Premiering today is the Nine for IX documentary shorts series, a collection of five films about female athletes from women filmmakers.
An extension of ESPN’s Emmy-nominated, feature-length Nine for IX series, a new installment of the shorts quintet will be available every day this week on espnW.com. Among those profiled are former WNBA star Brittney Grimer, MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey, golf champion Jan Stephenson, and the 1995 all-women America’s Cup team.
The participating filmmakers are Melissa Johnson, Nikki Reed, and Tina Carbone, Jessica Wolfson, and the Mundo Sisters.
Descriptions of the “Nine for IX” shorts are courtesy of ESPN.
“Rowdy Ronda Rousey” Directed by the Mundo Sisters
espnW Premiere: Monday, July 28
On February 23, 2013, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey made history by becoming UFC’s first female Bantam Weight Champion. After beating her opponent Liz Carmouche with her signature armbar, Rousey also became the #1 female MMA fighter in the world. The film will take an inside look at this record breaking fight and how Rousey is paving the way for women in the sport. We’ll learn about Rousey’s rough childhood and how it shaped her fighting career. The film will also explore the extreme physical challenges and emotional strength behind becoming the world’s greatest female fighter.
“Think Normal” Directed by Nikki Reed
espnW Premiere: Tuesday, July 29
Jason McElwain’s 20 points in four minutes inspired sports fans around the world and fine-tuned the conversation surrounding people diagnosed with autism. But it was the perseverance and undeterred support of Jason’s mother, Debbie, who coached her son and provided him with the strength and confidence to step onto his high school basketball court and hit six 3-pointers, and one 2-pointer in four minutes of play. Featuring heartfelt interviews from Jason, his mother Debbie and his brother Josh, “Think Normal” is a look at what a mother sacrificed for her sons.
“Brittney Griner: Lifesize” Directed by Melissa Johnson
espnW Premiere: Wednesday, July 30
This is a rite of passage story following Brittney’s inaugural season with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Director Melissa Johnson will collaborate with espnW’s Kate Fagan to chronicle not only Brittney’s transformation from amateur to professional but also from a celebrated kid with unlimited potential to a self-reliant adult with a deep inner capacity to make her championship dreams a reality. Blazing with authenticity, humor and irreverence, this story about the courage it takes to become everything that’s you — in the biggest, boldest way imaginable — is certain to delight and inspire.
“Uncharted Waters” Directed by Tina Carbone
espnW Premiere: Thursday, July 31
In 1995, Bill Koch put together the first ever all-women America’s Cup team. Made up of top female athletes from across the country, the team made history onboard America3 and inspired fans across the country. But the team morale faltered after a series of changes were made including a new boat they weren’t used to, the replacement of a female team member with a male, and a last-minute rule change that allowed three teams to make it to the finals instead of two. In the last race of the Defender Series, the Mighty Mary lost their lead and rival Stars & Stripes beat them to the finish line.
“Play A Round With Me” Directed by Jessica Wolfson
espnW Premiere: Friday, August 1
In the 1980’s, Jan Stephenson became professional golf’s first tabloid star, shaking up the game with her sex appeal and charismatic self-promotion. Amid intense media attention, Stephenson’s colorful and controversial life off the course often overshadowed her fierce determination to win championships. This film follows a tense year where, against all odds, Jan Stephenson tried to prove she was more than just a pretty face.