Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) today announced the lineup for the seventh annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. Founded to broaden the audience for independent film through stories about sports and competition, this year's Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will consist of nine films, including four titles from ESPN Films' highly anticipated "Nine for IX" series which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of Title IX with nine documentary films about women in sports directed by outstanding female filmmakers. The 2013 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will run during the 12th edition of TFF, presented by American Express, April 17 - April 28 at locations around New York City.
The Festival revealed that the world premiere of Big Shot, directed by Kevin Connolly, will serve as the gala premiere of the program on Friday, April 19. Connolly is returning to Tribeca having debuted his feature film Gardener of Eden in 2007. In Big Shot, Connolly chronicles John Spano's fraudulent purchase of the New York Islanders. In 1997, Spano bought the New York Islanders for a staggering $165 million. The scheme behind Spano's acquisition of the team is revealed as Big Shot takes viewers behind the scenes of the biggest fraud in hockey history.
"The sports film offerings at this year's Festival give sports fans and movie buffs tremendous opportunities to experience the many ways that sports intersect with our culture," said Genna Terranova, Tribeca Film Festival Director of Programming. "We are excited that Big Shot, which chronicles one of the most infamous sagas in professional sports management history, will kick-off this year's Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, and to share the range of these personal stories seem through the lens of sports."
"I've always thought the expression 'passion project' was kind of a cliché until I started working on Big Shot for ESPN," said Kevin Connolly. "Working Side By Side and spending time with guys that I literally grew up idolizing has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. The whole experience, including having the film premiere in New York at the festival, has been a dream come true."
"There are many vibrant, independent voices out there telling incredible sports stories and we're honored to be involved with the Tribeca Film Festival where together we can shine a light on these documentaries and filmmakers," said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. "We produce our films with the intention of capturing both the glory and the heartbreak of what sports mean to so many people and we are very proud of the creative, story-driven documentaries that were selected for this year's Festival."
The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival has become the premier showcase for independent films about sports and competition. The titles that will screen as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival include documentary films that explore stories of an extreme skiing legend; the world's top professional skateboarders; an overhyped High School basketball player; the battle in the ring and the courts of the greatest boxing legend; the personal struggles of college sports' most successful coach ever; the largely Unknown history of an Olympic gold medalist and her link with East Germany's secret police; the unyielding quest of a world-class diver to reach new depths; and the gender politics of post-game locker room interviews.
All of this year's Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films will screen at Tribeca Cinemas on Saturday, April 27. The films also screen prior to April 27 throughout the Festival.
In addition to the film series, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will present Sports Day as part of the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair. Sports Day, which will take place on Saturday, April 27, offers fans an opportunity to engage in a variety of free, sports-related games and activities. In addition, some of New York's most popular athletes, mascots and sports personalities will make guest appearances throughout the day. Sports Day is free and open to the public and will take place on North Moore Street, between Greenwich and West Streets, in Manhattan.
The following are the films featured in the 2013 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
TRIBECA/ESPN SPORTS FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UP
Big Shot, directed by Kevin Connolly. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. In 1997, John Spano, a previously Unknown Dallas business mogul, bought the New York Islanders for a whopping $165 million. The future looked bright for the once-legendary team. Then Spano took his seat in the front office. Entourage's Kevin Connolly takes us behind the scenes of the biggest fraud in hockey history, as Spano's wealth is revealed to be a lie and his rise to power a brilliantly concocted scheme.