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New Sports Documentaries to Watch

By Melissa Simon Disharoon

Clockwise: top-left <em>Running on the Sun</em>, <em>Triathlon: Through the Eyes of the Elite, The Golden Reign</em> and <em> The Eight</em>.

The Eight

Shooting Format: HDTV and Digital Video
Directed by IDA member Mark Kornweibel
Produced by Andrew Zinnes, Rob Turfe and Sean Coughlin

From the filmmakers who brought last year's crowd-pleasing Pop & Me comes this 60-minute documentary following the US Women's rowing team as it trains for and competes in the 2000 Olympics. The struggle on the water is brutal, painful, dramatic, funny, fast-paced and inspirational. Often compared to warfare, it is as much of an emotional and spiritual struggle as it is a physical one. The women of The Eight find out what it means to be a rower, a woman, an athlete, a representative of one's country and an Olympic champion. Fiscal sponsorship provided by IDA.


The Golden Reign

Shooting Format: 35mm
Directed and Produced by IDA member Dominique Derrenger of Dynamique Pictures

Filmmaker Derrenger announces his debut in the documentary genre with this 120-minute film capturing the rich and illustrious history of California crew, and the inspirational coach who, during the golden era of the sport, led his athletes, his university and his country to three Olympic championships. Carroll "Ky" Albright (affectionately known as "The Little Admiral") transcends the role of stern taskmaster, into that of a legendary patriarch leading the Cal Crew to six national championships and ultimately coaching his crew teams to 27 Olympic Gold Medals. Fiscal sponsorship provided by IDA.


Running on the Sun

Shooting Format: Video (mastered on DigiBeta)
Directed and Produced by IDA member and former Board President Mel Stuart

Documentary film veteran Mel Stuart guides a team of students with camcorders in hand through an isolated section of Death Valley to document extreme sports at its most extreme. From ancient Greek times to the present day, running has been regarded as the ultimate test of endurance, solitary will and the human spirit. The Badwater 135, one of the world's most difficult races, takes these ideas to the extreme as runners brave intense weather conditions (temperatures ranging from 38°F to 125°F with 50 mph heated headwinds), otherworldly geography and unrelenting pain to conquer the seemingly impossible. At 100 minutes, Running on the Sun explores the ambitions, motivations and persistence of a rare breed of runners determined to go the distance.


Triathlon: Through the Eyes of the Elite

Shooting Format: Digital Video
Produced by Eric Feller, Danny Kolker and IDA member Christopher Accardo of Endurance Films.

This 60-minute documentary showcases the Triathlon's journey to global recognition, its debut as an Olympic sport, and the role an American athlete has played in the process. Triathlon follows several elite triathletes as they embark on a landmark journey towards the Millennium Games. The project will follow the athletes for the entire season, documenting the dedication to training, the life's sacrifice and the determination necessary to compete at the professional level of this arduous sport. Fiscal sponsorship provided by IDA.