ESPN Films

Watch ESPN Films

  • 2011
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.4  (51)

ESPN Films is a documentary series that premiered in 2011. The series is produced by ESPN, the largest sports network in the world. The show explores the world of sports through a variety of lenses, telling the stories behind the athletes, coaches, and events that have shaped the sports we know and love today.

Each episode of the show focuses on a different story or theme within the world of sports. Some episodes focus on biographical stories of individual athletes, such as "The Fab Five" which follows the journey of the University of Michigan's 1991 men's basketball team. Other episodes explore themes within the sports world, such as "The Price of Gold," which examines the rivalry between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 Winter Olympics.

One of the unique aspects of ESPN Films is that it often delves into the personal lives of the athletes and coaches it presents. These personal stories add depth to the show and make the viewer feel more invested in the outcome of the events being depicted. This is evident in the 30 for 30 series, which saw ESPN venture into the world of independent filmmaking to tell stories that went beyond the day-to-day coverage of sports events. Though each episode has a different director, the series is noted for its consistent aesthetic and approach in telling stories about sports.

The series has been critically acclaimed for its production quality, storytelling, and direction. Its documentary-style format allows it to maintain a level of authenticity and journalistic integrity while also presenting a compelling and engaging narrative. The use of archival footage and interviews with key players helps to enhance the storytelling and provides a unique perspective on sports events and the people involved in them.

In addition to the 30 for 30 series, ESPN Films has also produced other documentary series, such as "The Four Falls of Buffalo," which tells the story of the Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990s that made it to the Super Bowl four years in a row but ultimately lost each time. Another series, "O.J.: Made in America," tells the story of O.J. Simpson's rise to fame as a football player and actor, his murder trial, and the impact the case had on race relations in America.

Overall, ESPN Films has become an important part of the sports media landscape, offering a unique perspective on the world of sports and the people who make it what it is today. By exploring the personal stories behind major sports events and figures, the show engages viewers on a deeper level and provides a more nuanced understanding of the sports world. Its commitment to quality production, direction, and storytelling has earned it numerous accolades and cemented its place as a must-see for sports fans and documentary enthusiasts alike.

ESPN Films is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (44 episodes). The series first aired on September 27, 2011.

