Against all odds… “Mudbloods” make a name for themselves

Starting something new is never easy. You have people who welcome the change and others who turn away and even fight against, but anything worthwhile is partnered with struggle. Mudbloods showcases what a few Harry Potter geeks from Middlebury College created with some brooms and hoops and what a few more geeks from UCLA embraced, encouraging anyone to follow their dreams.

The film opens with Team Captain Tom Marks and his team training, preparing to go to World Cup V in New York City. There’s multiple scenes of their practices accompanied by curious onlookers, some eager and some laughing. Not everyone is quite sure how it all works. “You get two questions,” says UCLA Chaser, Sebastian Milla. “You get ‘how does the Snitch work?’ and ‘how do you fly?’” Then the movie segues into an animated explanation of the game, narrated by Tom Marks. It includes the basics of the game and the responsibilities of all the players. This was by far my favorite part of the movie, as it was both highly entertaining and informative, but Quidditch is far from silly. It’s “a really physical sport like rugby or football,” says Missy Sponagle, UCLA Chaser.

But while the game of Quidditch is fun, it takes a lot more than just hard work for the UCLA team to get to World Cup V. It takes MONEY and lots of it. Fundraising is difficult, but by some miracle they are able to pay their entire way to New York City.

Alex Benepe of the International Quidditch Association (now the USQ) also makes an appearance, giving a testament to those who work hard (for little to no money) to make the World Cups happen. “Whenever you’re creating something new,” he says, “you’re fighting an uphill battle.” Even Sebastian Milla states, “It’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re seen as just a bunch of geeks,” but Quidditch’s reputation is growing. “It’s kind of goofy and new and not something that anyone has had the opportunity to do before,” says Alex.  Yet, money is once again a struggle, as it was the reason the World Cup V almost didn’t happen when the venue demanded the whole payment upfront, all $30,000 of it.

While at the World Cup, UCLA loses its first match against Middlebury College (the school that started Quidditch back in 2005), narrowly makes it out of their bracket into the knockout rounds, and loses a player due to injury. So, do they win the World Cup V? I guess you’ll just have to watch the movie and find out.  But, this much I know: from start to finish, the film is an encouraging journey, urging those watching to never stop following their dreams. It’s not always going to be easy but you can do anything when you have overwhelming support around you. Says Katie Aiani, voted the #1 Harry Potter fan, “I think that the Harry Potter group and Harry Potter fans are very special and very unique in that, we’re all very kind. I’ve never met a horrible Harry Potter fan… that’s because of what Harry Potter, the books, have taught us.”

Don’t settle for something because you’re afraid of what others might think. “It’s better to be seen as a little weird and happy then to not be the person you are,” says Katie. There is a danger in not chasing your dreams, as Alex Benepe comments on early in the film. Most people don’t try to chase their dreams and in turn they are jealous of those who dare to. Be bold and be true to yourself and make sure you watch Mudbloods, out October 14th.