I WILL SOAR
A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT COURAGE & FOOTBALL
“I WILL SOAR” a documentary about Atlantic high School’s football program (on and off the field)
iPic Screening March 2021
The private screening of, “I WILL SOAR” is set for Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at the Delray Beach iPic. Red Carpet starts at 6:00pm; film at 6:30pm. This is the true story of one city, one community high school and one coach who brought them all together and produced a winning football season with record numbers of first-generation students attending university.
Coach TJ Jackson, raised in Delray Beach, Florida, was a highly sought-after recruit and earned a football scholarship and business degree from Virginia Tech. Coach TJ had a brief stint with the NFL and returned home to take over Atlantic Community High School’s fledgling football program at the Title One school (where 80 percent of the students live at or below the poverty level).
Coach TJ applied a simple methodology in building his football program: To keep a spot on the championship-caliber team, players had to perform in the classroom. If you love the game, you have to study. For students dealing with homelessness, hunger and violent crime in their neighborhoods, Coach TJ, together with Atlantic’s Principal, Tara Dellegrotti-Ocampo, provided an opportunity to not only improve their student’s lives, but the lives of future generations.
Atlantic Community High School’s football team is seeded number one in Palm Beach County. The Eagles won the Class 7A Gold Bracket championship in the tri-county playoffs and are tops among graduation and matriculation rates for high school football programs on a national level.
Jane Swanko, an author, producer and motivational speaker was invited to talk to the team four years ago and never left. She volunteers and works with the graduating seniors on etiquette as well as transitioning them to college. Swanko teamed with cinematographer, John Sturdy and filmed the documentary in true cinéma verité, allowing those involved with the program to tell the story of the team’s success both on and off field.
An emotional roller coaster of many feel-good moments, the documentary explores Coach TJ’s success in providing guidance for the many players who live fatherless, delivering the nurturing and strength they need to graduate and be successful in life.
The “I Will Soar” VIMEO link is:
Passcode: Media (Case Sensitive)
This link is specific to the media and will be made available for viewing from Thursday, April 29 at 8:00am to Sunday, May 2 at 8:00am.
On Tuesday, May 4, interviews will be made available between 5:30pm and 6:00pm on the Red Carpet at iPic, located at 25 S.E. 4th Avenue, Delray Beach, before and after the private screening. If you are interested in interviewing anyone featured in the documentary, please call 772-300-1213 or email JanieS@IWillSoarthedocumentary.com.
award-winning documentary, “I will soar” debuts in south florida at the coral gables art cinema
Coral Gables Screening March 2022
The Coral Gables Art Cinema and Coral Gables Magazine will present the award-winning documentary, “I WILL SOAR” on Wednesday, March 16. Red Carpet/Step-and-Repeat starts at 5:15pm to 5:45pm; curtain call at 6:00pm.
The film is the true story of high school football Coach TJ Jackson whose unique program transforms disadvantage students into winners on the field and in life, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. It is the work of Jane Swanko, a Coral Gables native and John Sturdy who followed Coach Jackson at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, FL for nearly three years. Swanko is a University of Miami graduate and was represented by William Morris (LA) when she authored two books and three television pilots. She also produced special features for Miami’s WSVN/Channel 7. John Sturdy hails from Providence, Rhode Island and is an award-winning cinematographer who has worked on six continents for more than 30 years.
Several college football players featured in the documentary will be in attendance including Louisville’s D-lineman Henry Bryant, Marshall’s WR Corey Gammage, FIU’s tight end Kamareon Williams and several others.
Amy Donner, Associate Publisher of the Coral Gables Magazine said, “Jane is a Gables’ girl through-and-through and we are delighted that she accepted our invitation to screen “I WILL SOAR” at the Coral Gables Art Cinema”.
Their project faced many challenges including repeated shut downs due to Covid. This is the first documentary that Sturdy and Swanko have collaborated on but they hope to do more. The 7-minute trailer can be viewed at www.IWillSoarthedocumentary.com.
Coral Gables Art Cinema is located at 260 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables. “I WILL SOAR” tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com for $15 which benefits the Art Theater. There will be a Q&A after the screening followed by a cocktail reception hosted by Bay 13 and the Capital Academy. Bay 13 Brewery is located at 65 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables.
BMG global | bridgestone multimedia group
Wolrdwide Release January 2023
DELRAY BEACH, FL January 13, 2023—BMG-Global, together with Just Us Productions, announced today that the worldwide release of “I WILL SOAR,” a multi-award-winning documentary, will be Tuesday, January 17, the first of three rollouts in 2023.
“I WILL SOAR” is based on a true story of one city, one community high school, and one coach who brought them all together and produced a winning football season and record numbers of first-generation students attending university.
Coach TJ Jackson, featured in the documentary, was raised in Delray Beach, Florida. He was a highly sought-after recruit and earned a football scholarship and a business degree from Virginia Tech. After a brief stint with the NFL, Coach Jackson returned home to take over Atlantic Community High School’s fledgling football program at the Title One school, where 80 percent of the students live at or below the poverty level.
Coach Jackson applied a simple methodology in building his football program: Players had to perform in the classroom to keep a spot on the championship-caliber team. “If you love the game, you have to study,” said Coach Jackson.
With students dealing with homelessness, hunger, and violent crime in their neighborhoods, Coach Jackson and Atlantic’s Principal, Tara Dellegrotti-Ocampo, produced a winning football team on and off the field with 85% of student/athletes on the honor roll and their team is ranked No. 1 in Palm Beach County. The Eagles won the Class 7A Gold Bracket championship in the tri-county playoffs. Larry Blustein has covered high school sports for 52 years and said, “He’s never seen a program like Coach TJ’s.”
Jane Swanko, a nationally-ranked water polo player, was invited to speak to the team in the summer of 2017 and volunteered for five years, helping seniors transition to college. Swanko, Director, Writer & Producer of “I WILL SOAR,’ teamed with award-winning cinematographer John Sturdy, who said, “this is a story that has to be told” and filmed the documentary in true cinéma verité. It took three years to complete the project and production shut down due to Covid, “but it’s all worth it,” Swanko said.
“I WILL SOAR” explores Coach Jackson’s success in guiding the many players who live fatherless, delivering the nurturing and strength they need to graduate and succeed.