ESPN, in collaboration with Sony Pictures Network, presents ESPN Films, a series of critically-acclaimed, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary films showcasing the most compelling and original sports stores. ESPN Films is a series that discovers themes beyond sports.
This April, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD channels will air critically-acclaimed documentaries on legends from sports like Cricket, Basketball and X Games.
The Birth of Big Air, directed by Jeff Tremaine will be telecast on April 9, on Sony ESPN. The documentary chronicles the life of Mat Hoffman, a BMX legend, X Games icon and 10-time World Champion.
On April 16, the series continues with Free Spirits, directed by Daniel Forer. It tells the intriguing story of the Spirits of St Louis – an entertaining and sometimes controversial team that lived at the end of the American Basketball Association but did not survive the ABA–NBA merger.
On occasion of the 44th birthday of Sachin Tendulkar, who is perhaps the most worshipped cricketer in the world; Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD channels will broadcast The Little Master on April 23, directed by Gotham Chopra. It is a soul-stirring tale of the legend who carried the hopes and dreams of an entire nation to the 2011 World Cup victory.
Mat Hoffman is a BMX legend… 10-time World Champion and X Games icon, he has a medical hit list that includes dozens of broken bones, concussions, and multiple comas. Some assume Hoffman has a death wish. But it’s a life wish: to find out what’s possible on a BMX bike.
When the NBA merged with the American Basketball Association in 1976, four ABA franchises joined the more established league – the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers and Spurs. But one of the odd teams out found a different way to secure its future. Free Spirits tells the colorful story of the Spirits of St Louis – an entertaining and at times controversial team featuring stars like Marvin ‘Bad News’ Barnes and James ‘Fly’ Williams with an upstart sportscaster named Bob Costas calling the play-by-play. The Spirits managed to pull off a stunning playoff upset of the defending champions in their first season, and then, on their way to franchise extinction, co-owners Daniel and Ozzie Silna managed to negotiate a contract that has allowed the team to continue to exist in the most unusual fashion.
The Little Master is the emotional and dramatic story of a team carrying on its shoulders the hopes and dreams of a billion people and the iconic athlete at the center of that team, Sachin Tendulkar. It is the tale of the 2011 Cricket World Cup and India’s come from behind victory- the culmination of a journey that illustrates how a sport and one man, Sachin, redefined the rise of a nation over the course of a few weeks. This is the true story of how the burden of an entire nation, desperately craving entry into the global elite, bends and almost breaks the collective aspirations of a country, but then is rescued by the power and transcendence of a team sport. When all seems lost the teammates rise to the occasion and deliver redemption to an athlete facing the greatest adversity of his life and to a country seeking validation. It’s one man’s meeting with history and a team’s meeting with greatness.
ESPN Films launched in March 2008 and has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports.