Fox Sports Films’ released a trailer for documentary series Magnify, focusing on the lives of athletes while leveraging sports as a lens for examining important cultural stories.
Projects from the likes of LeBron James and Chance the Rapper explore how athlete’s journeys on and off the field connect to the challenges, change and unity that sports can bring to communities, according to Fox.
“This commitment to deeper storytelling – pointing the cameras where they’re needed most—diversifies our voice and gets audiences thinking about sports in a broader context beyond wins and losses,” Charlie Dixon, EVP, content at Fox Sports, said in a press release. “The aim is to create dialogue and hopefully affect change in the communities where these stories are told.”
The series kicks off November 26 with 89 Blocks, executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s multimedia site Uninterrupted, along with Sports Illustrated. It brings an authentic perspective to the story of the East St. Louis High School Flyers football team by exploring the pride and joy of a complex, at-risk Illinois community through their exceptional challenges and heartwarming triumph during the 2016 season. It’s directed by Emmy winner Josh Oshinsky.
“We want to give deep insight into sports at all levels and bring the viewer inside the journey for an entirely new perspective,” says Carter, CEO of Uninterrupted. “With 89 Blocks, we found a special story that needed to be told.”
Shot in the Dark
The second feature film in the series Shot in the Dark, airs in February and is produced by Los Angeles Media Fund and executive produced by Dwyane Wade and Chance the Rapper.
Set against their hometown of Chicago, the film follows Orr Academy’s high school basketball team and its stars Tyquone Greer and Marquise Pryor as they aspire for greatness under inspirational head coach, Lou Adams, while facing systemic injustices that threaten to claim their future.
“Basketball empowered me to overcome the challenges of growing up on the South Side of Chicago,” says Wade in a statement. “The odds were stacked against me, and the game changed the course of my life. It’s important to share these true stories of triumph to inspire the next generation to achieve their dreams when faced with life’s obstacles.”
“Shot in the Dark is an authentic and realistic look at high school sports in Chicago and what it means for our youth,” adds Chance. “It’s not really a game for some of us.”
Future series documentaries will include a film about the Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense’s tragic plane crash in Colombia one year ago and a look at Deion Sanders, one the most famous, talented and polarizing athletes of the last 25 years.
“Working with athletes and entertainers that are passionate about these documentaries is invaluable,” says Gabe Spitzer, executive producer, Fox Sports Films. “We’ll be an outlet for creators to highlight stories that speak to their personal journeys in an open and engaging forum.”