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NEWS ARTICLE

TFF '09: Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

Spike Lee's behind-the-scenes look at basketball superstar Kobe Bryant is the gala centerpiece of the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.



Details about the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival have been released. The ESPN Films production of Spike Lee’s Kobe Doin’ Work will have its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival (April 22 to May 3), presented by American Express, the founding sponsor of the Festival. The gala premiere will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2009.

Kobe Doin’ Work  takes an unprecedented look at NBA star Kobe Bryant. During the 2008 NBA playoffs, Lee and his cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, were given unlimited access to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar before, during and after a game. As a result, the film is a definitive portrait of one of the sport’s greatest athletes. The film also features the first score ever written by Grammy-winning musician Bruce Hornsby. Hornsby also contributed the original song, “Levitate.”

Kobe Doin’ Work brings together the legendary New York filmmaker Spike Lee and one of the biggest names in sports today, making it the perfect film for our Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Gala,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Festival.  “The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival has become an eagerly anticipated staple of the Festival, and we look forward to showing films that embody the passion and spirit of sports.”

Keith Clinkscales, senior vice president ESPN content development and enterprises, adds, “We are proud to kick off the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival with a documentary showcasing not only Spike Lee's fervent love of basketball, but our collective commitment to great storytelling. Kobe Doin’ Work and the entire sports festival slate speak to the power of film and sports to inspire, motivate and transform.”

Following its premiere at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, fans across the country will be able to see the film on ESPN/ESPN HD. Kobe Doin’ Work will be televised Saturday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. In the meantime, the trailer is available online.

In its third year, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival has become the premier showcase for independent films about sports and competition. The previously announced titles that will screen as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival include films that explore the Little League of NASCAR, a Swedish men’s synchronized swimming team, a baseball hero's return to his Cuban home for the first time in over 45 years, and a teenage debate team from Qatar traveling for the first time to Washington D.C. to represent their country.

On Saturday May 2, 2009, all eight films will be screening at Tribeca Cinemas for the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Sportsday Marathon. Diehard sports film enthusiasts can see up to five of the eight films in the program in one day. Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales begin for American Express Cardmembers on April 14, 2009, for downtown residents on April 19, 2009, and for the general public on April 20, 2009. Learn more about 2009 TFF ticketing.
 



The following are the films featured in the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. All titles have been previously announced in their respective sections as part of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival film program.
 

Kobe Doin' Work

Directed by Spike Lee
(USA)
World Premiere Documentary
With unprecedented access and utilizing 30 cameras, Spike Lee brings the audience onto the court with superstar Kobe Bryant as his Lakers battle the Spurs in a game with major playoff implications. Through pre-game prep, fast breaks, team huddles and post-game interviews, it's just another day at the office for one of the NBA's best.

 

Lost Son of Havana

Directed and written by Jonathan Hock
(USA)
World Premiere, Documentary
This film will screen in the Encounters Section.

 

Love the Beast

Directed by Eric Bana
(Australia)
International Premiere, Documentary
This film will screen in the Encounters Section.

 

A Matter of Size (Sipur Gadol)

Directed by Erez Tadmor and Sharon Maymon, written by Danny Cohen-Solal and Maymon
(Israel)
World Premiere, Narrative
This film will screen in the Discovery Section.

 

Racing Dreams

Directed by Marshall Curry
(USA)
World Premiere, Documentary
This film will screen in the World Documentary Features Competition Section.

 

Rudo y Cursi

Directed and written by Carlos Cuarón
(USA, Mexico)
New York Premiere, Narrative
A Sony Pictures Classics release.
This film will screen in the Spotlight Section.

 

The Swimsuit Issue (Allt flyter)

Directed by Måns Herngren, written by Jane Magnusson, Brian Cordray and Herngren
(Sweden)
International Premiere, Narrative
This film will screen in the Discovery Section.


Team Qatar

Directed by Liz Mermin
(UK)
World Premiere, Documentary
This film will screen in the World Documentary Features Competition Section.

 



About the
2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival
The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival is a partnership between Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival, and ESPN Inc. The Festival, founded in 2006, is the premiere showcase for independent sports film.

About ESPN Films
Launched in March 2008, ESPN Films presents quality scripted and documentary film projects for television and theatrical release. Recent documentaries include the critically acclaimed Black Magic (March 2008), The Streak (April 2008) and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival selection The Zen of Bobby V (May 2008). ESPN Films will launch a major initiative with "30 for 30," a celebration of the last three decades of sports timed with ESPN's 30th anniversary, in October 2009.

 

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