Miramax Films and ESPN havejointly acquired North American rights to GreeneStreet Films, Passion Picturesand Cactus Three's football documentary Once In A Lifetime, which will receive its world premiere in theBerlinale Special programme.
Paul Crowder and JohnDower's film chronicles the heady rise and fall of the New York Cosmos, ascratch team that became a sporting motif for the city in the decadent 1970s andfeatured such all-time greats as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. Matt Dillon narrates.
Passion Pictures' Oscarwinning John Battsek, brother of Miramax chief Daniel, produced along withGreeneStreet's Fisher Stevens and Tim Williams.
John Penotti, Cactus Three'sJulie Goldman, Andrew Ruhemann, Michael Davies, Vicki Cherkas and CedricJeanson served as executive producers.
It is understood Miramaxplans a sizeable theatrical release in May, shortly before the World Cup kicksoff in Germany in June.
GreeneStreet FilmsInternational will be offering the title to Berlin buyers this week and hasalready closed a deal with Pathe in the UK. "The film has an energy andexcitement I really believe will appeal to the increasingly broad audience fordocumentaries," Daniel Battsek said. "In addition, it captures the celebrityand glamour of New York City as epitomised by the Cosmos."
"ESPN OriginalEntertainment continues to explore new and more creative ways to highlightsports' most compelling stories," ESPN executive vice president of contentJohn Skipper added.
"Partnering withMiramax guarantees our viewers will get the best in film and entertainment andwithin a relevant sports context."
"The extraordinarystory of the Cosmos has fascinated generations of soccer fans worldwide.However, equally compelling is the human drama behind corporate America'sattempt to co-opt the most popular sport in the world Ð and give it a decidedlyAmerican twist," GreeneStreet president John Penotti said.
Miramax executive vicepresident of business affairs Michael Luisi, vice president of business affairPeter McPartlin and ESPN senior vice president of programming Geoff Reiss negotiatedthe deal with Penotti and Vicki Charles and attorney George Sheanshang onbehalf of GreeneStreet Films.