ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series will continue with “Requiem For The Big East,” premiering Sunday, March 16, at 9 p.m. ET after Bracketology on ESPN. The film, directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ezra Edelman, explores the meteoric ascension of the Big East Conference, and how in less than a decade under the innovative leadership of founder and Commissioner Dave Gavitt, it became the most successful college basketball sports league in America.
The film is told primarily through the lens of famed Big East coaches such as Jim Boeheim, Lou Carnesecca, Rick Pitino and John Thompson, former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, and some of its most iconic players like Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin and Ed Pinckney. It chronicles the rivalries and successes that led many of them to become household names.
The Big East was a groundbreaking athletic and business creation that encapsulated the era and region in which it was born – from the toughness of the players and coaches hailing from some of the Northeast’s most storied cities, to the executives and Wall Street brokers who thrived because of it. Launched in 1979—the same year that ESPN was born—the Big East used the burgeoning cable TV network and the media as a whole to help spread its gospel to fans and future players across the nation. But “Requiem For The Big East” is also a tale of change as the super conference eventually found itself in a new era fighting for survival.
“From its creation, the Big East had a dramatic impact on the college basketball landscape,” said John Dahl, Executive Producer, ESPN Films. “’Requiem For The Big East’ explores what made it so extraordinary and how the hurdles to keep it thriving became more and more challenging to overcome.”
“Having grown up on the East Coast, I’ve spent most of my life as a dedicated fan of the Big East and I, like so many others, was saddened by its split last year,” said director Ezra Edelman. “In setting out to make a film about the league, I hoped to not simply tell a story about the rise of a great basketball conference but also understand and ultimately convey the causes of its fall. “
Following the premiere of “Requiem For The Big East” on ESPN, ESPNU will air “Big East Extras,” a special featuring bonus material such as extended highlights and interviews from the film.
*Advance film screener available upon request*
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 the critically acclaimed Nine for IX series, SEC Storied and the webby award winning 30 for 30 Shorts.