A four-part verité docuseries on the Brooklyn Saints youth football program from The Sentence filmmaker Rudy Valdez, Imagine Documentaries and Disarming Films is set to premiere on Netflix in January.
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints centers around the program, geared to boys aged 7 to 13 and located in the heart of inner city East New York, Brooklyn, chronicling the personal stories of the young athletes, as well as the coaches and parents.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Valdez serves as director, executive producer and cinematographer.
Valdez said: “Growing up, I rarely saw people who looked like me as the heroes of their own stories. This deeply impacted me as a person, and now as a filmmaker. With We Are: The Brooklyn Saints, there was an opportunity to feature the lives of our main characters with agency and from their own perspective; rather than the one often assumed for them. This series exists for them and those who will watch it with the hope that a new generation will never have to wonder what it looks like to be the hero of your own story.”
At a DOC NYC PRO panel in August, Valdez divulged some details on the series — then under wraps and headed into post-production. He also discussed working through the pandemic and diversity in documentary.
“In the series format, what I’m finding is — at least with ours — we have this topline hook that gets you in. It’s about a youth football organization, but where I’m seeing the episodes break up and where I’m seeing the way that people want to continue watching is the nuance, the characters, the kids, the coaches, the community — all of these things you probably wouldn’t be able to dive into if it was a 80-minute feature,” he said during the panel.