Posts tagged with "HBO Sports"

St. Bernards High School illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Wonderfilm Announces Its Latest Feature, All In, Has Begun Filming in Boston

Against all odds, the students, faculty, staff and parents of one of the smallest private educational facilitiesin America band together to save their school. How they did it was nothing short of a miracle.

Emmy Award winning producers, Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon’s Wonderfilm Media just completed the forth of eight weeks of principal photography on the highly anticipated documentary, All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s. The feature-length documentary is based on the incredible true story of how St. Bernard’s, a small private Catholic high school in Fitchburg,

Massachusetts, found itself 100 years after its founding, facing a dramatic shut-down. The film follows the community as they pour their hearts and souls into saving their school from being permanently shuttered. A miracle ensues.    

A Real-Life David and Goliath Story

With enrollment dwindling, by 2018 St. Bernard’s was the smallest school in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a total of 99 students. The Catholic Diocese of Worcester made the difficult decision to close the school. Led by the school’s principal, Linda Anderson, students, parents, faculty, alumni and the townspeople of Fitchburg hatched an idea to raise enough money to take the school independent and keep it open. They worked tirelessly to raise the daunting amounts needed. Unfortunately, like the school, the town was struggling, and fundraising proved extremely difficult.   With quickly approaching deadlines, extreme pressure from the budget shortfalls, the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools informed all parties of the dire straits they were facing, and that short of a miracle, the school would cease to exist. Then the football team started winning.  

It All Came Down to Football
 

Almost every eligible student at the school joined the football team. With an enrollment so small, that meant the St. Bernard’s football team had 26 boys. Miraculously, despite going up against schools often ten times as big as St. Bernard’s, the team, led by Coach Tom Bingham, was winning, and winning, and winning. And with each win, the media started reporting on this David beating Goliaths. “St. Bernard’s was going up against teams from the top schools in New England, with thousands of students, multi-million-dollar endowments, and players who were much larger physically – and winning,” said All In producer Jeff Bowler. The St. Bernard’s team went on to win the state Super Bowl played in Gillette Stadium. The 26 boys on the team, fighting for every inch of the field that their hero, New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady, called home on Sundays, won the State Championship, generating enough national publicity to raise the money needed to save the school, including a huge donation from a still anonymous donor.   

Shortly thereafter, with funds in hand, the school officially became independent, with the full support of the Diocese. In the first year following the miraculous football season, admissions are soaring, and an entire town’s spirits have been raised in celebration of saving their historic high school. 
 

“As a St. Bernard’s alum and filmmaker, I was tapped by the school to help tell this truly remarkable story to the world,” said Bowler. “This feel-good, underdog tale is about so much more than football. The story is about a community that rallied together to create their own miracle. Faced with the closing of their beloved high school, students and faculty members stepped up to the plate to save their school, with unwavering perseverance.”    

All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is being produced by Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. The Emmy Award-winning duo have enjoyed success in feature documentaries, including the 2017 documentary, UNCHAINED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS, narrated by Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, which won the Emmy for Best Documentary, in the sports category, as well as the 2009 feature-doc, DIRTY OIL aka DOWNSTREAM, directed by Leslie Iwerks, which was short-listed for an Oscar.   

All In is being directed by Gregg Backer (Producer/Director HBO Sports, Real Sports). Other producers include Foglight Entertainment’s Gregg Backer and Evan Kanew with Nathan Bilotta serving as Executive Producer.  All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is currently shooting in Fitchburg, Boston and Los Angeles.  

Wonderfilm Media recently wrapped supernatural horror LULLABY directed by John Leonetti (Anabelle), with Alcon, in Toronto. Cast and crew adhered to all COVID-19 production guidelines and there were no cases of the virus on set. The film is set for a major release next October. Wonderfilm latest release, Dead Reckoning with K.J. Apa and India Eisley, just premiered November 13.   

Upcoming Wonderfilm Media projects include the biopic on Tampa Bay Rays breakout star, Randy Arozarena. The outfielder escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat in 2015, started a new life in Mexico before making his way to the U.S and has become the most talked-about MLB player in baseball. Wonderfilm is also developing the highly coveted Steve McQueen biopic as a limited series based on Marshall Terrill’s book, “A Tribute To The King of Cool”.   

About Wonderfilm Media

Wonderfilm is a leading entertainment company with offices in Hollywood, Boston and London. Wonderfilm focuses on the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company’s commitment to elevated storytelling. Wonderfilm has seen twelve of its features released over the past twelve months, including the Nic Cage thriller Primal and the Guy Pearce vehicle Disturbing the Peace. Wonderfilm was founded by Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon, and John Lewis.

*Team pic with trophy × All In tape by George Lugo

**School foliage by Caitlin Reidy

KBO Player Interview

As the U.S. grapples with how to bring back professional sports amidst a pandemic, one nation serves as a model: South Korea, where the wildly popular Korean Baseball Organization returned earlier this month. Correspondent Jon Frankel interviews current and former KBO players and public health expert about the country’s remarkable turnaround and what it could mean for Major League Baseball and American sports in general.