ESPN Films
Filter by Source

D. Wade: Life Unexpected
16. D. Wade: Life Unexpected
February 23, 2020
Beginning with never-before-revealed details about his life growing up in Chicago, continuing on through his emergence as a star at Marquette and then with the Miami Heat, D. Wade: Life Unexpected covers every chapter of Wade's path. From dealing with drug raids on his house as a young child; to becoming a father as a college sophomore; to the long and painful custody battle for his children years later; to his relationship with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union-Wade, and the challenges they've encountered; and embracing his child Zion's gender identity, the film does not shy away from any difficult topic. The film is a memorable look back at one of the defining careers of this generation.
The Rebel
14. The Rebel
May 30, 2017
Johnny Neumann took the Ole Miss nickname seriously. A 6'6 prodigy from Memphis often compared to LSU superstar Pete Maravich, Neumann was supposed to lead the Rebel basketball program to national prominence in the early 1970s. But he proved to be too headstrong, too egotistical and not keen enough to know he could be his own worst enemy.
Morningside 5
13. Morningside 5
August 8, 2017
In 1992, a young filmmaker named Mike Tollin chronicled one season in the lives of the Morningside High basketball team in Inglewood, California. They were the defending state champions, and all five starters were returning for their senior year. They seemed a shoo-in to win a second straight state title, and the five guys all thought they were on a path to become the next Jordan. However, the season didn't go quite as planned. Tollin never forgot the magic of the Morningside 5 and paints an intimate portrait of 25 years in the lives of these five men from Inglewood. A story of friendship, failure, striving and, ultimately, redemption.
Baltimore Boys
12. Baltimore Boys
August 8, 2017
In the early 1980s, the city of Baltimore was reeling, but in the city's troubled East Baltimore neighborhood, there was one beacon of hope: The Dunbar High School boys basketball team. Over two seasons, they went 59-0, and 11 players on their rosters went off to Division I programs. Directors Marquis Daisy and Sheldon Candis chronicle the journey of four boys and their coach, who reached heights that they couldn't have imagined, even if their saga was capped by a tragedy that made some wonder how far they ever really got away.
Before They Were Cowboys
11. Before They Were Cowboys
December 28, 2016
The remarkable story of two extraordinary men linked by alphabet, alliteration, and fate. Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson teamed up to help lead the 1964 Arkansas Razorbacks football squad to its only undefeated season in history, long before they joined forces to win two Super Bowls with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. Back then, they were vital senior members of the 1964 undefeated team that won a national championship, and in time, they came to be two of the biggest men in the NFL.
The Clemente Effect
10. The Clemente Effect
September 14, 2016
Roberto Clemente went from a humble upbringing in Puerto Rico to become the National League Most Valuable Player in 1966 and a World Series hero for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960 and 1971. Along the way, Clemente faced numerous obstacles: injuries, an antagonistic press corps and the racial injustices of the time. Inspired by the civil rights movement, Clemente became an unwavering defender of minorities, an advocate for Latino players' rights, and a great humanitarian.
Repeat After Us
9. Repeat After Us
September 14, 2016
The likes of Florida's back-to-back National Championship wins in 2006 and 2007 may never be seen again. A starting line-up of college basketball players spurned multi-million dollar opportunities in the NBA for the chance to win it again. Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, and Lee Humphrey, led by head coach Billy Donovan, learned togetherness, loyalty, and how to deliver a championship when a championship is expected.
The Walk Off
8. The Walk Off
June 30, 2016
Twenty years ago, LSU baseball player Warren Morris became the only man ever to hit a walk off home run to end the College World Series, and it was his only home run of the season. Recovering from a broken bone in his right hand, Morris could barely swing a bat. Still, legendary LSU coach Skip Bertman inserted him into the lineup in the title game of the College World Series against the University of Miami.
Mighty Ruthie
7. Mighty Ruthie
May 22, 2016
If her story were only about basketball, Ruthie Bolton would be a legend. Bolton far exceeded expectations when she led Auburn to three SEC titles and two NCAA championship games, then went on to win two Olympic gold medals. But it was Ruthie Bolton's courage during and after her playing career ended that ultimately defines her. After surviving years of domestic abuse, she has opened up about her experiences and has become a powerful advocate for women who live in fear of their spouses.
6. Norm
May 1, 2016
In 1956, on the University of Missouri campus, Norm Stewart was the man. In the spring he threw a no-hitter for the baseball team. In the winter he led the basketball team in scoring. Unlike most big men on campus, whose exploits drift into folklore, Norm's best days were ahead of him. In 1967 Norm would become the Mizzou men's basketball head coach. As much as his program-leading 634 wins endeared him to the fans, his fiery style and loyalty to the state that raised him made "Norm" a Missouri legend.
In Search of Derrick Thomas
5. In Search of Derrick Thomas
September 29, 2015
Life was never easy for Derrick Thomas. At the age of 5, his father, an Air Force pilot, was lost in Vietnam during a flying mission. As an adolescent growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood, Thomas ran afoul of the law and found himself in front of a judge who would give him a second chance. He turned his life around, became a star on the gridiron and attracted the attention of the University of Alabama, where he established himself as arguably the greatest pass rusher in college football history.
Tigers United
4. Tigers United
September 23, 2015
When Michael Sam announced on February 9, 2014 that he was gay, he became football?s first openly gay active player.� For most, the revelation was a surprise.� For his teammates in Columbia Missouri, it was not news.� In the Tigers football family, Michael had found acceptance. The extraordinary bond Sam forged with wide receiver L?Damian Washington and defensive tackle Marvin Foster was bigger than football ? they became brothers.� That brotherhood helped bring the Tigers together on the field in 2013 and fueled the 12-2 SEC East Championship season.
The Bo You Don't Know
3. The Bo You Don't Know
September 16, 2015
When the name "Bo" is uttered in SEC circles, images of Bo Jackson's domination at Auburn quickly come to mind. But there is another Bo who is likely far less familiar to SEC followers. That would be Robert "Bo" Rein, whose pedigree could be traced to stints under Woody Hayes, Lou Holtz, and Frank Broyles. A former baseball and football standout at Ohio State, Rein was building a reputation as an innovator who inspired those around him. He became the youngest head coach in major college football when he took over at NC State at the age of 30. He brought the Wolfpack national rankings, bowl wins and an ACC title. At the end of the 1979 season, LSU hired Rein, hoping that his youthful energy could revitalize its program. But the unthinkable happened. Returning from a recruiting trip on January 10, 1980, the small plane in which he was flying crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 1,000 miles off course. That tragedy devastated his family and friends and left so many others wondering, "What might have been?"
Miracles On The Plains
2. Miracles On The Plains
September 9, 2015
On April 23, 2013, the oaks at Toomer's Corner had to be removed. More than two years earlier, those trees at Auburn University's historic landmark had been poisoned, casting a dark shadow over the school. Meanwhile, the Auburn football team went from National Champions in 2010 to the bottom of the SEC by 2012. Head coach Gene Chizik was fired and replaced by Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator of that national title team. Expectations were bleak entering the 2013 season, as Malzahn inherited a team coming off its worst season in 60 years. What followed was one of the biggest single-season turnarounds in college football history - a year of implausible finishes, cinematic heroics, games for the ages...and, eventually, the symbolic return of those mighty oaks.
Wuerffel's Way
1. Wuerffel's Way
September 2, 2015
Danny Wuerffel was on top of the world at the end of the 1996 college football season. The University of Florida quarterback had just won the Heisman Trophy and led the Gators to a National Championship. But drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the spring of 1997, he struggled to attain the same kind of success in the NFL. It was in that first year as a pro that he began volunteering in New Orleans' Desire neighborhood, one of the poorest locales in the country. After Hurricane Katrina devastated his Desire Street Academy in late August 2005, Wuerffel took the lead in tracking down his students, established a new location for the school in Florida, and expanded his outreach to help several more communities in the southeastern United States. He continued his efforts while battling a life-threatening illness. Now, ten years removed from the costliest natural disaster in American history, Wuerffel returns to New Orleans to dedicate the rebuilding of the Desire Community Square and further the cause he joined two decades ago.
Where to Watch ESPN Films
ESPN Films is available for streaming on the ESPN website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch ESPN Films on demand at Amazon, Sling, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 27, 2011
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (51)