The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will kick off its eighth edition with the world premiere of director Michael Rapaport’s When the Garden Was Eden, a look back at the last championship era of New York Knicks basketball more than 40 years ago.
The film features interviews with team members from the early 70s, including Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and Phil Jackson. The timing of the debut happens to coincide with the widely reported return of Jackson to the ailing Knicks franchise in a front-office role.
The Tribeca/ESPN festival is a subset of the 13th Tribeca Film Festival set to run April 16-27. Its roster of films will also include Champs, which explores how boxing greats like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield used the sport to pull themselves out of poverty, and Intramural, a scripted spoof of sports movies starring Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and Jay Pharoah. A sampling of ESPN’s “30 for 30: Soccer Stories” tied to this summer’s World Cup will include Maradona ’86 and The Opposition, about soccer in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Founded in 2007, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival has helped foster the creation of ESPN’s acclaimed “30 for 30” documentary series. Among the films that have premiered during the festival have been The Two Escobars and Catching Hell.