Sidewinder Films has several upcoming projects in the works at varying stages of development. Stay tuned to check on the progress of these films!
“At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal”
For over 30 years, Dr. Larry Nassar worked with athletes – in particular gymnasts – as an athletic trainer and team physician. During that time accusations and mounting evidence grew against Nassar as young women came forward describing the abuse they endured from Nassar while he was supposed to be keeping them healthy and well for competition.
While individuals stepped forward on their own, Nassar was protected and backed by two powerful institutions — Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Both groups failed – on multiple occasions – to take action when victims came forward. Individuals failed to report the abuse to police.
It wasn’t until 2016, after a report by The Indianapolis Star, that the tide began to turn against Nassar. Emboldened by the investigative journalism, victims came forward in groups with lawsuits against Nassar and the institutions which had shielded him for so long.
“At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal” shares the difficult experiences faced by many of Nassar’s victims. Directed by Erin Lee Carr, this documentary explores the weak points in a sports system that allowed a predator to abuse young women for over 30 years despite consistent allegations of abuse.
Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich of Sidewinder Films are executive producers for “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal.”
“Positive All the Way”
Positive All the Way is the next chapter in the narrative of sport serving as a catalyst for social change and progress. Personal interviews and captivating footage illustrate how the growing Paralympic movement is challenging the world’s perception of disability. As the film explores the power of adaptive sport to ignite the human spirit, it simultaneously weaves a tapestry of one man’s journey to bring inclusion and opportunity to the world. Reflecting on his tenure as President of the International Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven recounts his life experiences and battles, including the fall which left him paralyzed at the age of 16. It was these obstacles, paired with his values, that shaped the leader and the Paralympic movement he so clearly loves.
Sir Philip’s dedication to sport and the athletes becomes clear when the Paralympic movement is challenged at the 2016 Rio Games. Faced with a catastrophic shortfall in funds from the Rio organizing committee, Sir Philip refuses to accept the possibility that the Paralympic Games may be canceled. While he works quickly to develop funds for the games, the sports world is shaken by the revelation of Russia’s ongoing state-sponsored doping program. Now the integrity of the Paralympics is compromised. Never one to falter in the face of adversity, Sir Philip holds true to his beliefs and principles to change the course of sports history.
This biopic will take a closer look into the life of tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Not only was he one of the top tennis players of his time, he was also a civil rights advocate and held the remarkable position of being the first black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich of Sidewinder Films are executive producers for Ashe ’68.
“Life After Sports” (working title)
This original documentary by Sidewinder Films (SWF) seeks to explore the value of the amateur and international sports experience. What does participation mean for young women and men facing their post-athletic life? Many experience the elation of competition, which is followed by some disillusionment—a natural part of facing the end of one of life’s chapters. SWF will look at lessons learned by these athletes and by those who stepped in to provide guidance.
As we will discover in the film, many of these athletes have proven themselves to be dedicated to personal achievement and in many cases team loyalty. How can they use these assets in their life to come? Helping athletes is what The Foundation for Global Sports Development is all about. The Foundation has been providing support to young athletes for a quarter century, with much of that support provided through the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). With the backing of the Foundation, SWF will examine this issue with the objective of providing a road map for athletes in transition. In the end, the expectation is that participation sports on the amateur or international level is a great first step into success in life.