ESPN, Grantland Premiere New 30 For 30 Short

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

 

ESPN and Grantland have premiered the latest in the network’s 30 for 30 shorts series.  Ali: The Mission can be viewed online now at grantland.com.  The short, which is narrated by music star John Legend, follows boxer Muhammad Ali’s 1990 mission to free hostages being held in Iraq.  Ali’s mission in question took him to Iraq and a face to face meeting with then dictator Saddam Hussein.  Ali met with Hussein to try and negotiate the release of Americans who had been taken hostage after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  The hostages in question were being used as “human shields” to try and prevent American forces from striking the region.  Ali’s mission was a success, bringing home a total of fifteen hostages.  And six weeks afterwards, the U.S. embarked on Operation Desert Storm on January 16th, 1991. 

When asked about Ali and narrating this latest short, Legend said, “There are so many stories and myths out there about The Greatest, but this one struck a personal chord with me as I don’t know that people today are even aware of Ali’s immense philanthropic work or this specific mission to Iraq before Desert Storm began.”  He went on to share his thoughts on being part of ESPN’s latest project saying, “Entertainers and athletes are often blessed with a platform from which to improve the world, and it was an honor for me to be the voice of this film showcasing the incredible journey Ali made that changed the lives of these hostages forever.”

The new short was directed by Amani Martin (Benji, HBO’s Brooklyn Dodgers, The Ghosts of Flatbush).  It features interviews with and stories from the hostages themselves.  The individuals in question will share their stories and reactions to everything that unfolded through Ali’s negotiations with Hussein.  It can be viewed at grantland.com now at http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8849155/the-latest-offering-new-30-30-documentary-series or at ESPN online at http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=ali-the-mission.

To keep up with all the latest news on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Kicks Off New Online Series

Courtesy: ESPN

The first of the new features from ESPN’s 30 for 30 Shorts has officially premiered.  “Arnold’s Blueprint” follows the life of bodybuilder/actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.  It focuses primarily on Arnold’s teenage years in the Austrian army.  The twelve minute short—directed by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist (The Two Escobars)—tells how Arnold’s time in the Austrian army would eventually lead to his beginnings in the world of bodybuilding.  The short can be watched here:  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8424161/the-first-short-new-30-30-documentary-series.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 shorts are presented in partnership with Grantland.com.  The thirty part digital series will be similar in format to the network’s famed 30 for 30 TV series of specials.  Each short will be presented from the vantage point of its director and how each mixes the story with his or her own style of film making.  Grantland.com will feature one new 30 for 30 Short each month.  Each feature will be accompanied by a written feature and extra material to add context.

“Arnold’s Blueprint” is accompanied by a written article by Brian Phillips.  Phillips’ article will focus on George Reeves.  Reeves was Arnold’s bodybuilding coach turned movie star.  Other 30 for 30 Shorts that fans can expect to come include:  “Silver Reunion”, “The Arnold Palmer”, “Holy Grail:  The T206 Honus Wagner”, and “Tommy and Frank.” 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.