• Press Releases


Documentary follows local Milwaukee football team, made up from two separate high schools, as they learn to come together over the course of a season.

LOS ANGELES – April 3, 2023 – Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that stands at the intersection of art and activism, announces that high school football documentary Messwood will be released by Giant Pictures and available on digital platforms (iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu) on April 18,. in celebration of National Student Athlete Day on April 6.

Messwood highlights two Milwaukee high schools — one predominantly black and the other largely white–situated a mile apart along the same stretch of road, which were both short players to field an entire football team. They joined as one and, decades later, against the backdrop of a nation’s painful racial reckoning, unite under the leadership of a unique coach and ultimately learn what it truly means to come together as a team.

Messwood is co-directed by Emily Kuester and Emmy® Award winning Director Brad Lichtenstein. Messwood is presented by Participant and is a 371 Production. The documentary is produced by Emily Kuester and Brad Lichtenstein, and executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann for Participant; and Steve James.

National Student Athlete Day is recognized annually on April 6th to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of college and high school student athletes for their excellence in athletics and academics.

Participant’s recent releases include Academy Award® nominee All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (NEON, HBO Documentary Films), winner of the Venice Golden Lion for Best Film; Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power (Greenwich, Peacock); and Descendant (Netflix/Higher Ground), winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision at Sundance.


Founded in 2004 by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant (www.participant.com) is the leading global media company dedicated to content that unites art and activism to create positive change. Participant’s films have earned 86 Academy Award® nominations, including 2022’s historic triple nomination for FLEE, and 21 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book; Best Documentary Feature for An Inconvenient Truth, CITIZENFOUR, The Cove and American Factory; and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant also has earned 44 Emmy® Award nominations and 11 wins, including two wins for the groundbreaking When They See Us.

A pioneer of socially conscious storytelling, Participant partners with key nonprofits and NGOs to drive real-world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues on a global scale, and is the only major US entertainment company whose social and environmental impact has earned a B Corp Certification. Participant believes that diversity is a source of strength, that inclusion is essential to progress, and that equity is an imperative for impact. Follow Participant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Giant Pictures is a leading distributor that partners with studios and filmmakers to release movies and documentaries in theaters and across all major streaming platforms, including Apple TV, Netflix, Tubi, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Amazon Freevee, Peacock, and more. Since 2022, Giant Pictures has owned and operated specialty distributor Drafthouse Films. Learn more at www.giant.pictures

371 produces premium content across multiple platforms and prides itself on a commitment to stories that might not otherwise be told while lifting up the voices and careers of women and filmmakers of color.

For more information and/or interviews please contact:
Gabe Bell-Williams