Global digital platform Olympic Channel has commissioned a feature documentary on the life and career of international volleyball icon Lang Ping.
Produced by filmmaker Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), The Iron Hammer will recount the story of seminal Chinese volleyball figure Ping, known as the “Iron Hammer” for her powerful spikes, as she led the national volleyball team to a gold medal in 1984, before moving to the U.S. to coach Team USA to an Olympic silver medal in 2008. She then returned to China to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio in 2016 as coach. She became the first in volleyball history to win gold as a player and coach.
Filmed over a two-year period, the 99-minute doc features behind-the-scenes access, exclusive archive footage from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and interviews with family members, academia and media personalities as well as international volleyball figures including Xu Yunli, Wei Qiuyue, Zhu Ting, Debbie Green, Paula Weishoff, Laurel Brassey-Iversen, and more.
The Iron Hammer marks the channel’s first female-directed documentary and is helmed by filmmaker and actress Joan Chen.
“I’ve been a fan of Lang Ping’s since we first met at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and have followed her career ever since,” said Chen in a statement. “Many admire Lang Ping not only for her accomplishments on the volleyball court, but also for her unique combination of strength and grace that helped her to conquer new and foreign challenges. From her experiences in China to the United States, I consider Lang Ping a kindred spirit whose life journey intimately parallels my own. So when the chance came for me to direct this film and tell her story, I jumped on it.”
The Iron Hammer will premiere on June 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT as part of the We Are One: A Global Film Festival, which runs from May 29 to June 7 on YouTube. The film will then launch on the Olympic Channel’s global digital platform as part of its ‘Five Rings Films’ strand later this year.
The ‘Five Rings Films’ strand is produced by Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media. Marshall serves as executive producer alongside MSM’s Mike Tollin and Jon Weinbach. Greg Groggel serves as executive producer for the Olympic Channel.
Image Courtesy of Olympic Channel/David Tong