Over the weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF). Atlanta Film Festival 365 dates back 36 years, and offers year-round programs to filmmakers, film-lovers, and other established professionals. The ATLFF is one of the longest-running festivals in the country, and one of two-dozen Academy Award qualifying festivals. That alone says a lot about this event. This year, the ATLFF ran from March 15th through March 24th, and included several screenings and networking opportunities for the attendees.
My ATLFF experience involved a screening of Losing LeBron, a documentary about the impact of LeBron James signing to the Miami Heat. The documentary was directed by Allyson Sherlock and Nicole Hart and produced by Allyson Sherlock, Nicole Hart, Maria Menuous and Keven Undergaro. As a fan of basketball and a witness to “The Decision”, I was eager to watch this film. I have to say that I was really impressed. The film documented the loss of LeBron James through the perspective of the Cleveland Cavaliers fans. I haven’t watched any films that captured this perspective. A lot of the world, myself included, only saw the Cavaliers fans bashing and spewing hate towards James after his announcement. This factor is what convinced me to see what this film was about. With that said, I have to admit that I learned a lot about the city of Cleveland as well as what it means to be a Cleveland sports fan.
Losing LeBron consists of several in-depth interviews with Cavaliers fans, which also included some insight on what it’s like to be a resident of Cleveland. It was refreshing to see the film-makers incorporate a few themes into this documentary thus capturing different angles of perception surrounding James’ decision. This film was not solely about basketball nor was it about fans who hate LeBron. Without giving away too much, the documentary takes you on a ride through Cleveland by showing the harsh conditions of living in the city, and why there is so much emphasis placed on loyalty towards their sports teams. I now have a better understanding why some of the Cavaliers fans were deeply disturbed and upset at LeBron’s decision. While I don’t blame him for leaving, I have to admit that after watching the documentary, I too was a little put off by his choice to call his announcement “The Decision.” If you don’t understand that correlation then you definitely should watch the documentary to find out.
Whether you’re a fan of LeBron or just a fan of basketball, I recommend that you inquire about this film. I think this documentary will enlighten those who are unfamiliar with Cleveland’s history, and shed light on certain things that transpired around James’ departure. The stories in this documentary are told with passion, humor, and clarity. All of which make this hour-long documentary definitely worth watching.
For further information on Losing Lebron, please visit the following links.