For a number of years, the Tribeca Film Festival has managed to combine its appreciation for independent films with its appreciation for sports. In a partnership with ESPN that began in 2006, Tribeca Enterprises now announces its lineup for the 2014 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. Serving as the premiere showcase for independent sports films, highlights of this year’s festival will include “When the Garden Was Eden” by Michael Rapaport, which relives the glory days of the New York Knicks championship teams, as well as a panel discussion with Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield following the screening of the boxing movie “Champs.”
Check out the lineup below (synopses courtesy of Tribeca)
- When the Garden was Eden,
directed by Michael Rapaport. (USA) – World Premiere. Actor Michael
delivers an unabashed love note to the Knicks with this fast-moving
tribute to the team’s glory days. Featuring interviews with Walt “Clyde”
Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson and
others connected to the team’s championship years,
When the Garden was Eden is a snapshot of a colorful and volatile
era in New York history and a testament to the breathless energy that
defines the city and its sporting heroes.
following Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival titles have been announced
in their respective sections as part of the 2014 TFF film program:
- Intramural, directed by Andrew Disney, written by Bradley Jackson.
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There comes a time in every
fifth-year senior’s life where they must either accept the impending
‘real world’ of jobs, marriage, and payment plans or shirk that
responsibility in favor of playing the most glorious intramural
football game your school probably doesn’t really care to see. In this
full throttle and hilarious send-up of inspirational sports movies,
director Andrew Disney harnesses every cliché and overused trope to tell
the greatest (and only) intramural sports movie
of all time. Featuring an ensemble cast including Kate McKinnon, Jay
Pharoah, Jake Lacy, Beck Bennett, and Nikki Reed.
- Maravilla, directed and written by Juan Pablo Cadaveira. (Argentina) – International Premiere. A true
underdog story, Maravilla follows Argentinian boxer Sergio
‘Maravilla’ Martinez, as he sets out to reclaim the title of
Middleweight champion that was unfairly snatched from him in 2011 by
Julio Chavez, Jr. Focusing on the rise of Martinez from penniless
amateur to world champion and sporting celebrity, director Juan Pablo
Cadaveira offers a fascinating glimpse into today’s boxing landscape,
revealing the politics of the sporting profession that often places
entertainment value over the sport itself.
In English and Spanish with subtitles
- Slaying the Badger, directed and written by John Dower. (UK) – World Premiere.
Before Lance Armstrong, there was Greg
LeMond, who was the first and only American to officially win the Tour
de France. In this engrossing documentary, LeMond looks back at the
pivotal 1986 Tour, and his increasingly vicious
rivalry with friend, teammate, and mentor Bernard Hinault. The reigning
Tour champion and brutal competitor known as “The Badger,” Hinault
‘promised’ to help LeMond to his first victory in return for LeMond
supporting him in the previous year. But in a sport
that purports to reward teamwork, it’s really every man for himself.
Tribeca Talks: After the Movie and Conversations
- Tribeca Talks: After the Movie
directed by Bert Marcus. (USA) – World Premiere. This insightful and
documentary charts the lives of some of America’s heaviest
hitters—including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins—as
they seek to break out of poverty via one of the few outlets available.
Bert Marcus skillfully weaves their personal histories
and gripping footage from their biggest bouts to explore the meaning of
the American dream in a society increasingly fragmented between rich
After the movie: Stay for a conversation with former boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, and
boxing promoter Lou DiBella, about life, rivalry, and conflict both inside and out of the ring.
- Special Conversation
Shooting and Scoring
conversation about the particular art in creating authentic sports
stories – from non-fiction material to heart stopping hits that satisfy
hardcore fans while also connecting
with broader audiences. Featuring director Peter Berg, best known for
his hit TV series and film
Friday Night Lights and for the recent sports doc series State of Play which illuminates the intersection of sports and sports culture with wider society in 2014 America.
“Next Goal Wins” will screen as part of the Tribeca Drive-In series on April 19.
The full Tribeca Drive-In schedule will be announced in the coming days.
- Next Goal Wins, directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. (UK) – World Premiere .
When the American Samoan national soccer
team suffered the world’s worst defeat, losing to Australia 31-0, these
tiny islands crash-landed into last place in FIFA world rankings, and
became known as “the worst team
in the world.” More than a decade later, they have not yet won an
Next Goal Wins follows their miraculous efforts as they train for
the next World Cup. Led by an eccentric new coach, they have a chance
to redefine their international reputation.
- The Battered Bastards of Baseball, directed and written by Chapman Way and Maclain Way. (USA)
– New York Premiere. Bing Russell is best known for his role as Deputy Clem on
Bonanza, but he left Hollywood in 1973 to pursue his first love:
baseball. Creating the independent Portland Mavericks, his ragtag roster
of players that major franchises rejected were baseball’s biggest joke.
Then they shattered expectations and turned
Major League Baseball on its heels in an unheralded story of spirit and
30 for 30: Soccer Stories
by a special conversation with filmmakers Ezra Edelman, Daniel Battsek
and ESPN about the films and the upcoming World Cup
- The Opposition,
directed by Ezra Edelman and Jeffrey Plunkett (USA/Chile) – World
the wake of the 1973 military coup in Chile, American-backed dictator
Augusto Pinochet transformed Santiago’s National Stadium into a
concentration camp where political opponents were tortured and
assassinated. Only two months later, that same stadium was
scheduled to host a decisive World Cup qualifier between Chile and the
Soviet Union. Despite protests, FIFA’s own investigation, and the
Soviets’ eventual boycott, the Chilean team still played the game as
planned, qualifying for the 1974 World Cup on a goal
scored against no one.
- Maradona ’86
directed by Sam Blair, Executive Produced by John Battsek (USA) – World
Premiere. In the 1986 World Cup, Diego Armando Maradona redefined what
is possible for one man to accomplish on the soccer
field. Already a figure of notoriety, but with one failed World Cup
behind him, Argentinian Maradona took possession of the international
stage in Mexico, the spotlight rarely drifting from him as he wrote an
indelible history with his feet and, of course,
with a “hand from God.” Maradona ’86 is a fascinating,
evocative, and operatic portrait, revealing Maradona’s inner complexity
and contradictions while basking in the joy and passion of his
performance on the pitch, as he wrote his name
into soccer history forever.
- True Gladiators, directed by Kevin Donovan (USA) – World Premiere.
Follows the career of three former American Gladiators and how they
deal with the demands of the show, the injuries, and their personal
this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films will screen at
Tribeca Cinemas on Saturday, April 26. The films will also screen prior
to April 26, throughout the festival.