ESPN continues to bring sports content to its viewers and fans, adding four more sports films to its programming schedule next week, beginning with the TV premiere of “Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams” on Monday, June 29th at 7pm ET. The film, an international co-production between Cineric Creative, NHK, and NHK Enterprises, follows coaches and players in Japan’s historic 100th National High School Baseball Tournament, including the alma mater of Shohei Ohtani and Yusei Kikuchi. Immediately following, at 9pm on June 29th, is the world premiere of “EDDIE,” a documentary on Hall of Fame basketball coach Eddie Sutton, from 1577 Production in association with Takashi Entertainment. “Finding Big Country,” a film, from Big Country Studios, will air on Wednesday, July 1st at 8pm ET. The film follows a superfan of the Vancouver Grizzlies who searches for her childhood hero, the maligned and reclusive former NBA player Big Country Bryant Reeves. And the world premiere of “Born to Play,” from Park Pictures, documenting the Boston Renegades of the female tackle football league, will follow on July 1st at 9pm ET.
“Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams”
Monday, June 29 at 7pm ET
Director: Ema Ryan Yamazaki
Producers: International co-production between Cineric Creative, NHK, and NHK Enterprises
Baseball is life for the die-hard competitors in Koshien, Japan’s national high school baseball championship, whose alumni include US baseball stars Shohei Ohtani and former Yankee Hideki Matsui. As popular as America’s World Series, the stakes are beyond high in this single-elimination tournament. For Coach Mizutani, cleaning the grounds and greeting guests are equally important as honing baseball skills, however, demonstrating discipline, sacrifice and unwavering dedication. Director Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows Mizutani and his team on their quest to win the 100th annual Koshien, and, in the process, goes beyond baseball to reveal the heart of the Japanese national character. Had its World Premiere at DOC NYC 2019.
Monday, June 29 at 9pm ET
Director: Christopher Hunt
Producers: 1577 Productions, Takashi Entertainment, Wendy Garrett
Chock-full of archival footage and interviews from a “who’s who” of college and NBA superstars, EDDIE is a story rooted in basketball, but vulnerably exploring issues of substance abuse, father-son relationships, and perseverance. Following the famed career of 800-win basketball coach, Eddie Sutton, the film highlights programs at the Universities of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State. Revisiting not only conference championships and numerous trips to the Final Four, but also the pains of addiction and the devastating 2001 Oklahoma State basketball team plane crash, EDDIE compels sports and general audiences, alike, to ponder the conflicting attributes of a man with flaws shared by many and achievements matched by few.
“Finding Big Country”
Wednesday, July 1 at 8pm
Director: Kathleen Jayme
Producers: Big Country Films, Michael Grand, Kat Jayme, James Brown
It’s been nearly two decades since the Vancouver Grizzlies left town with their original franchise player Big Country Bryant Reeves taking most of the blame, but superfan Kat Jayme still isn’t over it. She goes on a mission to find her reclusive and maligned childhood hero and tell the story of the forgotten legend.
“Born to Play”
Wednesday, July 1 at 9pm
Director: Viridiana Lieberman
Producers: Park Pictures, Theodora Dunlap, Sam Bisbee, Viridiana Lieberman
Born to Play spends a season with the Boston Renegades, a women’s tackle football team on a path for redemption after going undefeated and losing their championship the previous year. These unpaid athletes put their bodies on the line while maintaining full time careers that support their lifelong dream… proving that football is for everyone.