"In Football We Trust," an All-American Story that intimately portrays four, young Polynesian football players struggling to overcome gang violence and poverty as they enter the high stakes world of recruiting, competitive athletics, and family pressures.
This yet-untold story offers an innovative twist on the “American Dream,” as viewers watch the drama of minority youth struggling to make the pro-leagues unfold. "In Football We Trust" reveals how Pacific Islanders play hardscrabble football to represent their families, and how important faith is in their communities. The film brings together success stories of current and former NFL players, as well as, revealing the obstacles that they may or may not have overcome
Tony Vainuku’s first career aspirations began on the field, as a budding professional football player from Salt Lake City, UT. While being raised to play football as a way of obtaining an education, Tony started to investigate his passion for music. In high school, he performed at local events and received opportunities to record in professional studios. Years later, after Tony’s prospects of playing professional ball dead-ended, Tony released a 4-track demo in Long Island, NY and received an immediate response. Tony soon completed a 17-track album which led him to his interest in music video production. He enrolled at Westminster College, UT and explored film production, finding his niche in writing and storytelling. After graduating with a B.S. in Business Marketing, Tony founded a multi-media company, Soul Profile Productions, featuring in local sport promotions, wedding videos, web ads and promos. In 2002, Tony produced and shot his first film, Makaveli, a music video themed short about a troubled man who fakes his death in an attempt to free himself. Inspired by student shorts and independent projects, he pursed his passion by working on professional shoots including "Tiger Light" with A.C. Greene, and Collin Raye's music videos. Tony continued to write a variety of TV concepts, short scripts, and documentaries including the most recent, In Football We Trust. Tony is currently in production with the later, a feature length documentary that intimately portrays four young Polynesian football players striving to make it in the NFL, including interviews with former and current NFL football players.
Erika Cohn’s diverse background in the arts originally began with theatre, acting in community plays at a young age. This concentration quickly developed into a passion for cinema. As a result of being raised in Salt Lake City, Erika grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival. Being a part of the festival inspired her first film, the documentary short, Searching Faith, a portrait of interfaith relationships and marriages in a predominantly LDS community. Spy Hop Productions, a non-profit youth media arts and education center, and The Sundance Institute cultivated Erika’s interest in filmmaking by providing scholarships for extra-curricular film classes while she was in high school. Years later, Erika gave back to Spy Hop Productions by teaching documentary, claymation, and narrative filmmaking classes. She credits her successes to the community support she received as a teenager, and continues to stay involved with Spy Hop Productions and other youth media organizations such as Voices Beyond Walls in Israel/Palestine. Erika pursued her education at Chapman University in Los Angeles, California- graduating with a B.F.A in Film Production, B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Acting Performance. Filmmaking has enabled Erika to travel the world- to places such as to Cambodia where she shot Giant Steps, a documentary about the reinstitution of art after the Khmer Rouge, which aired on PBS in May 2009. Most recently, Erika associate produced the PBS series, God in America, which aired in October 2010. She is currently producing a feature documentary, In Football We Trust, and is in pre-production for another documentary and narrative feature. Erika is also a co-founder, with Natasha Atalla, of KokoNat Productions, a film production company dedicated to increasing Middle East awareness and bridging religious, cultural and political divides through art. Erika Cohn has received numerous accolades and awards for her various films, including the most recent Director’s Guild of America award for her film, When the Voices Fade, a narrative profile of the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and in Salt Lake City, UT.
Geralyn Dreyfous, the former executive director of the Salt Lake Film Center, has a wide background in the arts, long experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector and is active on many boards and initiatives, including SPYHOP productions, the Utah Symphony and Opera, Red Butte Gardens, Kids With Cameras and the Moab Music Festival. Before moving to Utah she founded the Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, which guides families of wealth in strategic giving opportunities and she worked as the head of the Special Projects office at the Kennedy School of Government, reporting to Dean Graham Allison. Geralyn taught Documentary and Narrative Writing with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University and was a founder of the DoubleTake Community Service Corporation, which published DoubleTake Magazine. She also founded the DoubleTake Summer Institute that brought educators, activists and emerging storytellers together to explore the connections between service, moral inquiry and storytelling. A filmmaker as well, Geralyn produced The Day My God Died, a documentary on the global trafficking of children for sex and served as Executive Producer of the 2004 Academy Award winning Documentary, Born Into Brothels about the children of Calcutta prostitutes that spawned the Kids With Cameras Foundation that sell the children's photography and thus allow them to attend school and leave the brothel. Throughout the past three years, Geralyn has produced and executive produced over 9 films, including Oscar shortlist nominee, Sergio.
Phil Tuckett is an associate professor at Dixie State College and the director of the Dick Nourse Center for Media Innovation. He is also the director of the digital film track in the communication department. Prior to coming back to his alma mater to teach, Phil was vice president of special projects at NFL Films for 21 years. He was also a producer, director, and writer for NFL Films (1969 to 1986) and a journalist and professional athlete (1967 to 1969). Phil is the recipient of 30 Emmy Awards for shows like Football America, The 100 Yard Universe, Autumn Ritual, and Lost Treasures of NFL Films. For Football America, the 1996 Emmy winner for Outstanding Sport Special, Tuckett traveled to remote locations around the country gather grass roots stories that created a definitive portrait of football as a reflection of the "American Dream." He has also produced non-sports related programming like Blood from a Stone for the History Channel, Faces of Evil for TNT, and music videos for a wide variety of artists including B.B. King, Santana, Def Leppard, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Tuckett has also won a Cannes Silver Lion Award for an NFL promotion starring actor, Don Cheadle. He has also produced national commercials for clients such as Sprite, Reebok, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. In 2006, Tuckett left NFL FIlms after an enjoyable and productive 38 years, to form Bristlecone Films, his documentary production company. His first feature length production for Bristlecone Films is The Golden Age, a 90-minute documentary about South American Soccer as it is played in Corona Park, New York, with location filming in several South American countries. There are Spanish and English versions of the film narrated by Edward James Olmos.