There have been several notable documentary projects airing on ESPN platforms recently, from Yankees-Dodgers doc An Uncivil War through lacrosse doc Fate of a Sport through Dickie V and The Captain. The latest announcement there is on The Cave of Adullam, a documentary that won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Tribeca Festival. Directed by Laura Checkoway (Edith+Eddie, Lucky), it covers Jason Wilson’s dojo in Detroit, “where Black boys who are emotionally, mentally and spiritually in debt gather to be trained and transformed into comprehensive men.” It has famed actor Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum, black-ish, The Matrix) as an executive producer, and it’s set to debut linearly on the main ESPN network at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 16:
ESPN Films' latest doc 'The Cave of Adullam' – executive produced by Laurence Fishburne – tells the story of Jason Wilson's Karate Dojo @cave313 in Detroit
Directed by Laura Checkoway
Premieres Sun | 5p ET | ESPN
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 11, 2022
Here’s that trailer:
And here’s more on the film from ESPN’s release:
The documentary tells the story of Jason Wilson and the transformational training academy he runs for young Black boys. With his mantra, “it’s easier to raise boys than repair broken men,” Wilson’s methodology teaches emotional stability instead of discipline, setting these children on a path to become whole and healthy adults.
… When Wilson started his dojo, he thought young Black boys needed more discipline, but quickly realized what they needed was more love. The film introduces us to four young recruits who are at a crossroads. Wilson challenges each of them to confront their unresolved anger, fear, anxiety, and lack of focus as they face the toughest decisions of their young lives.
Wilson, who serves as co-producer on the film, is the author of “Battle Cry” and Amazon best-seller, “Cry Like a Man: Fighting for Freedom from Emotional Incarceration,” a memoir that follows the generational abuse, abandonment, and emotional suppression of Wilson’s family and the redemptive power of God through tears, vulnerability, and ultimately healing. The Cave of Adullam has garnered numerous acknowledgments and awards for its work teaching boys how to confront and conquer their negative emotions with composure introspectively.
The documentary premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Festival and won the “Best Documentary Feature” and “Best Editing in a Documentary Feature” awards, as well as the audience award in the documentary category. For her work directing the film, Checkoway won the NYWIFT Award for Excellence in Directing a Documentary Film at the 2022 Hamptons International Film Festival.
In addition to Fishburne, this documentary also features executive producers Helen Sugland of Cinema Gypsy Productions (black-ish, Snowy Day, Thurgood), Wavelength’s Jenifer Westphal (Athlete A, “Knock Down The House, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), Banca Studio’s Roy Bank (Flea Market Flip, Million Dollar Mind Game, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?), and Detroit Pistons’ owner Tom Gores. It’s available to stream now on ESPN+, but that linear debut Sunday will certainly get it in front of a larger audience.