Paris agency Yard produced a documentary about France's street soccer, a training ground for some of the country's biggest sports stars, including legend Zinedine Zidane. The 52-minute film, "Concrete Football," offers a sympathetic look at soccer subculture in the Paris banlieues, the low-income suburbs that ring the historic city center. It's showing now on Netflix.
Paris-based Yard, founded three-and-a-half years ago, has just 10 people on staff. Nike, a client, assisted with the project. (The agency has no connection to another agency also called Yard and based in New York.)
When Yard put the documentary on YouTube for French viewers last year, it racked up 800,000 views, the agency says. Then Netflix got interested in showing it worldwide.
The film, directed by Syrine Boulanouar and Jesse Adang, includes interviews some of France's pro players who grew up in the Paris suburbs, including Medhi Benatia of Juventis, Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City and Serge Aurier of Tottenham Hotspur. It looks at the links between hip-hop culture and soccer, talking to rappers Gradur and MHD, and it examines the game's role in the community, or as one interviewee says, "It's not just a soccer field, it's the heart of the 'hood."