Tribeca Film and ESPN are joining forces to bring high-quality independent sports films to our homes on demand. You will be able to view them via any of the cable/satellite providers or online services listed here.
Four Tribeca/ESPN Sports documentaries are currently available for viewing. Three of them were featured in this year’s Film Festival held by Tribeca. They will be avilable from June 23 – August 25.
Catching Hell – Directed by Alex Gibney. The ESPN premier will be on September 27th.
When Chicagoan Steve Bartman fatefully deflected a pop fly foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship, the city’s long-suffering Cubs fans found someone new to blame for their cursed century without a World Series title. Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney explores the psychology of diehard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria that turned mild-mannered Bartman into the most hated fan.
Fire in Babylon – Directed by Stevan Riley
This film tells the captivating story of the glorious domination of the West Indian cricket team, who, with a combination of phenomenal skill and fearless spirit, became the one of the greatest teams in sports history. Told in the words of legendary and revered players of the time, including Sir Viv Richards, Michael Holding, and Sir Clive Lloyd, Fire in Babylon illustrates how this exceptional team hijacked the genteel game of the privileged elite and played it on their own terms. With a soundtrack that includes Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Issacs, Faithless and Horace Andy, Fire in Babylon celebrates the emancipation of a people through sport, whilst painting a fascinating picture of this extraordinary era of sporting dominance and its roots in politics, pride, anti-colonial fury and music.
Renee – Directed by Eric Drath. The ESPN premier will be on October 4th.
Renee chronicles the life of trailblazing transsexual athlete Renee Richards, who shook the world of sports in 1977 with her controversial entry into the US Open. Simultaneously, it follows her today as she struggles to cope with a life of contradictions and personal conflict. Through interviews with tennis legends, family, friends and experts from the transsexual field, a story of perseverance, breakthrough and hardship unfolds.
Turkey Bowl – Directed by Kyle Smith
10 friends gather together every summer in LA to play the Turkey Bowl—a co-ed touch football game that brings a piece of small-town tradition to the urban sprawl—all for the beloved prize for the winning team… a turkey. Friendships flare and fade, jealousy is met with laughter and pain, old and unrequited love threatens to remain old and unrequited—all of these undercurrents are revealed in the unique, improvised rhythm of this backyard sport and this real-time comedy. Turkey Bowl was a fan favorite at the recent SXSW Film Festival.
The next installment in the series will be available from July 21 – August 25.
Boys of Summer – Directed by Keith Aumont
A scrappy Little League team from a tiny Caribbean island fights the odds to reach the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Curaçao youth baseball team has competed at the Little League World Series in America for an incredible seven consecutive years. Over the course of one season, the boys face injuries and obstacles as they try to keep the winning streak alive. Determined team manager Vernon Isabella and his players learn the meaning of national pride in a story that travels from a humble island ball field to the international spotlight and back.
Boys of Summer has had a successful run on the film festival circuit, including the Aruba International Film Festival, the New York International Latino Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival and the Latin American Film Festival.
Chief Executive Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, Geoffrey Gilmore, issued the following statement on the joint venture with ESPN:
“For the past five years, an exceptional range of sports films have premiered at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. This summer, for the first time together with ESPN, we are excited to be able to bring a selection of high quality and diverse competition themed films to audiences nationwide On Demand.”