U.S. Sports Film Festival Opens with Inside Look in to the Movie Business

October 7, 2008

An unprecedented series of panels on sports & entertainment business law led by celebrity panelists and top legal minds to discuss key issues facing Talent, Film, Film Festival and Sports Event industries.

Numerous sports and entertainment business law leaders will be on hand in Philadelphia on Thursday October 23rd from 1:00-4:30 pm at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker, & Rhoads Law firm (123 S. Broad Street, Avenue of the Arts Philadelphia, PA  19109)  as part of a special half-day seminar addressing the key industry issues to open the inaugural U.S. Sports Film Festival, the most comprehensive U.S. sports film festival ever.  

The four-day festival, in Philadelphia from October 23-26, will feature special events around the screenings of more than 20 movies, ranging from classics like “Invincible” to the debut of films in Mixed Martial Arts, baseball and football among other sports. 

“We are very pleased to bring together some of the most knowledgeable and respected industry leaders for an engaging discussion on the some of the hottest topics in sports and entertainment law today,” said festival Board Chairman and Founder Stephan Hartman. “This panel will be reflective of other breakout industry panels which will call the festival home in future years.” The three one hour panels include: “Representing Talent in Television and Media;” “Legal/Business Aspects of Producing Films; Film Festivals and Sporting Events;” and “Intellectual Property Aspects of Sports & Entertainment Properties.”

The films featured during the festival will include “Signature Series: Pete Samparas,” the Mixed Martial Arts documentary “Renzo Gracie: Legacy;” the debut of “Basketball in the Barrio,” the story of two former University of Texas El Paso basketball players who started a program teaching basketball to the impoverished immigrant children of South El Paso, and the stories of those who used basketball as a tool for fulfillment, as well as “Kicking It,” the Ted Leonsis-produced film about a team of homeless soccer players and their life stories and successes on the pitch; “Run For Your Life,” the true-life story of the man who created the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow; “Kassim The Dream,” the story of Ugandan-born (and Philadelphia resident) boxing world champion Kassim Ouma, a kidnapped child soldier and his struggles to break free and regain his life as a professional athlete; “The Zen of Bobby V,” the baseball film which follows former MLB manager Bobby Valentine through Japanese baseball; “Truth in 24,” which follows all the drama of the 24 hours of LeMans, and  Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot, former Beastie Boy Adam Yauch’s chronicle of eight of the country’s top high school hoopsters, including NBA rookies Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, as they negotiate the courts of legendary Rucker Park in New York .

Also on tap for the festival will be a series of classic films including a Tribute to  renowned Olympic documentarian Bud Greenspan and “Making Films about Sports Heroes” program featuring a screening of “Invincible,” with a panel discussion with producer Mark Ciardi, Vince Papale, Rudy Ruettinger and other athletes, actors and film producers involved in making films about sports heroes. 

Comcast SportsNet is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 U.S. Sports Film Festival.  Versus is a founding partner and CN8, along with Comcast-Spectacor, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, the Flyers of the NHL, and Phantoms of the AHL are associate partners of this year’s festival.

In addition to Comcast, other sponsors and media partners for the U.S. Sports Film Festival include:, Barefoot Wine, the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles and Soul, KYW NewsRadio 1060, 610WIP Sports Radio, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphia Sports Congress, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp., City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Film Office, Philadelphia Weekly and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

To obtain tickets to the U.S. Sports Film Festival go to or call (800) 298-4200. For Sponsorship information please call (212) 752-2500.

Guest panelists include Mark Ciardi (award-winning producer of “Invincible,” “Miracle,” and “The Rookie”), Bonnie Bernstein (ABC Sports and ESPN host Sportscaster), Sharon Pinkenson (Exec. Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office), Jeff Gewirtz (Sr. VP and Gen. Counsel, Nets Basketball and Brooklyn Sports & Ent.), Mary Cavallaro and Dave Frankel (co-heads, Montgomery McCracken’s Media Talent practice), Justin Weinburgh, (Head of Philadelphia’s largest Sports & Ent. Law practice at Cozen & O’Connor), Lloyd Zane Remick (Philadelphia Magazine’s 2005 and 2006 “Best Sports & Entertainment Attorney”) Cameron Myler (4-time Olympian and IP lawyer with NYC firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz), Len Glickman (Partner, Entertainment Law, Toronto law firm Casells Brock & Blackwell), Marcy Rauer Wagman (Professor, Drexel Music Program, CEO, music production company), James Talbott (Principal, Los Angeles firm Talbott and Talbott), Ron Zaslow (NYC lawyer and broadcaster) and Stephan Hartman (NYC Investment banker and Founder, U.S. Sports Film Festival).

The event will be accredited and co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.  CLE credit will be provided to PA, NY and NJ attorneys. To obtain tickets go to or call (646) 233-2033.  For CLE program information, contact James Talbott at (310) 457-1387.  The program is open to lawyers, non-lawyers and a limited number of students (30).