Directed by Albert Maysles
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30 for 30 on ESPN+
ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 is an unprecedented documentary series featuring 30 films from some of today’s finest storytellers. The first volume, which premiered October 2009 and concluded in December 2010, chronicled 30 stories from the “ESPN era,” each of which detail the issues, trends, people, teams or events that transformed the sports landscape since the sports network was founded in 1979.
ESPN tapped into a wide variety of talent in the film industry. Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer Barry Levinson directed “The Band Who Wouldn’t Die,” about how Balitmore coped without its football team. Ice Cube directed a film about the Raiders entitled, “Straight Out Of L.A.” Award-winning documentarian Clifford Bestall and Oscar-nominated Morgan Freeman teamed up to tell how Nelson Mandela and a rugby team started the healing process in South Africa in “The 16th Man.”
From Fantasy football to the Colombian drug cartel’s odd collision with the world of soccer, the series explored some of the most interesting stories over three decades.
The popularity of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody award-winning 30 for 30 series inspired ESPN to continue with a new season. To see more about the upcoming films, which will be in two different formats, check out the Vol. 2 and Shorts pages.