Amazon acquires Starbucks-produced “This Is Football” docuseries

Amazon acquires Starbucks-produced “This Is Football” docuseries

Source:  Variety

Amazon has ordered a documentary series to go from Starbucks.  “This is Football” will span the globe and tell six stories about the global power of soccer.

Veteran producer and film executive Joe Roth, an owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer club, will executive produce the series.

October Films is producing the series with Starbucks and Brutal Media.

The six one-hour episodes have titles including “Belief,” “Love,” and “Pride.”  Episodes will delve into soccer’s uplifting role in rebuilding Rwanda after the genocide, look at the rise of the women’s game, and attempt to unlock the secrets of Lionel Messi’s genius.

“This is Football” premieres Aug. 2 on Amazon Prime Video.

Read the story at Variety.

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Watch mini-doc “Field of Broken Plays” about the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football

Watch mini-doc “Field of Broken Plays” about the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football

Source:  ESPN

Charlie Ebersol knew the phone call had to be about his league, the Alliance of American Football.

The AAF’s newest controlling investor, Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, had telegraphed for weeks that the league might not finish its first season. The news was now breaking.


Ebersol had worked frantically to talk Dundon out of killing the league while also searching for a new investor. But potential buyers needed more time, maybe weeks, to vet the AAF — or so they said.

Ebersol didn’t have weeks. He had days. And as he answered his phone, Ebersol suspected he might be down to hours.

Watch mini-documentary “Field of Broken Plays” above and read the story at ESPN.

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“Declared” follows basketball trainer Chris Brickley as he works with four top NBA draft prospects

“Declared” follows basketball trainer Chris Brickley as he works with four top NBA draft prospects

Source:  Laughing Place

New seven-part docuseries “Declared” follows basketball trainer, Chris Brickley, as he works with four top NBA draft prospects.

Guided by Brickley – whose clients include more than 60 NBA players including Carmelo Anthony, Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum, and D’Angelo Russell – “Declared” explores the behind-the-scenes process and intense work required to navigate the “game within a game” as prominent NBA prospects prepare for the NBA draft.

Brickley pushes four of his young clients – draft prospects Jaxson HayesKevin Porter Jr.PJ Washington, and Zylan Cheatham – challenging them to work, improve, and grow physically and mentally, both on and off the court.

The series also gives fans an inside look at each of the prospects’ personal lives, visiting their hometowns for insight from family, friends, and coaches.

“Declared” premieres June 13 on ESPN+.

Read the story at Laughing Place.

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“Diego Maradona” is a gripping saga of a soccer legend’s fall from grace

“Diego Maradona” is a gripping saga of a soccer legend’s fall from grace

Source:  IndieWire

The five-minute opening montage of “Diego Maradona” recounts a dizzying history of the Argentine soccer player’s dramatic rise, and the story is just getting started.

As Spanish club Barcelona’s breakout talent in the early 1980s, Maradona was seen as a natural successor to Pelé’s stature as the greatest soccer player in history, with ethos to boot.

“I’m more interested in glory than money,” Maradona says in one passing interview, as the prologue careens through his exuberant hard-partying lifestyle, local backlash, and a recovery from injury — until at long last he’s sold to less glamorous Italian club Napoli in 1984.

It’s a dramatic shift, but only a starting point for this breathless and gripping saga of a soccer legend’s fall from grace.

“Diego Maradona” will air on HBO later this year.

Read the story at IndieWire.

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“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” recalls the tennis great’s biggest meltdown

“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” recalls the tennis great’s biggest meltdown

Source:  The Guardian

John McEnroe was the wayward artist of men’s tennis, a spoiled-brat genius who used his racket as a wand.

Throughout his peak year of 1984 he conjured magical winners from impossible angles and whipped furious storms from the calmest of waters.  His matches became a box office draw – high-octane drama beamed live to the masses.

Julien Faraut’s film, “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection,” is a playful low-budget documentary, pieced together from found footage, scrutinizing the tennis great’s ill-fated quest for the 1984 French Open title.

Vogue magazine calls it “the greatest tennis film ever made” which may be a case of big fish, small pond.  But it’s certainly an illuminating and unusual tight-focus study of the player.

“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” is available now on Amazon Prime and Google Play.

Read the story at The Guardian.

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“The Russian Five” get the terrific documentary they deserve

“The Russian Five” get the terrific documentary they deserve

Source:  Los Angeles Times

One of the most dramatic and emotional of sports stories gets the expert film it deserves in “The Russian Five,” a documentary that is moving in ways you won’t see coming.

The sport is professional ice hockey, specifically the saga of the Detroit Red Wings, who in the 1990s changed both their professional trajectory and the way the game is played in the National Hockey League by boldly adding Russian players to the mix.

All this may sound very inside baseball, a tale that couldn’t possibly be of general interest, but, in fact, the reverse is true.

The intensely human situations revealed by director Joshua Riehl will captivate you even if you don’t know a puck from a ping-pong ball.

“The Russian Five” is playing in select cities around the country.  Visit the film’s website for locations and showtimes.

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times.

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