The Last Gold Chosen as an Official Program Selection for the 2016 LA Film Festi
USA Swimming is proud to announce that the World Premiere of The Last Gold will take place during the 2016 LALA Film Festival Selection (small) Film Festival in Culver City, California, on Monday, June 6. The feature-length documentary is one of only twelve documentary films chosen for this year’s festival.
Considered one of the greatest untold stories in Olympic history, The Last Gold details the heroic efforts of the women’s 1976 U.S. Olympic swim team as they competed against the systematically-doped East Germans. After an entire competition of disappointing results, winning no races and facing critical media that heaped on additional pressure, the U.S. women rallied together to do as a team what they could not do individually – win gold.
The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization, runs from June 1-9. Now in its 22nd year, the Festival showcases the best of American and international cinema and is recognized as a world-class event with participation from the most critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals and emerging talent from around the world.
“USA Swimming is extremely proud to have produced this documentary on the 40-year anniversary of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games,” said Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming and Executive Producer of The Last Gold. “Being accepted to the LA Film Festival gives us a great outlet to start sharing this important piece of Olympic history that not many know about.”
The film is directed by 15-time Emmy winner Brian T. Brown and narrated by Emmy Award-winning actressLA Film Festival poster (medium) Julianna Margulies, one of TIME Magazine’s "100 Most Influential People in the World" for 2015. Margulies also starred in NBC’s long running drama, ER and is now the star of The Good Wife on CBS.
"This film was truly a labor of love and it was a privilege to be a part of telling one of the most amazing untold stories in Olympic history,” said Brown. “This film is about a great struggle and a shining triumph that is as resonant as ever and, at long last, deserves to be heard."
The 2016 LA Film Festival’s diverse slate includes 56 feature films, 58 short films and 13 short episodic works representing 28 countries. The Festival’s five competitions feature 42 World Premieres.
“We are honored to share a story that is so important to the history of swimming and to the women who were affected,” said Mike Unger, Assistant Executive Director of USA Swimming and Co-Producer of The Last Gold. “The perseverance by the U.S. women’s team to maintain their focus throughout the competition and to make a comeback on that final relay was amazing.”
The Last Gold tells the remarkable stories by the pioneering members of ’76 U.S. Olympic swimming team, who set numerous American and would-be world records and with resilience competed at the most elite level in the face of adversity.
Shirley Babashoff, a member of the ‘76 relay team featured in the film, is considered one of the greatest female swimmers of all time. Babashoff set six world records and earned a total of eight individual Olympic medals throughout her career. In 1982, Babashoff was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an ‘Honor Swimmer’ and in 2005 she received the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic Movement.
“Representing my country as an Olympic athlete is something I’m very proud of and being a part of this film has been a tremendous experience,” said Babashoff. “My hope is that our story remains impactful and that what we experienced will never be forgotten.”
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