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Thread: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

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    Default ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    The latest batch of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries have been officially announced and scheduled for the fall, and like always, there are some that look absolutely phenomenal. The first film will premiere on Tuesday, October 1 at 8 PM, and will continue in the same timeslot for six weeks.

    October 1. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau. This film will examine the tragic life of Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau, and is directed by Sam George.
    October 8. Free Spirits. This one is going to look at the Spirits of St Louis leading into the NBA/ABA merger, and how the team is still existing and making money for their owners today. It's directed by Daniel H. Forer.
    October 15. No Mas. The name should tell you all you need to know about this documentary: a look behind the scenes of the two fights between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. The director is Eric Drath.
    October 22. Big Shot. Hey, another hockey documentary! Big Shot will break down the scandal involving John Spano's attempted purchase of the Islanders in 1996, and is directed by Kevin Connolly.
    October 29. This is What They Want. Jimmy Connors' miraculous run in the 1991 US Open is examined, and is directed by Brian Koppleman and David Levien.
    November 5. Tonya and Nancy. This is another one where the title makes it obvious what the subject matter will be: the incident between figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding in 1994. The director is Nanette Burstein.

    It's a pretty solid crop of documentaries (as usual), and the only ones that don't immediately appeal to me are Hawaiian and This is What They Want. Drath previously directed the Renee 30 for 30 along with the 30 for 30 short about Pete Rose, but all of the other directors this go-around are newbies to the franchise.

    Nothing has been announced for the traditional post-Heisman ceremony slot yet, but it's rumored that a film on former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett will be featured. The college documentaries in that timeslot (The U, Pony Excess, You Don't Know Bo) are generally the most entertaining of the 30 for 30 films, and hopefully this year's selection will continue that trend.

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    Member Eleazar's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    Free Spirits will be an interesting one.

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    FIRE BIRD Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    Free Spirits is the only one in that batch that is screaming out for my attention.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
    Want your own "Just Say No to Kamen" from @mkroeger pic?

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    Default Re: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    I can't wait for the Free Spirits one. As someone who follows all St. Lou sports, I've always wanted to hear more about that story.

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    Default Re: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    Next Documentary in ESPN Films 30 for 30 Series, “Believeland,” Premieres May 14

    ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 series will continue on Saturday, May 14, with “Believeland” at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The documentary will chronicle the struggles of Cleveland’s major sports franchises over the past 50 years and the impact it has all had on the psyche of a typical Cleveland sports fan.

    There’s a special place on the southern shore of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Known as Cleveland, it is the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the home of the Indians, the Browns and the Cavaliers. But it’s also the home of an agonizing losing streak. Of all American cities that have at least three major sports franchises, Cleveland is the only one that has failed to win a championship in the last half-century. Those sports teams, and the hearts they’ve broken over and over again, have inspired a different name for the city, and the title for this 30 for 30 film: “Believeland.”

    Directed by Ohio native Andy Billman, this evocative documentary will take you on a trip that goes back more than 50 years and captures the seminal ups and downs of the once-thriving metropolis. Despite the economic and athletic misfortunes, and the t-shirt that reads “God Hates Cleveland,” the people still believe and worship Jim Thome and Jim Brown, LeBron James and other Cleveland sports heroes. But they also can’t forget Edgar Renteria and John Elway and Michael Jordan, the men who extinguished their dreams of a long-awaited championship. Painful as it may be at times, “Believeland” is a celebration of faith, a testament to how much sports mean to Cleveland…and how much Cleveland means to sports.

    “This film is a testament to the unique power of sports to create communal bonds, regardless of the final score,” says director Billman. “Having cheered for Cleveland teams my whole life, I understand what it is like to be a fan whose love and loyalty have endured despite half a century of heartache and I hope that everyone who sees “Believeland” will come away feeling some of that hard-earned love.”

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    Default Re: ESPN releases next batch of 30 for 30 documentaries

    30 for 30 on Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, Co-Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, to

    The next installment in ESPN Films’ Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series will be “Doc & Darryl,” premiering Thursday, July 14, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Directors Judd Apatow (“Trainwreck,” “This Is 40”) and Michael Bonfiglio (“You Don’t Know Bo”) will explore the lives and careers of former New York Mets superstars, the young flame thrower, Dwight “Doc” Gooden and feared power hitter Darryl Strawberry

    When they were good, they were great; the biggest stars on a team that captured the imagination of New York City and won the 1986 World Series. But when life spiraled out of control for both men, Gooden and Strawberry inadvertently broke the hearts of Mets fans. “They were going to be our guys for years,” laments Jon Stewart in this evocative yet searing 30 for 30 documentary.

    Reunited at a diner in Queens, the pitcher and the power hitter look back on the glory days of the mid-80s and the harrowing nights that turned them from surefire Hall of Famers into prisoners of their own addictions. Listening to Doc talk about missing the World Series parade down the Canyon of Heroes, or Darryl counseling others at his ministry, you can only wish that these two very different men had not followed the same destructive path. Watch the trailer:

    “As a New Yorker and diehard Mets fan, it was an honor to be allowed to explore the lives of two men whose journeys defined my childhood,” says Apatow.

    Added Bonfiglio: “Darryl and Dwight have both lived such extreme lives, and trying to understand what drove and continues to drive them has been a truly fascinating experience.”

    “Doc & Darryl” will screen at AFI Docs on Sunday, June 26, prior to its broadcast debut in July. The film is executive produced by Radical Media’s Dave O’Connor and Justin Wilkes.

    “Working with directors as talented as Judd and Mike is what drives 30 for 30 forward as the pre-eminent brand in documentary filmmaking,” said Connor Schell, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of ESPN Films, “In ‘Doc & Darryl,’ they have told an incredible story about the personal struggles of two of baseball’s all-time brightest stars. It is a remarkable film that we are proud to showcase.”

    Advance press screeners available upon request. Additional information including film clips and director statements and bios will be available on the 30 for 30 website; Follow 30 for 30 on Facebook ( Twitter (@30for30) and Instagram (@30for30). 30 for 30 is presented by Mini Cooper.

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