PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’re a fan of high school football in the area, the last name Alfieri should resonate. Four out of the family’s five boys have played Division 1 football.
The eldest son, Nick, is still playing, but over in Germany for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. Not only is he a talented linebacker but also a talented filmmaker.
“The idea for it I conceived in December of 2015 and now it’s coming out in the summer of 2022,” the Jesuit alum said of his documentary, Unicorn Town, that was just released last week on Prime Video and Apple TV+. “I grew up loving sports in a sports loving, football family, and I had no idea that they played American football in Germany. So I was like, ‘That would, one, be awesome to do and play and then, wouldn’t that be a cool documentary?”
The documentary tells the story of how football in Germany is growing, and how a team from a tiny town of 40,000 is not only trying to keep up in the arms race, but also win their league full of much more well-funded teams.
Christian McCaffery, the executive producer of the film, played with Nick’s younger brother Joey at Stanford. McCaffery helped open doors for Alfieri in the business world for the documentary, but he wasn’t just involved in that part of things.
“What I think a lot of people would be surprised about is his contributions on the creative side,” said Alfieri, who played football at Georgetown. “He gave a few rounds of notes on the movie and had some really good ideas with some of the football stuff and a few key moments he suggested we edit and play a certain way. I was like, ‘Oh, he’s making a big difference.’”
Playing and filming was certainly an interesting balance for Nick, even in his biggest moments on the field.
“I remember one time we were playing in the German Bowl (the league’s championship game), and I was lining up for a play, and I was like, ‘Alright, I’m playing football right now, but this is a really dramatic moment.’ I looked over to make sure my cinematographer was in the best spot on the sideline to get the good shot,” Nick said with a chuckle.
However, at the end of the day, being on the inside also gives this documentary an even more personal feel, and it seems to be resonating as it was the #1 sports documentary on Apple TV+ this past weekend.
“Being a member of the team also gave me unique access to my teammates and players and stuff. A lot of times when you make a documentary it’s some outside crew coming in and interviewing people, so the intimacy and closeness I had with my teammates and coaches, that benefited the movie,” said Alfieri.