For up-to-the-minute updates about REAL SPORTS, follow on Twitter at @RealSportsHBO or join the conversation using #RealSports, and on HBO.com/realsports and facebook.com/realsports.

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KELLY SLATER × HBO

HBO Sports’ groundbreaking 24/7 documentary-reality franchise, which has captured 18 Sports Emmy® Awards,

will turn its spotlight on professional surfing when 24/7: KELLY SLATER debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 3 (9:00 -10:00 p.m. ET/PT). The all-access, behind-the-scenes special will chronicle the most famous and prolific surfer of all time,

11-time world champion Kelly Slater, in the weeks leading up to the Billabong Pipe Masters in

December in Oahu, Hawaii, the last leg in the World Surf League’s (WSL) Championship Tour.

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REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

returns TUESDAY, NOV. 26 at a special time (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO

Excerpts from the Real Sports segment “Sidelined” HERE.

Emily Gervais of Weymouth Mass., is part of a trend -– kids pushing themselves harder and harder in the hyper competitive world of youth sports – picking a single sport at a very young age – then playing it hours a day, virtually every day of the year – until their body simply gives out. 

Dr. Min Kocher at Boston Children’s hospital had seen so many kids just like Emily Gervais (a teenage soccer player now retired after twice tearing the ACL) that he wanted to find out if the same thing was happening in the rest of the country.

So he gathered data from hospitals all over the US … and what he found was remarkable. The number of ACL reconstruction on children and adolescents had spiked nearly five times in just a decade. 

It’s all part of a trend Real Sports has been reporting on for the last three years … the professionalization of youth sports … a $19 billion dollar industry … fueled by kids and their parents pursuing athletic achievement at seemingly any cost.

Less well known are the physical costs as young people determined to keep up with the competition are picking a single sport at a very young age then playing it several hours a day, virtually every day of the year.  Until their body simply gives out.

Dr. Nirav Pandya is a surgeon at the University of California/San Francisco. He says that the number of surgeries he does on child athletes has doubled in just the last five years… but he doesn’t sound happy about all the extra business.

The question is: What will it take to change an American youth sports system that produces so many sad outcomes – major injuries that impact and sideline so many young athletes?

Dr. Neeru Jayanthi at Emory University in Atlanta  says that it’s time for parents and sports administrators to act.  That this is a public health crisis.  And that he’s got the numbers to prove it.

DR. NEERU JAYANTHI: “We have data that’s quite clear that you’re more than twice as likely not only to just get injured, but to get a serious overuse injury if you specialize in sports.”

HBO’s JON FRANKEL: “That seems to be a pretty clear and easy data point to explain to somebody. That if you let your kid specialize in one sport and play season after season, you’re more than twice as likely to get an overuse injury.”

DR. NEERU JAYANTHI : “Yes. Why do we wear seatbelts? Why do we stop smoking? We have data. We now have data on this.”

Dr. Jayanthi presented his research this month at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, stating that the sad truth is that elite-level youth sports is not something that improves your health today.

*Youth Sports Injuries. The professionalization of youth sports pushes more kids than ever before to train year-round in a single sport. And with that pressure has ignited an epidemic across the country – a spike in overuse injuries and orthopedic surgeries performed on children as young as eight. Correspondent Jon Frankel reports on the uptick, such as ACL tears and stress fractures, and how they are hampering children’s future health at an early age.

Producer: Nick Dolin.

Paul Basagoitia, MTB, HBO films, Red Bull Films, 360 MAGAZINE

Paul Basagoitia HBO Documentary

By Vaughn Lowery

At the ripe age of 10, Paul Basagoitia has been one of the top mountain bikers in the world. Fast forward a decade or so later, he became one of the first MTB athletes to complete a backflip on natural terrain. Nevertheless, on October 16, 2015, during a run at the Red Bull Rampage his bike slip during his set and caused him to tumble down the face of a mountain, resulting in a spinal cord injury. This intimate documentary exhibits his struggle to overcome one of the most serious injuries an athlete has to endure. Intercut with other patients and their stories, this motion picture is heartbreaking and delves deep into the mental psyche of those who experience such tragedy. Approximately 250,000 people per year injure their spines and only have a 5% chance of recovery. Mr. B’s personal journey is brutally honest and vulnerable. By far one of the best told stories of 2019. Be prepared to be torn between life and the inability to follow what makes you happy – your passion.

Any One Of Us debuts Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 9pm on HBO.

