On April 23, ESPN Films will premiere Elway to Marino, from NFL Films and director Ken Rodgers, offering an in-depth examination of the 1983 NFL Draft that was highlighted by a record six quarterbacks being taken in the first round, including future Hall of Famers John Elway and Dan Marino. The next full slate of 30 for 30 Vol. II is scheduled to premiere in October.
"When we select film topics for 30 for 30, we are always looking for stand-out moments that really captured the hearts and minds of sports fans across the country," said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. "Though it is a coincidence that these two films happen to be about events from 30 years ago, the stories behind both Jimmy V's magical championship season and the landmark '83 NFL draft changed the history of those particular sports and we believe these films will show our audience a side of these events that they didn't know."
Survive and Advance (Jonathan Hock)
Airdate: Sunday, March 17, at 9pm ET on ESPN
When the 1982-83 college basketball season began, Jim Valvano and his North Carolina State Wolfpack faced high expectations with equally high aspirations. But with ten losses for the season, the Wolfpack's only hope of making the NCAA Tournament was to win the ACC Tournament and earn the conference's automatic berth.
Nine straight improbable tournament wins later over the likes of Sampson, Jordan, Olajuwon and Drexler, N.C. State had "survived and advanced" its way to a national championship. Director Jonathan Hock takes a poignant look through the eyes of senior captain Dereck Whittenburg at a dream fulfilled and explores what at times has been a tragic and heartbreaking aftermath in the 30 years since.
Elway to Marino (Ken Rodgers/NFL Films)
Airdate: Tuesday, April 23, 9pm ET on ESPN
In the spring of 1983, the NFL may have been at its weakest point. The previous season had been marred by a players strike, the upstart USFL was poaching star players and Al Davis was successfully suing the league.
But the momentum began to change on April 26, 1983 – the day of the NFL Draft – when a new generation of superstars was poised to enter the league. Six quarterbacks were selected in the first round of that draft – still the most ever. Elway to Marino explores this landmark draft through the eyes of the players, head coaches, general managers, team owners and agents who participated - including Marvin Demoff, who represented both John Elway and Dan Marino, and kept a diary in the months leading up to the most dramatic draft day in NFL history. We'll learn the inside story of the draft picks, the back room deals, and the tension between future Hall of Famers and the teams that selected them.
About ESPN Films
Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing some of the most compelling stories in sports. In October 2009, ESPN Films launched the Peabody Award-winning, Producer's Guild Award-winning and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 film series.
Inspired by ESPN's 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators. The strong reaction from both critics and fans led to the launch of 30 for 30 Volume II, which is currently underway.
Additional projects from ESPN Films include, among others, the critically acclaimed and Television Academy Honor-winning The 16th Man, Cannes Film Festival official selection The Two Escobars, and the Peabody Award-winning Black Magic. Broke, from filmmaker Billy Corben, and You Don't Know Bo, from director Michael Bonfiglio, were featured in the last slate of ESPN Films.