Nat’l Geographic makes ‘Power’ play

Soccer documentary to premiere at Tribeca

National Geographic Films is looking to score a goal for Michael Apted’s soccer docu “The Power of the Game,” which preems at the Tribeca Film Fest on April 28.

Film unit is taking a financial stake in the pic, alongside Pathe, GOOD and Britain’s Channel 4, which were already partners on the project.

Docu doesn’t yet have domestic distribution. Pathe is handling international sales.

Apted’s film chronicles the influence soccer has on politics, race and society around the globe by interweaving six stories from South Africa, Iran, Argentina, England, Pakistan, Senegal and the United States.

Showing how sports can transcend language barriers and cultural differences, Apted juxtaposes footage from games leading up to and during the 2006 World Cup.

“It’s a perfect collaboration for us because National Geographic is all about inciting people to explore the world,” said National Geographic Films prexy Adam Leipzig.

Film unit is a division of National Geographic Ventures.

Leipzig said National Geo will use its many programming resources, extensive audience outreach and multiple media platforms in helping to market the film in the U.S. and around the globe.

National Geo Films partnered with Warner Independent Pictures on the domestic release of hit docu “The March of the Penguins.”