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#AnyOneOfUsHBO

The feature-length presentation marks the first-ever partnership between HBO Sports and Red Bull Films, telling a story that begins on October 16, 2015, the date of Basagoitia’s traumatic injury, and unfolding in real time through raw, intimate footage — much filmed by Paul himself — of the agonies of an unpredictable journey and uncertain future. Directed by Fernando Villena, the film features a chorus of other diverse spinal cord injuries (SCI) survivors, shining a light on the struggles that Basagoitia and all SCI patients confront every day, and the hope that drives them.

The film debuts Tuesday, October 29th at 9PM on HBO.

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REAL SPORTS W/ BRYANT GUMBEL

Real Sports probes the dangers of heat strokes in high school football.

Little has been reported on the large number of high school football players that have died from heat stroke. Since 1995, the easily treated condition has claimed nearly 50 lives nationwide. Soledad O’Brien probes the grave threat facing high school football players and examines why inexpensive, life-saving solutions to prevent these fatalities have been slow to be implemented.

Producer: Jake Rosenwasser

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL returns TONIGHT!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 AT 11:00 P.M. ET/PT EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

2 Chainz Joins HBO’s The Shop

2 CHAINZ JOINS LEBRON JAMES & THE CAST OF HBO’s THE SHOP ON MARCH 1ST!

RAP OR GO TO THE LEAGUE A&R’D BY LEBRON JAMES OUT FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST

WATCH THE FIRST AND SECOND TRAILER FOR THE 2 CHAINZ X LEBRON JAMES APPLE MUSIC INTERVIEW HERE & HERE

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Tuesday’s Real Sports Episode

Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel returns on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Flight Club. In mountainous Draper, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City, dozens of thrill-seekers take to the air daily to paraglide with colorful parachutes. As correspondent Jon Frankel discovers, these adventurers are defying the odds in breathtaking fashion. He meets Chris Santacroce, founder of Project Airtime, which is designed to get people with brain and spinal cord injuries out of their chairs and reaching new, previously unattainable, heights through an innovative paragliding program.

Producer: Beret Remak.

Check out the Flight Club video here!

Momentum Generation Debuts Dec. 11

HBO Sports takes a deep dive into the fascinating, constantly evolving world of surfing, exploring how a group of dedicated teenagers changed the sport and its culture in the 1990s, when MOMENTUM GENERATION debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 11 (10:00-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBOThe film will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and partners’ streaming platforms.

From Emmy® and Peabody winners Jeff and Michael Zimbalist of All Rise Films, the HBO Sports presentation, in association with Priority Pictures and Sundance Productions, is executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions alongside Karen Lauder and Greg Little of Priority Pictures. Justine Chiara, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo and Colby Gottert produced.

In the 1960s, surfing in America was known primarily as a California- and Hawaii-based phenomenon associated with surf instrumentals and Beach Boys songs. In films, it was a vehicle to infuse all-American romantic comedies with action or zany antics. Although equipment and skills evolved, the public’s perception of surfing as a novelty sport remained constant until the 1990s, when a group of punk rock-loving teens, many from troubled homes and backgrounds, found its way to a house on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in the process changing their lives and the sport itself.

In MOMENTUM GENERATION, the core members of that legendary crew – including Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Benji Weatherley, Kalani Robb, Ross Williams, Taylor Steele and Pat O’Connell – tell their story together for the first time. Filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist draw on unprecedented access to their inner circle, as well as to tens of thousands of hours of footage in private archives, to highlight the deep friendships that were formed and tested during the surfers’ careers as top athletes and cultural icons.

“We’re proud to be the home for MOMENTUM GENERATION, a film that is obviously about a group of surfers at the zenith of the sport, but more subtly about their lifelong friendships,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “The Zimbalist brothers take us on an adrenaline-fueled journey spanning three decades, and the intimacy with which they reveal the ups and downs of some of surfing’s biggest stars makes this film unlike anything else of its kind.”

After relocating to Oahu, the young surfers courageously followed each other into Mother Nature’s most dangerous waves. When some of them didn’t make it back to shore, they found a way to mourn together – and adapt. Fueled by camaraderie and a deep-seated competitiveness, the tight-knit crew became known as the “Momentum Generation” after being featured in Taylor Steele’s groundbreaking films. Its members went on to win world titles, break records and redefine the world’s perception of the surfer, youth culture and what it means to be free.

Filmed over the course of two and a half years, the Momentum Generation surfers reflect on the complexity of the brotherhood and competition that have shaped their shared emotional journey, and made these pioneers both heroic and human.

The film made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year where it won an Audience Award.  It has also won top awards at the Aspen Film Festival, Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival, Honolulu Surf Film Festival, Surfalorus and the Los Angeles Film Awards.

MOMENTUM GENERATION is directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist; executive producers, Robert Redford, Laura Michalchyshyn, Karen Lauder and Greg Little; producers, Justine Chiara, Tina Elmo, Lizzie Friedman and Colby Gottert; written by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. For HBO: executive producers, Bill Simmons, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producer, Bentley Weiner.

Check out the trailer for MOMENTUM GENERATION here!