It’s no secret that ESPN has devoted a lot of money and time into building up their ESPN Films brand. They’ve come a long way from “3” and have had films featured at the Tribeca Film Festival the last two years. Their newest effort is a program titled “30 for 30” and will feature 30, 1-hour films by 30 different filmmakers, and the topic has to be a Sports’ story from the last 30 years.

Even more interesting than the idea are the first few people they’ve tabbed to be directors. The short list includes Spike Lee and none other than “Mummy Lover” Steve Nash….

By year end, ESPN Films will have televised nine documentaries on ESPN and ESPN2. In addition, five filmmakers were named for the company’s “30 for 30” initiative which will create 30 one-hour films by 30 filmmakers on a subject from the past 30 years in sports, to begin airing in September 2009 (ESPN’s 30th anniversary) through 2010: Famed director Spike Lee (When the Levees Broke), two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA and Shut Up & Sing), Oscar nominee Mike Tollin (Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream), two-time NBA MVP and film entrepreneur, Steve Nash, and the rising star duo of Alfred Spelman and Billy Corbin (Cocaine Cowboys).

As I’ve noted before, I’m addicted to documentaries and if you haven’t seen Cocaine Cowboys it’s a must to add to your Netflix list. Any movie where a speedboat traveling with pounds of cocaine in its hull pulls over to aid a broken down Coast Guard boat, is a must see in my book.

As far as the other films, Steve Nash’s piece will look into Canadian athlete and Cancer survivor Terry Fox and Spike Lee’s will follow Kobe Bryant for an entire gameday. I poked fun at ESPN Films when they first released movies at Tribeca, but these documentaries are one of things that a network with incomparable resources does very well.


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