Documentaries from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney and Hollywood producer Brett Ratner form part of a forthcoming ESPN Films series surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will air on ESPN in the U.S. in April.
The series, entitled 30 for 30: Soccer Stories, will look at aspects of the international soccer landscape via two feature-length and six 30-minute documentaries, as well as a series of 10 vignettes.
The feature-length docs include Daniel Gordon’s Hillsborough, which centres on the 1989 tragedy in which 96 people were crushed to death at an overcrowded stadium in Sheffield, England; and Camilo Antolini’s White, Blue and White, a profile of Argentine soccer player Ossie Ardiles and the Argentinian-British politics that stunted his burgeoning career.
Meanwhile, on the half-hour documentary slate, Garrincha: Crippled Angel follows the turbulent life and death of soccer star Mané Garrincha; Barbosa – The Man Who Made All of Brazil Cry is about the Brazilian politics and scandal surrounding the 1950 World Cup; and Gibney’s Ceasefire Massacre explores a 1994 shooting in Belfast’s Heights Bar, in which a Protestant terror group opened fire on fans watching Ireland’s World Cup opener.
The remaining films include Ezra Edelman’s The Opposition, a study of Chile’s controversial Santiago National Stadium; Ratner’s Mysteries of The Jules Rimet Trophy, a caper-like investigation into one of the most coveted prizes in sport; and Maradona ’86, an intimate portrait of the complex Argentinian soccer star.
Finally, short vignette series Coraçao will travel from Rio to Salvador to trace how Brazilian culture has contributed to the country’s beloved sport.