Production of first field hockey movie in the USA, “The Next Play,” set to take place in the Lehigh Valley: Pa. sisters and filmmakers announce

Production of first field hockey movie in the USA, “The Next Play,” set to take place in the Lehigh Valley: Pa. sisters and filmmakers announce

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A Lehigh Valley duo, who had over 8 million views of their first feature film “Epiphany” on YouTube, announced Sunday that they are set to start production of another narrative movie called “The Next Play.”

 

Female Athlete News is honored and thrilled to support Koula Sossiadis Kazista and Katina Sossiadis.

 

The film is slated to be shot in the Lehigh Valley in July 2025. It will “explore the dynamics of rivalry within a high school field hockey team, delving deeply into the intricacies of friendship, sisterhood, and the unique challenges faced by a close-knit yet competitive group of athletes,” according to “The Next Play” press release.

 

FAN, LLC applauds the Sossiadis sisters for having the courage and fortitude of addressing a very serious issue: youthful competitiveness and mental health.

 

“All too often we see films or series address real-life issues affecting youth that could be causing more harm than good,” FAN president Jana Benscoter said. “I’ve been told the ending is uplifting, in spite of the trauma addressed in the movie. There’s no better time than now to ensure young people understand they have a purpose in this world. And, we are happy to see two moms take a swing at promoting positive sportsmanship in a teenager’s journey of life.”

 

Upcoming Event

 

According to “The Next Play” press release, the filmmakers have scheduled a red carpet fundraising event at 6 p.m. on June 28 at the Civic Theater in Allentown.

 

 

Various vendors will be there and a “talkback session” will be moderated by the filmmakers providing “insights into their filmmaking process and providing more information about “The Next Play,” the press release stated.

 

Attendees will also learn about film details and possible casting opportunities. Musician Galen Deery will perform his debut single “Anyone Like You,” and Lehigh Valley comedians Colin Coleman and Kate Hughes will perform stand up.

 

The event is $25 and all proceeds raised will go toward the production of the film. Interested supporters may also make crowdfunding donations, which can be made via this link.

 

 

“We feel that because our kids were in field hockey since second and third grades, we have watched them through the years, and it’s just a lot of pressure,” Koula Sossiadis Kazista said. “As the years go on from second into middle school, now into high school, and then into the college level, there’s an immense amount of pressure put on these kids. And, it’s really not what it was when we were growing up. It’s a very different thing. Now you have the parents completely involved, the other teammate’s completely involved, which happens all the time in any team sport. You’re always going to have pressure on certain kids because they carry a team or they’re the highlight of the team. They can put the ball in the net and everyone’s relying on them. And, there’s also jealousy. At times, you’re competing against the girl who’s standing right next to you. If [the team culture] is cutthroat, then it creates this whole thing for these girls, where they feel that they have to compete with each other, and at times, bring each other down.

 

In our film, we do touch on that. But, we always do redemption stories.”

 

The sisters have partnered with Morgan’s Message, The Hidden Opponent, the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) – Lehigh Valley, Longstreth Sporting Goods, YOLO Sports, Hocsocx, and Female Athlete News.

 

“Morgan’s story really struck a chord with us,” Katina Sossiadis said. “We were really inspired by who she was. Looking further and deeper into her as a person, what really got me, myself, and I speak for Koula, is her art aspect and her being an artist, and her work.”

 

Morgan’s Message, a nonprofit, established to erase the stigma associated with mental health struggles, continues to grow into a movement touching the lives of thousands of student-athletes, and human beings.

 

According to its website, the self-proclaimed athletic go-getter, in her sophomore year in college, endured a “dream-shattering knee injury.” The Duke lacrosse player spent “the next 12 months determined to return to the field, undergoing surgery and dedicating herself to an intensive rehabilitation program.”

 

Morgan struggled with this abrupt change because she felt she had lost control within her life. As a result, Morgan’s self-worth plummeted. While she presented a strong, happy and resilient face to her community, she grappled with feeling that she was not living up to her expectations. Her feelings of isolation from the team and stress caused by other relationship issues accelerated the return of anxiety and depression. This time, Morgan chose to suffer in silence, keeping family and friends in the dark as she battled her mental health.

 

As a result, Morgan died by suicide July 11, 2019 at the age of 22.”

 

Katina Sossiadis has told FAN, LLC that Morgan’s art told a story that was overlooked. She said she thought Morgan showed signs of asking for help.

 

“Her art told a story,” Katina Sossiadis said. “I looked at one of her butterflies; we have to incorporate the butterfly into the story. Our film is not so much about Morgan’s life. But, her life is an inspiration. The butterfly is now an integral part of the script. It’s symbolic. It represents unity, team, and structure.”

 

 

Casting Call for Local Talent

 

Wanting to break into acting? The sisters are seeking local talent to join the cast of “The Next Play.” They are looking specifically for six young women between the ages of 18 and 23. For more details about the casting process and to stay updated on “The Next Play,” please contact [email protected].

 

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