The Surface – Hockey Documentary: Hockey’s Amazing Transformation


London – 7 December 2022

UK-based documentary-makers, Level Films, in partnership with Polytan and Astroturf today announced the digital release of The Surface, a new hockey documentary which charts hockey’s turf transformation from grass players to turf-natives.

Directors and producers James Dean and Matt Crocker explore some of the most pivotal moments in hockey’s 45- year transformation since the First Turf at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. From Montreal 76, to the skills explosion in the 2000s, to London 2012’s famous blue turfs and the launch of hockey’s sustainability journey at Tokyo2020, The Surface gives a voice to hockey’s 4,000-year history and its astonishing 45-year turf story.

Featuring Jamie Dwyer, Luciana Aymar, Tayyab Ikram, Ric Charlesworth and an enviable cast of other hockey legends, the film tells hockey’s unique story through the stars and leaders who helped to transform the game.

Luciana and Jamie, who between them have 13 World Player of the Year awards, ignited the skills explosion and give a first-hand perspective on what it took to take the game to new levels.

Tayyab Ikram, CEO of the Asian Hockey Federation covers so much ground from elite coaching to youth participation and provided an insight into the golden age of India and Pakistan hockey.

Sue Catton who was the driving force for two major innovations – London’s blue turfs which have changed hockey’s colors forever and Big Stadium Hockey which made the game available to more fans – offers a first-hand insight into these pivotal moments.

Created by Level Films and supported by Polytan and Astroturf, The Surface is a film about innovation that required an innovative approach. COVID-19 necessitated completely reimagining the process of documentary film-making. All interviews outside of the UK had to be conducted remotely and much of the film was directed through video link to local film crews.

The result is a film about the making-of modern hockey that is totally original and told from a number of important perspectives from across the global hockey community.


The Surface is available to view now on The Surface Film (


About Level Films

Level Films is an award-winning, brand-funded documentary film production company based in the UK. Founded by directors and producers James Dean and Matt Crocker who share a love of history, sport, culture and visual storytelling, Level Films has an acclaimed reputation for producing documentary films that explore the origins of cultural movements and tell pioneering stories in a fresh and original way.


About Polytan & AstroTurf 

Both Polytan and AstroTurf are members of the Sport Group, the world’s largest business dedicated to sport surfaces.

Polytan makes sport possible, with the largest sports surface installation network in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. Polytan has installed hockey turfs in over 35 countries including the last 4 Olympic Games and is a FIH (International Hockey Federation) and Asian Hockey Federation partner.

AstroTurf is the inventor of synthetic turf, a household name around the world and the preeminent brand in the North American sports surfaces market for over 50 years. AstroTurf changed hockey forever in 1976 with their hockey turf at the Montreal Olympics.

In their respective markets, Polytan and AstroTurf install Poligras hockey turfs. Poligras has been chosen as the hockey turf for 8 Olympic Games, including Paris 2024.

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