison, Wisconsin area?

  27. Mike says:

    Come back to the San Francisco Bay Area, and do some promotion.
    I’m sure you folks aren’t rolling in cash, but it looks like you have my email address; let me know how I can volunteer to help in the Bay Area. In America, soccer will always be ‘grass’roots!!!

  28. Joey says:

    Missed the Seattle screening, when’s the DVD come out?

  29. Gregory says:

    I just watched the trailer, and my soccer-loving 3-year-old Donovan wandered over and watched it with me. His response: “That’s awesome. Let’s go see that one.” Is there anyway to buy a dvd copy, since we live in a small city where there is almost no chance of getting enough support for screening?

  30. Josh says:

    Hey are there any showings in London England bar Grenwich and Wimbledon?

  31. KCRess says:

    Looking forward to seeing Jay in Green Bay, Wisconsin Dec 27th at the Meyer Theatre! A speaking gig to support Junior Achievement in Brown County. Tickets are reasonable - http://www.ticketstaronline.com. Will the movie be on sale there?

  32. Chris says:

    Can you buy this movie through iTunes? Would love to See it or get a showing in Charleaton, SC

  33. Paula Collins says:

    How about Seattle? I can talk to a couple of owners for the Lincoln Center and Bellvue Mall - they can talk to Regal Cinemas and maybe get a showing there? please email me and I can get to work on this immediately. Nordstrom’s own both Malls in Bellevue - I know them and can get the leg-work done. Unless, this has already been done? I am going to buy the DVD-but would love to see the movie on a BIG screen! Thanks!

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