SBD/January 25, 2013/Media

Next Slate Of ESPN "30 For 30" Films To Include Jimmy V's Title Run, '83 NFL Draft

The late Jim Valvano’s national championship win and the legendary ’83 NFL Draft will be among the films featured in the latest installment of ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series, which begins this spring. “Survive and Advance” chronicles the ’82-83 N.C. State men’s basketball team which reeled off 10 straight wins to capture the NCAA title over the Univ. of Houston's “Phi Slamma Jamma” team. It debuts March 17 at 9:00pm ET, just after the NCAA Tournament bracket is unveiled. The documentary was directed by Jonathan Hock, who oversaw other “30 for 30” projects on former NBAer Chris Herren (“Unguarded”) and former NFLer Marcus Dupree (“The Best That Never Was”). ESPN Films VP and Exec Producer Connor Schell said, “He’s just a master at what he does. That team and those guys and what coach Valvano meant to them and how they’ve all stayed together through the years and in many ways carried on Jimmy V’s legacy -- it was a story that we had to tell.” The documentary includes commentary from Dereck Whittenburg, who assisted on the game-winning bucket in the national championship game. Meanwhile, ESPN will also team up with NFL Films and director Ken Rodgers for a glance at the ’83 NFL Draft, which had six QBs taken in the first round, including Pro Football HOFers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Debuting April 23 at 9:00pm ET -- two nights before the ’13 Draft -- “Elway to Marino” focuses not only on the star-studded draft class, but also on its impact on a league that was just coming off a player strike and fending off the emerging USFL. Schell said, “Those guys are as good as anyone in the field at bringing stories like this to life. As excited as I am about ‘Survive and Advance,’ I think ‘Elway to Marino’ will be good, too.”

SHORT & SWEET: Schell also touched on the five “30 for 30” short films that have debuted on Grantland.com. He said ESPN Films hopes to produce approximately 12-15 shorts this year. “Collectively we love that we have that creative outlet now,” he said. “There’s an incredible reservoir of stories in the sports world and the television format of 50-75 or 100 minutes is not necessarily the right format for every story.”
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