Mario is in love for the first time in life. He forms a crush on Leon, the new player from Germany. Although Mario plays at the head of the team his crush could be dangerous to him, when it comes to who can ascend to the first team. But Mario does not think about that now; he wants to feel Leon, smell, be near him. This does not remain hidden from others in the club and soon make the first rumors come around. Mario sees his career as a professional footballer in danger, but at the same time he does not want to lose Leon. He has to make a decision.

After the award-winning films ROSIE and FÖGI IST EIN SAUHUND, Marcel Gisler tells a love story between two footballers in his latest film. Writer/Director Marcel Hisler shares…

“With people I talk to, almost no one understands why there is still a problem in 2018 for a professional footballer to be openly gay. Also, many German politicians and senior officials in the clubs and associations are open-minded and have already signed the “Berlin Declaration” in 2013, a paper against homophobia in sport. We know there are gay footballers and internally they are looked after professionally by the clubs and managed, but to the outside there is silence. An outing in professional football is taboo. The black swan, but “why?” is pushed back and forth. Reactionary Fan groups are the problem, the sponsors who could jump off, or individual Players in the teams that come from chauvinistic cultures and not could handle.

Corny Littmann, former club president of FC St. Pauli and openly gay himself has one interview from 2012 on the subject. To the question of why in professional football so far no gay player has come out: “He would be stupid to do that. Anyone who would do it would be stupid. “

Littmann sees the football world as a professional environment in which social skills largely missing to deal with an outing. Homophobic clichés and small-mindedness are still widespread. A footballer can do his job for an average of 16 years, train and change clubs every two to three years. He is the merchandise of clubs bought and sold as profitable as possible. An openly gay professional would have problems trying to find a new club. Because he would be considered “difficult”, even if the athletic performance was right. An outing would therefore lower their market value and damage their career.

So, is it, like most of us in our society, a matter of money? – 2018 found the football World Cup in Russia, a country that discriminates against and excludes gays. 2022 in Qatar, a country punishing homosexuality with five years’ imprisonment or ninety lashes. As we know, this is a big deal and FIFA will become the business that has the last of the gay question to spoil. The status quo is that people are both excited about the World Championships and will pay to watch the games. Ultimately, regarding homosexuality in football, a social agreement that we all have to endorse. But the burden of self-denial is born by gay men alone.

When scriptwriter Thomas Hess approached me in 2010 with the idea of making a feature film on the topic of making gay love in professional football. My first question was; is there a movie? Not already? The topic was already present in the media for years. The research showed that several reports on the topic existed, as well as a comedy, since 2004. But the big footballer love story has not been filmed for cinema yet. This was the reason why I agreed. In addition to the thematic relevance I had 20 years after “F. est un salaud” I had great desire to make a love movie again.

So, I saw the opportunity in the socially given context of a modern “prohibition of love” to tell a touching story. It was important to me to present this context as realistically and as contemporary as possible. At the same time, the BSC YB football club from BSC helped me during the script development Research and talks generously supported. Also, for the shooting the BSC YB and the Hamburger FC St. Pauli provided us with infrastructure, materials and their names for which I am very grateful.” (translated and edited for clarity)

Find the film Mario available on DVD and Blu Ray as well as through iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Check out the trailer below!

By Dirk Smith