×

Sundance: Relativity Buys Football Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

Relativity Sports has acquired distribution rights to its first documentary “In Football We Trust” ahead of the film’s Jan. 23 world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The feature-length documentary explores the role football plays within the Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“This film is an ideal example of sports’ critical role in everyday society and demonstrates the impact a strong culture and community can have on sports,” said Relativity Sports executive Dan Fegan, who’s an exec producer on the film.

“We look forward to the continued development of our content division with projects like this, as they will only further grow our core business,” he added.

First-time filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn, based in Salt Lake City, obtained access to the Polynesian community and explored the world of recruiting, the nature of competitive athletics, the complexities of cultural identity and religion along with the pressures of family responsibility. Independent Television Service co-produced and co-financed.

Michael D. Ratner, president of OBB Pictures, is an executive producer.

The film is the first documentary acquisition by Relativity Sports, which has produced and released “Being: Mariano,” “David Ortiz: In the Moment,” “Dwight Howard: In the Moment” and “Amar’e Stoudemire: In the Moment.”

Relativity Sports was represented in the deal by Heather Brooks Karatz. The division of Relativity Media is one of the largest professional sports agencies in the world, representing more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes.

Relativity Sports is led by Relativity Media co-president Happy Walters. It’s touted as the only sports management agency that’s a division of a global entertainment company, enabling it to offer athletes direct access to film, television and digital properties.

Relativity saw a strong performance from a festival acquisition last year with “Oculus” taking in $40 million worldwide after debuting at Toronto.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content