Films about boxing and street fighting highlight Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

Sponsored by Mohegan Sun The 11th annual Tribecas/ESPN Sports Film Festival, the premier showcase of sports and competition films, offers sports fans and film buffs alike the opportunity to screen new films that are changing the sports landscape. The section features stories about some of the greatest, and in some cases unknown teams, competitions, and superior athletes.

GALA Mike and the Mad Dog, directed by Daniel H. Forer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Dive into the inner workings of one of the sports world’s most unlikely partnerships: Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the voices that launched a thousand sports radio imitators. The hosts, their colleagues, and a who’s-who of sports heavyweights tell the story of their surprise rise to stardom and 19 years as the iconic voices of New York sports. An ESPN Films release.

Features:

Chuck, directed by Philippe Falardeau, written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl. (USA) – US Premiere. Chuck is the true story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series Rocky—a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. Wepner suffered numerous losses, knockouts, and broken noses in his ten years in the ring, and lived an epic life of drugs, booze, and wild women outside of it. With Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport. An IFC Films release.

Mike and the Mad Dog, directed by Daniel H. Forer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Dive into the inner workings of one of the sports world’s most unlikely partnerships: Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the voices that launched a thousand sports radio imitators. The hosts, their colleagues, and a who’s-who of sports heavyweights tell the story of their surprise rise to stardom and 19 years as the iconic voices of New York sports. An ESPN Films release.

No Stone Unturned, directed by Alex Gibney. (USA, Northern Ireland) – World Premiere. In 1994, six men were gunned down and five wounded in a pub while watching a World Cup soccer match in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. With a police investigation that was perfunctory at best, the case remained unsolved. In this non-fiction murder mystery, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the original case to investigate why no culprit was ever brought to justice.

Sambá, directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas, written by Ettore D’Alessandro, Carolina Encarnacion. (Dominican Republic) – World Premiere. Cisco has his back against the ropes. After spending 15 years in an American jail, he’s returned to the Dominican Republic yet

is unable to get a job, a problem compounded by his mother’s ailing health and his younger brother’s delinquent habits. To make money, he’s resorted to illegal street fighting. But Cisco finds a possible salvation in Nichi, an Italian ex-boxer who sees dollar signs in Cisco’s gritty fighting skills. With Algenis Pérez Soto, Ettore D’Alessandro, Laura Gómez, Ricardo A. Toribio. In Spanish with subtitles.

Year of the Scab, directed by John Dorsey. (USA) – World Premiere. During the 1987 NFL strike, teams scrambled to assemble temporary replacements to fill in for their boycotting players. The Washington Redskins were notable for their “scabs,” a collection of cast-offs who nonetheless rode a surprising wave of momentum against all odds. “Year of the Scab” revisits this ultimate underdog story and the men whose ordinary lives were interrupted. Those so-called “scabs” helped break the strike and bring their team to victory, only to struggle for their place in the sports history books. An ESPN Films release.
Shorts:

The Amazing Adventures of Wally and the Worm, directed by Colin Hanks. (USA) – New York Premiere. When Dennis Rodman hurts his knee with four weeks to go in the Chicago Bulls ’96-’97 NBA championship season, young assistant trainer Wally Blasé is assigned to oversee his rehab, and the two forge a close friendship over 10 wild days of fast living recounted by director Colin Hanks through animation and first-person confessions. Short Program: Sports Shorts

Bump & Spike, directed by Michael Jacobs. (USA) – World Premiere. The spectacular rise and fall of the International Professional Volleyball Association, which existed between 1975–1980 complete with “party lifestyle,” rocking arena matches and stars on the court and in the stands, is chronicled in this Michael Jacobs-directed film. Short Program: Sports Shorts

The Counterfeiter, directed by Brian Biegel. (USA) – World Premiere. Featuring actual wiretapped phone calls and surveillance video, this film explores how the FBI brought down the largest counterfeit operation in U.S. history during the summer of 1998, thanks to the help of some major league baseball players. Short Program: Sports Shorts
Revolution in the Ring, directed by Jason Sklaver. (USA) – World Premiere. The story of Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, who in 1962 chose to stay in his home country rather than defect, this film examines through the lens of Cuban-American politics how his life and the life of the Cuban people were dramatically altered by the embargo. In English, Spanish with subtitles. Short Program: Sports Shorts

Run Mama Run, directed by Daniele Anastasion. (USA) – World Premiere. Run Mama Run is an examination of motherhood and athleticism through the eyes of Sarah Brown, an elite track athlete who will continue to train through pregnancy and postpartum with help of her trainer and husband Darren Brown. Short Program: Sports Shorts

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