the colonial theatre marquee

In Football We Trust

Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn. US. 2015. NR. 87 minutes. ITVS. blu ray. FREE!.
Sat., January 9, 2016
January 9, 2016
11:00 am

In Football We Trust transports viewers deep inside the tightly-knit and complex Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, one of the chief sources of the modern influx of Pacific Islander football players to the NFL. Shot over a four-year period with intimate access, the film follows four young men striving to overcome gang violence and near poverty through the promise of American football.

Despite overwhelming obstacles, Polynesians are 28 times more likely than any other ethnic group to make it to the NFL. Some refer to this phenomenon as a calling or a gift from God; others credit genetics, socio-cultural influences, or the push and pull of global sports capitalism. Many Polynesian families have come to view football as their ticket out of economic hardship and gang life, only to discover bitter disappointment when their expectations fall short of reality.

Featuring interviews with current and former Polynesian NFL stars Troy Polamalu, Haloti Ngata, Star Lotulelei, and Vai Sikahema,In Football We Trust reveals how making it to the NFL is like winning the lottery: the odds are discouraging but the payoff can be irresistible.

Join us for a 20 minute community discussion immediately following the screening.


Dysean Alexander, from Bethlehem, PA, is a senior at Ursinus College majoring in media and communications. He is a member of the Ursinus football team where he earned 3 varsity letters as a cornerback. In addition, he was selected to the all conference team each year. Outside of football, he is a tour guide, a member of SUN (black student organization), and UC OSOS (school spirit organization). Dysean is also an independent film maker, directing and producing short films since his senior year in high school.

Jennifer Fleeger is an assistant professor at Ursinus College where she teaches courses in film studies. She has written two books, Mismatched Women: The Siren’s Song Through the Machine and Sounding American: Hollywood, Opera, and Jazz, both published by Oxford University Press. She lives in Phoenixville with her husband and two children.

About Indie Lens Pop-Up
Indie Lens Pop-Up is presented by The Colonial Theatre and WHYY.

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Can’t attend in person? Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on our online Pop-Up events.

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit Join the conversation: and on Twitter @IndependentLens.