Lionsgate today announced that it has acquired worldwide distribution rights from St. V, LLC to the documentary More Than a Game. Directed by Kristopher Belman and produced by Harvey Mason Jr. and Belman, More Than a Game tells the true story of five talented young basketball players, including future NBA superstar LeBron James, and their remarkable journey from Akron, Ohio to the national high school championship series. The film is written by Brad Hogan and Belman; joining Mason and Belman in producing are Matthew Perniciaro and Kevin Mann. The executive producers are Maverick Carter, LeBron James and Jimmy Iovine. The announcement was made jointly by Jason Constantine, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and Tom Ortenberg, Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films.
Lionsgate in association with Harvey Mason Media and Interscope Records plans to release More Than a Game in Fall 2009. The film made its world premiere at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, where the audience responded with a five-minute standing ovation. Lionsgate will be joined in marketing More Than a Game by the NBA and by LeBron James’ brand partners, State Farm®, Nike and Coca-Cola.
Said director/co-writer/producer Belman, “I have tremendous admiration for the films Lionsgate has released, so it’s very exciting to have this studio behind ‘More Than a Game.’ I know this movie’s in the best possible hands.”
Speaking on behalf of the film’s producers, Mason commented, “We are thrilled that Lionsgate has joined the ‘More Than a Game’ team. They have an amazing track record and we feel very fortunate to be joining forces. As a marketing and distribution partner, Lionsgate is the studio equivalent of the Fab Five: very talented, hard-working and possessed of real heart.”
Said Constantine and Ortenberg, “‘More Than a Game’ is so much more than a documentary. It’s a film that appeals simultaneously to niche viewers and broad audiences. That’s not an easy feat to pull off, but thanks to great filmmaking, a great story and a great cast, ‘More Than a Game is a slam dunk.
Five talented young basketball players from Akron, Ohio star in More Than a Game, a remarkable true-life coming of age story about friendship and loyalty in the face of great adversity. Coached by a charismatic but inexperienced player’s father, and led by future NBA superstar LeBron James, the “Fab Five’s” improbable nine-year journey leads them from a decrepit inner-city gym to the doorstep of a national high school championship. Along the way, the close-knit team is repeatedly tested — both on and off the court — as James’ exploding worldwide celebrity threatens to destroy everything they’ve set out to achieve together. More Than a Game combines a series of unforgettable one-on-one interviews with rare news footage, never-before-seen home videos, and personal family photographs to bring this heart-wrenching and wholly American story to life.