ESPN sets fall dates for ’30 for 30′ season two

U.S. net ESPN is to kick off the second season of its '30 for 30' series in October, with TIFF selection 9.79* (pictured) and Billy Corben's Broke among the first docs to air on the strand.
August 7, 2012

U.S. net ESPN is to kick off the second season of its ’30 for 30′ series in October, with  TIFF selection 9.79* (pictured) and Billy Corben’s Broke among the first docs to air on the strand.

The strand will be presented by Buick Verano and launches October 2 at 8 p.m. EST with Broke, which explores the roads to fortune in American sports and “eventually, the many detours to bankruptcy.”

The film features athletes including Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison and Cliff Floyd as they talk about the challenges of managing their money “in an era when big contracts don’t necessarily support bigger lifestyles,” according to ESPN.

Following on October 9 is Daniel Gordon’s 9.79* which, as previously reported, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. The doc looks at the controversial 100-meter men’s Olympic final at the 1988 Seoul Games, at which gold medalist Ben Johnson tested positive for anabolic steroids.

The strand continues with Maura Mandt and Josh Swade’s There’s No Place like Home on October 16, and Coodie and Chike’s Benji on October 23.

The former looks at one fan’s obsessive quest to win James Naismith’s original rules of basketball at an auction, in a bid to bring the rules “home” to Lawrence, Kansas; while the latter looks at the 1984 murder of rising basketball star Ben Wilson.

Finally, October 30 sees the premiere of Fritz Mitchell’s Ghosts of Ole Miss and December 8 sees the premiere of Michael Bonfiglio’s You Don’t Know Bo. The former looks at racial tensions at the University of Mississippi in 1962; while the latter looks at American Football star Bo Jackson.

Each ’30 for 30′ doc will be available to download via iTunes the day after its broadcast premiere.

“When we launched ESPN Films’ ’30 for 30′ series in 2009, it quickly became synonymous with long-form, quality sports storytelling and gave us the opportunity to showcase compelling stories through the eyes of incredibly talented filmmakers,” said Connor Schell, VP of ESPN Films.

“Our intention with the upcoming slate of films is to feature stories that reflect the powerful impact that sports can make across the cultural landscape and get to the core of why sports matter. We will continue to tell these stories in innovative ways.”

In related news, ESPN has launched an eight-minute-long doc short from Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War) as part of the broadcaster’s “It’s not crazy, it’s sports” campaign.

The film, entitled Team Spirit, launched online last week, and looks at the world of sports-themed funerals. Check it out below:


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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.