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Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Documentary filmmakers discuss the craft, their films and sports on Friday in Bloomington

Screenings of The U and Pony Excess

WHAT: Film screenings and discussions with two filmmakers involved with ESPN Films' 30 for 30 anniversary documentary film series, which highlights sports-related drama unfolding from 1979 to 2009.
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18: 9:30 a.m. screening of The U by Billy Corben, Q-and-A, at Woodburn Hall 101, 1100 E. Seventh St.; 2 p.m. discussion with Corben and filmmaker Thaddeus Matula, Woodburn Hall 120; 3:30 p.m. screening of Pony Excess by Matula, and Q-and-A, Mobley Auditorium at the School of HPER, 1025 E. Seventh St.
WHERE: IU Bloomington.
ADMISSION: The events are free and open to the public.

Nov. 15, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Documentaries featured on ESPN Films' 30 for 30 series will be screened at Indiana University Bloomington on Friday, Nov. 18, during events in which filmmakers Billy Corben and Thaddeus Matula discuss the filmmaking process, the collegiate sport world and its representation in visual media, and related topics.

30 for 30

Filmmaker Thaddeus Matula

Print-Quality Photo

Corben, director of The U, and Matula, director of Pony Excess, will participate in screenings, Q-and-As and a formal discussion.

"The screenings and discussions should be of interest to anyone familiar with the collegiate sport landscape or with an interest in filmmaking, storytelling and journalism," said Galen Clavio, assistant professor at the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "We feel very fortunate to have two young, dynamic filmmakers joining us who can speak candidly about both the creative process and their perspectives on the current state of college athletics."

The activities, free and open to the public, are provided by the Sport Management, Marketing and Communication Program in the School of HPER, the School of HPER's Department of Kinesiology, the School of Journalism, the Department of Communication and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences, the IU Sport Marketing Alliance and the IU Sport Communication Club.

ESPN Films' 30 for 30 documentary film series was created to celebrate the sports network's 30th anniversary with films that document sports-related drama that transpired from 1979 to 2009.

More about the activities:

  • 9:30 a.m., Woodburn Hall 101, a screening of The U followed by a Q-and-A with Corben. His film presents a no-holds-barred examination of the building of the University of Miami football dynasty in the 1980s and the cultural impact that the team had on both the city of Miami and the world of college football. The U garnered much critical acclaim upon its 2009 debut, and its premiere airing on ESPN garnered 2.3 million viewers, the most ever for a documentary on the network. For more information, visit
  • 2:30 p.m., Woodburn Hall 120, a discussion by Corben and Matula on documentary filmmaking and college sport. In addition to The U, Corben is well-known for his work on the well-received Cocaine Cowboys documentary series that examined the rise of the drug culture in south Florida in the 1980s. Corben's film Raw Deal: A Question of Consent premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001. His current film, Limelight, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released in September this year. Matula is the maker of eight short films, which have played at film festivals around the world and have aired nationally on PBS. The short film The Dreamer v.2.1 won an award at the International Festival of Cinema & Technology in Paris.
  • 3:30 p.m., Mobley Auditorium at the School of HPER, a screening of Pony Excess followed by a Q-and-A with Matula. The 2010 film, which follows the rise and fall of the Southern Methodist University football program in the 1980s, is Matula's retrospective examination of an out-of-control college athletics culture that ultimately affected university administration and the highest levels of Texas state government -- a story whose grim message is lent added pertinence in light of the recent scandals at Penn State University. Pony Excess was the last film shown in the original run of ESPN's 30 for 30 series. For more information about Pony Excess, visit

For additional information, contact Clavio at 812-855-3367 or