Michael Rappaport’s doc about the New York Knicks, “When the Garden Was Eden,” will kick off the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, the annual athletics-themed programming that has been a part of the Tribeca Film Festival since 2006.
“Garden” is one of a lineup of pics — some of which have already been announced as part of the fest’s feature lineup (“Intramural,” “Maravilla,” “Slaying the Badger”) — to be presented under the banner of the sports film fest.
Joining the slate along with Rappaport’s doc is Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s “Next Goal Wins,” centering on the dismally ranked American Samoan soccer team and its efforts to train for the World Cup. Pic will screen April 19 as part of Tribeca Drive-In, the annual series of outdoor screenings that are one component of the festival’s outreach to its downtown Manhattan community. Sports elements of the Tribeca Family Street Fair on April 26 will also be considered part of the sports fest.
The sports programming will additionally encompass a special screening of Chapman Way and Maclain Way’s “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” about the unlikely rise of the Portland Mavericks, as well as soccer stories “The Opposition” and “Maradona ’86” and a panel discussion with Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, whose stories are told in festival offering “Champs.”
Rappaport’s “Garden” chronicles the glory days of the Knicks in the 70s, drawing on interviews from the players of the era including Walt “Clyde” Frasier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed and Bill Bradley. Film will screen April 17 as the opening gala of the sports film fest.
The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival runs April 16-27.