The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express®, is thrilled to announce 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. 

Kicking off the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will be the world premiere of Big Shot, directed by Kevin Connolly (Entourage), which will also double as the gala premiere of the program on Friday, April 19.  Connolly first came to Tribeca in 2007 with the debut of his feature film, Gardener of Eden. In Big Shot, Connolly chronicles John Spano’s fraudulent purchase of the New York Islanders, taking viewers behind the scenes as the biggest fraud in hockey history unfolds.

One of the premier showcases for independent films about sports and competition, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival appeals to both sports fans and film lovers as sports intersect with art. In addition to being shown throughout the Festival, all of this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films will be screened at Tribeca Cinemas on Saturday, April 27.  The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will also present Sports Day as part of the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, an event that includes free sports-related games and special appearances by some of New York’s most popular athletes.

Big Shot

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.

McConkey

McConkey
Directed and written by Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieff, and Rob Bruce
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

An all-star roster of sports movie-making talent directs this heartfelt biography of extreme ski trailblazer Shane McConkey, once described as “the most influential skier ever.” McConkey covers forty years and countless high places to track Shane’s conversion from downhill racer to freeskiing marvel to pioneer of a hair-raising new discipline—ski BASE jumping—giving new meaning to the question, how do you live your life to the fullest?

Lenny Cooke

Lenny Cooke
Directed by Benny Safdie and Joshua Safdie
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the most hyped high school basketball player in the country, ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. A decade later, Lenny has never played a minute in the NBA. In this quintessentially American documentary, filmmaking brothers Joshua and Benny Safdie track the unfulfilled destiny of a man for whom superstardom was only just out of reach.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Directed by Bill Siegel
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Brash boxer Cassius Clay burst into the American consciousness in the early 1960s, just ahead of the Civil Rights movement. His transformation into the spiritually enlightened heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is legendary, but this religious awakening also led to a bitter legal battle with the U.S. government after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. This film reveals the perfect storm of race, religion and politics that shaped one of the most recognizable figures in sports history.

The Motivation

The Motivation
Directed by Adam Bhala Lough
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Go inside the lives and training regimes of eight of the world’s gutsiest professional skateboarders. These fearless stars face unique obstacles on the way to the Street League Championship and the coveted title of best street skateboarder in the world. Adam Bhala Lough, creator of the independent hit Bomb the System (TFF 2003), directs this fresh, energetic documentary search for that elusive quality that separates winners from the pack. In English, Portuguese with subtitles.

Special Screenings from the “Nine for IX” series

Pat XO

Pat XO
Directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters, produced by Robin Roberts
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

In August 2011, Pat Summitt, NCAA basketball’s winningest coach, made the stunning announcement that she had early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  Before and after resigning in April 2012, the legendary coach and her son, Tyler, have set out to beat this challenge as they had every other—with grace, humor and, most of all, each other. Pat XO tells the remarkable story of this incomparable coach as it has never been told before, straight from the people who knew her best.

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Directed by Senain Kheshgi and Jennifer Arnold
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

At the height of the Cold War, Katarina Witt became one of East Germany’s most famous athletes, winning six European titles, four world championships and back-to-back Olympic gold medals. Known as “the most beautiful face of socialism,” she earned unique benefits in East Germany but also constant surveillance from the Stasi, the notorious secret police force.

No Limits

No Limits
Directed by Alison Ellwood
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Suffering from scoliosis as a teenager, Audrey Mestre found freedom in the ocean. Years later, she discovered another reason to love the water: the elusive, often raucous free diver Pipin Ferreras. As Mestre follows Ferreras’s almost spiritual quest to push his limits underwater, she moves from supporter to ardent free diver to world-class competitor. Then a challenge from a rival pushes the couple to the brink of what is possible, both above and below the surface.

Let Them Wear Towels

Let Them Wear Towels
Directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

During the 1977 World Series, Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke was denied access to the players’ locker room. After a very public fight, the door was opened, but the debate about female journalists in the male sanctum of the clubhouse remained. Through interviews with pioneering female sports writers, Let Them Wear Towels captures the raw behavior, humorous retaliation, angry lawsuits and remarkable resolve that went into the struggle for equal access for women reporters.


Check out more of the slate:

TFF 2013: World Narrative Competition
TFF 2013: World Documentary Competition
TFF 2013: Viewpoints
TFF 2013: Spotlight
TFF 2013: Midnight

Packages and passes are on sale now for American Express® cardholders and will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 11 at 11am:  Learn more about TFF 2013 Ticket Packages.

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