LA-based indie Spitfire Pictures is following up its award-winning docs Undefeated and George Harrison: Living in the Material World with a doc about Formula 1 (F1) racing, which it will premiere in Austin later this month.
The documentary, which is simply entitled 1, promises to tell “the exhilarating and unvarnished true story” of the rise of F1 racing. It promises never-before-seen archive footage, and interviews with 12 F1 world champions, including Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill.
Coproduced by Exclusive Media-owned Spitfire with Flat-Out Films and Diamond Docs, the film will premiere at a red carpet Special Presentation event to kick off the inaugural 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend in Austin, Texas on November 15.
The screening is being co-presented by the SXSW Film Festival, which first premiered the Oscar-winning, Spitfire-produced sports doc Undefeated in 2011.
1 is directed by Paul Crowder (The Last Play at Shea, Once in a Lifetime) and written by Mark Monroe, who wrote The Tillman Story and Oscar-winner The Cove. Monroe previously collaborated with Crowder and producer Nigel Sinclair on Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who and The Last Play at Shea.
“The early days of Formula 1 racing were a very different time – the risks were high and the characters were more than larger than life,” said Sinclair. “Our film is a big screen experience in which we travel across the world with the glamorous circus surrounding this death-defying sport, but also experience the tragedy that came with it.
“It’s emotional, frightening and so very, very exciting, but ultimately about humanity and friendship between the drivers.”
The doc comes after Universal and director Asif Kapadia scored considerable success both stateside and internationally with F1 doc Senna across 2011/12. The film’s success stateside, where it has grossed US$1.61 million, was something of a surprise, given the sport’s somewhat niche status in America.