Film producer Matt lands prestigious festival slot
A FILM PRODUCER has won critical acclaim and a place at a prestigious New York film festival for his documentary about football in the Middle East.
Matt Slater, from Macclesfield, is the executive producer on ‘Lights of Rome’ - the story of how the United Arab Emirates qualified for the Italia 90 World Cup.
The country was at that time the smallest to ever reach the tournament and managed it with two goals in the dying seconds of the final qualifying match in Singapore.
Former Bollinbrook Primary and Fallibroome pupil Matt, 39, and friend Ali Khaled had the idea to turn the story into a film several years ago and after working with UAE film company Image Nation have turned that vision into a reality.
It will now be shown at the industry leading DOCNYC event on November 17 with a Middle East cinema release from December 1.
Matt, who lived close to Thornton Square, said: “I remember the United Arab Emirates being at Italia 90 and like pretty much everyone else had no real idea who they were. After moving here to start a newspaper I started to understand the brilliant and dramatic story behind them getting there and how they were such huge underdogs.
“Ali is a great friend of mine and we worked on the idea and took it to Image Nation who loved it and have been a massive supporter and driving force behind getting it to cinemas.
“We are all very proud of Lights of Rome and fol- lowing DOCNYC we hope football fans love it as much as we do.”
Matt moved to Liverpool in 1996 to study before leaving for Dubai in 2005 to help start a newspaper.
He then started Seven Media, a company now with more than 50 employees in The Gulf, with friend and business partner Gregg Fray.
Matt added: “It’s a very exciting time for Seven Media at the moment with work all over the region and fantastic opportunities like Lights of Rome.”
The UAE celebrate a goal and Mat, inset