“The work that Search for Common Ground is doing with the groundbreaking television project, The Team, matches our aims. Football (soccer) is a remarkable tool which can break down barriers, foster understanding, and teach people valuable lessons on a wide range of social issues.”
–Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League
In its multi-nation, episodic drama The Team, Search for Common Ground has merged the global appeal of soccer/football with soap opera to help transform social attitudes and diminish violent behavior in countries grappling with deeply rooted conflict. The television series addresses the very real divisive issues facing societies in a dozen African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, using sport as a unifier to surmount barriers. Each production of The Team follows the characters on a football team who must overcome their differences – be they cultural, ethnic, religious, tribal, racial or socio-economic – in order to work together to win the game.
The Team rings true for viewers, given that all of the series are created and produced locally. Actors and scriptwriters, who have experienced violent conflict and divisions firsthand, are drawn from local populations in countries like Kenya, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire. Local production companies and technicians take the lead, with additional technical assistance and support from Common Ground Productions.
Inspired by worldwide passion for football, The Team sparks in viewers a sense of belonging to a whole that transcends often narrowly-defined identities.
The Team won the award for Best Film in the Human Security category at the 2010 We the Peoples Film Festival, in London. The festival is sponsored by The Westminster Branch of the United Nations Association and promotes the three pillars of Freedom: freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom to live in dignity.