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PBS Intl. Delivers Squad of Sports-Themed Documentaries to MipTV

PBS Intl. Delivers Squad of Sports-Themed Documentaries to MipTV

U.S.-based global distributor PBS Intl. is bringing a squad of sports-themed documentaries to MipTV to tie in with the Olympic Games that’ll run this summer in Paris.

“Olympic Dreams” travels to Sierra Leone, one of the world’s poorest nations, as it struggles to recover from its 11-year civil war. It follows Sanusi Turay, a charismatic ex-Sierra Leonean Olympic sprinter, and his most talented athletes, Sarah Bona and Daddy Alie Bangura, through the trials and tribulations of training for the Games in 2004. Their battles are not just on the track — they must also fight poverty and corruption to achieve their goals.

“Olympic Dreams” was directed by Laura Ashton and Ron Orders. It was produced by Ilona Benjamin for Urban Films and WGBH/Boston.

“The Boys of ’36” follows the journey of nine working-class boys from the University of Washington, who took the rowing world by storm when their eight-oar crew team captured the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

These sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers overcame psychological, physical and economic hardships to beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast, but Adolf Hitler’s elite German rowers. Their story also served as the inspiration for George Clooney’s recent film “The Boys in the Boat.”

“The Boys of the ’36” is inspired by Daniel James Brown’s nonfiction book “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.”

The documentary is an Elastic String Productions film for PBS’s signature history series American Experience. It is written by Aaron Cohen, directed by Margaret Grossi, and produced by Grossi and Mary Carillo.

“The Nazi Games – Berlin 1936” delves into the collaboration between the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee, revealing the corruption that shaped the Games. Through archival footage and expert analysis, the documentary sheds light on the murky deals behind the Olympic facade.

“The Nazi Games – Berlin 1936” was written and directed by Christoph Weber. The executive producer was Bernd Wilting. It was produced by Taglicht Media in association with PBS Distribution, Pre TV, ORF and ZDF.

Finally, “Jesse Owens” pays homage to the athlete who defied Hitler’s Aryan supremacy ideology by clinching four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. Owens’ achievements on the track made him a symbol of resilience and hope, yet his legacy was overshadowed by the challenges of racial segregation in the U.S.

The documentary was produced by Stanley Nelson, and directed by Laurens Grant. The executive producer was Mark Samels. It was produced by Firelight Media for GBH and American Experience.

“We’re thrilled to present these compelling stories of courage and triumph as the world gears up for the Paris Olympics,” Joe Barrett, VP of global sales at PBS Intl., said. “These documentaries not only celebrate the spirit of athleticism but also shed light on the complex narratives surrounding the Olympic Games.”

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