March 13, 2013 - 10:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Tribeca Film Festival announced this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup of nine sports films, including world premieres of Kevin Connolly's "Big Shot"; biopics on boxing legend Muhammad Ali, extreme skier Shane McConkey and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt, and a handful documentaries about women in sports directed by female filmmakers, TheWrap said.
The festival, founded in 2006, is Tribeca’s premiere showcase for independent sports films. Now in its seventh year, it will screen nine world premieres -- nearly twice as many as last year's sports slate.
Connolly returns to Tribeca after his 2007 directorial of the feature film “Gardener of Eden.” In the documentary “Big Shot,” which kicks off the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, Connolly chronicles John Spano's fraudulent 1996 purchase of the New York Islanders for a bank-busting $165 million. The film follows Spano's scheme and the biggest the biggest case of fraud in hockey history.
Directors by Benny Safdie and Joshua Safdie take a heartbreaking look at high-school basketball player Lenny Cooke, who in 2001 was ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. A decade later, Cooke is found flamed out, never having made it to the NBA.
Senain Kheshgi and Jennifer Arnold’s film on onetime Playboy cover girl and Olympic figure Witt, follows her rise to fame and her connections to the East German secret police.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali documentary, directed by Bill Siegel reveals the perfect storm of race, religion and politics that shaped one of the most recognizable figures in sports history.