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A heartwarming goal

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-09 06:47

A scene from the award-winning film Football on the Roof: The protagonist (left) leans against her elder sister. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"I was in a rush to sell my apartment, and I couldn't ignore the call. Despite needing to answer, I couldn't hide my expression, as I was worried that the director would not be happy if I answered the call. Surprisingly, Fei felt that my haste to finish the conversation was precisely the attitude the role required," Shi says.

Now about to turn 16, Liangfeng remembers being a fifth-grade student in a primary school soccer team when she first met the director.

"I was asked if my parents watched my competitions. With my father working in another city and my mother busy caring for my younger sister, they rarely came to watch me play. This made me tear up during the conversation, and it resonated with the director, helping me secure the role," Liangfeng says.

Unlike Liangfeng, co-star Xinyu's passion for sports developed during filming despite a lack of prior experience. On the recommendation of her uncle, a friend of Fei's, she followed the strict, two-month training schedule, waking up at 6 am for exercises and soccer training. Despite several years having passed since the shoot, Xinyu's dedication to sports is unwavering, and she has been selected to play as a center back for the Yunnan provincial team, which competed in the 3rd China Youth Football League earlier this year.

"The shoot has ended, but the young girl's love for soccer has not. She has found a new direction to strive for in life. This is very meaningful," says Fei, adding that he hopes the audience will also find strength and courage to pursue their dreams through the inspirational sports film.

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