ESPN Films picks up sports docs

Spike Lee's 'Game Day' follows Kobe Bryant

ESPN Films has announced four sports-themed documentaries targeted to run on ESPN and ESPN2 in the latter part of the year.

Projects include the Spike Lee-directed “Game Day With Kobe,” in which the filmmaker tracked L.A. Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant for a day last spring as he prepped and played in a late-season matchup with rival San Antonio Spurs.

“Kicking It,” produced by Ted Leonsis (“The Rape of Nanking”) and acquired at Sundance, chronicles seven soccer players from six countries who participated in the annual Homeless World Cup.

“Greatest Game Ever Played” recounts the 1958 NFL Championship matchup between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants — a seminal contest often credited as the dawn of the modern NFL game.

Meanwhile, “A Woman Among Boys,” by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill (“Baghdad ER”), chronicles Ruth Lovelace, a woman coaching boys and girls hoops in Brooklyn.

ESPN also announced five filmmakers for its “30 for 30” initiative, which will ultimately feature 30 filmmakers making 30 hourlong films based on sports-related subjects from the past 30 years. Filmmakers include Lee, Barbara Kopple (“Shut Up and Sing”), Mike Tollin (“Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream”), two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and duo Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys”).

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