Sven Fielitz is an elite football freestyler and a professional filmmaker. Check out his awesome work in the clip below and read more about his story in our interview!
Thank you for your time, Sven. Tell us about you!
My name is Sven Fielitz and I’m a professional football freestyle athlete, as well as a professional filmmaker.
My career as a football freestyler started about 13 years ago. Since then, I’ve competed in various competitions all over the world, such as Red Bull Street Style or Super Ball. Nowadays, I do commercial shootings or shows at various events for corporations, municipalities or schools. I often include workshops for kids as well. This proves to be a good way to introduce new people to this art form and grow the local scene here in Luxembourg.
I’m also part of the “Freestyle-Tour”, a program introduced by the SNJ (Service National de la Jeunesse). Their main goal is to introduce various freestyle sports, such as capoeira, skateboard, hip-hop, parkour or freestyle football to teenagers in Luxembourg. We offer a full day of workshops, combined with lessons on how to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
On the other hand, I’m a passionate videographer as well. I work as an independent and my work consists of either producing promotional videos, interviews or recap videos at corporate events. What I love doing most however, is combining both filmmaking and freestyle football. I work closely with the WFFA (World Freestyle Football Association) and every now and then, they hire me to produce videos at various freestyle football championships.
Tell us more about your background.
I grew up in Niederanven, and later on graduated at the Lycée Aline Mayrisch Luxembourg in the subject area natural sciences and Mathematics. I was always strong in that area, and with some influencing words from my parents, I was led to believe that studying Information Technology was the way to go. I quickly realized that it wasn’t, and I aborted my studies within the first semester. That’s when I realized I had to do something I was truly passionate about: filmmaking (which I was introduced to when my grandfather gave me his old video camera as a present at the age of 16). It only was at that time I realized I wanted to pursue this hobby professionally, and that it was actually possible to study film and not too unrealistic to work in this domain as well.
I lived for 4 years in Munich during my studies, graduated, and moved back to Luxembourg where I established myself as an independent filmmaker and freestyle football athlete.
I’m not really sure what made me pursue a creative career, as my father was an engineer and my mother is a laboratory assistant. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that it’s always important to listen to what your parents have to say, but their opinion should never shape your path. You should follow your passion, whatever it may be. There’s always a way to monetize whatever you feel passionate about, especially now in the digital age.
How did you become a football freestyler?
At the age of 7-8, I started playing football at my local club. I absolutely loved kicking a ball. I remember being invited to a birthday party of a friend of mine from primary school, and they had set up two small football goals in their backyard. I spent the entire afternoon playing with the ball, even though there were many other cool activities or games I could have spent my time with. When my mother came to pick me up again at the end of the day, my friend’s father told my mom that “you only need to give Sven a ball, and he will be entertained for the rest of the day”. That’s basically how it was. Even before discovering what freestyle football was, I always tried to beat my own juggling record at my football training.
Before the World Cup in 2006, Nike released a bunch of commercials showcasing Joga Bonito in a campaign to actually promote a renewed sense of beauty in the game. They also launched the Nikefootball website around that time in order to encourage football players all around the world to upload their own tricks to the website. This marks the very first boom of freestylers all around the world, trying to imitate the tricks showcased by other players on the website. This also marks my freestyle football beginnings, meaning that I’ve been freestyling for about 12 years now.
It was only in 2009 however that I took training a bit more seriously as Red Bull announced qualifications for their Street Style competition in many countries around the world. I was eager to compete in the world finals and tried to qualify in Belgium, as there were no qualifications in Luxembourg. I ended up as a runner-up in my first ever freestyle competition, having deservedly lost to Soufiane Bencok.
My best moments, competition-wise, have to be my 4th place at the European Championship in 2015, as well as my top16 result in the 2016 Red Bull Street Style world finals in London, being forced to drop out after twisting my ankle during the top16 battle (which I probably would have lost anyway). What inspires me most, however, is the community. This loving, encouraging and beautiful group of people, sharing the same love for this sport/art form, the endless late night conversations during the short time we have during competitions – is absolutely priceless. I can definitely count some freestylers as my all-time best friends.
What are your most recent projects and what are your plans for the future?
Recently, I was able to produce a short teaser announcing the Red Bull Street Style world finals in Warsaw. This project was exciting and close to my heart since I was able to work with my fellow freestyle football friends. Knowing them personally, their original tricks and what each one of them has to offer, I believe I was able to deliver a different perspective as a filmmaker. It was quite stressful due to the almost unrealistic deadlines that come along with working for a brand like Red Bull, but I would still say it is one of the top 3 projects I’ve ever worked on as a filmmaker.
As a freestyler, I recently was part of the UNESCO x Luxembourg world heritage video together with Lynn Jung, Viki Gomez and Alex Pilger. In 2019, I will once again be part of the “Freestyle-Tour”, which will start in January. I particularly like this project because it allows me to pass on the knowledge and experience I was able to acquire over the last 13 years as a football freestyler, and hopefully encourage a few young talents to start their own freestyle football journey. Because that’s what it is, a journey, mentally, physically and creatively.
Check out his Instagram account!