Hollywood Calling? Troy Polamalu Appears in Sundance Movie

The film, “In Football We Trust,” follows four talented Polynesian high-school football players who dream of making it to the NFL.

Photo courtesy of Sundance Film Festival


Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu, profiled in our December issue, is among four NFL pros interviewed in a documentary that is premiering at this week’s Sundance Film Festival.

Filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn shot “In Football We Trust” over four years, following four talented Polynesian high-school football players striving to make it to the NFL.

Here is how the film is described on the Sundance website:

“Despite a small population with a brief history in the U.S., Samoans and Tongans are 28 times more likely than any other minority group to play football for the famed NFL. Charismatic, passionate and determined, the players' love of family is matched only by their love of this most American sport that seems to flow through their veins. Their speedy transformation from adolescence to adulthood in the high-stakes world of collegiate football is filmed with incredible access, shining a light on the extreme pressures to succeed that emanate from within the tightly knit Polynesian community, as well as from the outside. But gang violence, addiction, and poverty are a constant danger that can easily bring down a dream. Even with the best moms, siblings, and friends cheering from the grandstands, not everyone makes it to the big time.”

Also interviewed along with Polamalu are Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens, Star Lotulelei of the Carolina Panthers and Vai Sikahema, the first Tongan ever to play in the National Football League.   

Photo by Ryan Tuttle/NBC


#Update: Chris Jamison Playing to Sold-Out Shows

Ross Township’s Chris Jamison is a man on the move. Following his third-place finish on NBC’s “The Voice,” Jamison told us he wanted to move forward and not lose the momentum he gained from the show.

Since then he’s been performing in front of audiences big and small.

A few weeks back, Jamison and fellow “The Voice” finalist Matt McAndrew performed at sold-out Lambeau Field during the halftime show of the NFC Divisional playoff between the Cowboys and Packers.

He’s also had several sold-out shows in the Pittsburgh area, including this past weekend at Rum Runners Saloon, just a few miles from his home in the North Hills.

Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Historic Image Collection


#Documentary: Film reveals how Allegheny Conference remade Pittsburgh

If you’ve ever wondered how Pittsburgh eventually shed its image as the smoky city, head over Robert Morris University’s Moon Township campus.

“We Built This City: How the Allegheny Conference Remade Pittsburgh,” a documentary produced by RMU, premieres at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the school’s Massey Theater.

It highlights the the conference’s 70 years of work transforming the Pittsburgh region —  from the redevelopment, pollution and flood control measures that marked the city’s first Renaissance to its post-industrial rebirth as a center for technology, health care and education. It includes archival photographs and news footage and is narrated by Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM.

Among those interviewed are Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and former Mayor Tom Murphy; former Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh; former Pittsburgh City Councilman Sala Udin; Morgan O’Brien, CEO of People’s Natural Gas and chairman of the Allegheny Conference; and Allegheny Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky and former CEO Bob Pease, who also served as an executive producer of the documentary.

“We Built This City” documents the not only the good, but also the bad by noting the decidedly mixed record of urban renewal projects in communities such as East Liberty and the Hill District and the bad feelings that linger in those neighborhoods over redevelopment. The documentary heralds the transformation of the Cultural District from a red light district and also describes the role played by the conference in forming an ownership group to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates from leaving town in 1986.



Categories: The 412