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NEW DOCUMENTARY BY AWARD-WINNING TEAM TO EXAMINE THE FIRST ACT OF MODERN TERRORISM: THE MUNICH ’72 OLYMPIC MASSACRE AND WHAT IT MEANS TODAY
Foundation for Global Sports Development Teams with Power Duo: Producer Stephen Crisman and Former Nat Geo Channel Programming Head Michael Cascio For Fall 2015 Film
Los Angeles, Calif. – February 26, 2015 – An award-winning production team today announced the development of a new heavy-hitting theatrical documentary short to examine what is widely considered the first act of modern terrorism: the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Called “Munich 1972 & Beyond” (working title), the film’s creative partner is the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD).
Producer Stephen Crisman, whose credits include documentaries for A&E, MSNBC and “60 Minutes,” will work with Executive Producer Michael Cascio — four-time Emmy winner and former programming chief at National Geographic Channel, as well as A&E, and MSNBC — to bring new research and information to the film, exclusive interviews and fresh perspective in the midst of ongoing headline-grabbing terrorist attacks such as Charlie Hebdo.
Producers from GSD include internationally recognized sports psychologist Dr. Steven Ungerleider, author of “Faust’s Gold” and “Mental Training;” and GSD President David Ulich, who has worked closely with the American Film Institute and the Annenberg Foundation. Ungerleider and Ulich conceived of the film idea and will be an integral part of the creative and production team. They have 35 years of experience consulting with the Olympic Committee and working on high-profile Olympic-related cultural activities.
The film, scheduled for release later this fall, will explore the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes within the context of a new memorial under construction in Munich, an initiative undertaken by the Bavarian government to bring a sense of closure to this 43-year drama. It will unravel why and how the attack happened, its aftermath, and its importance in 2015 and beyond. A theatrical release is planned along with a wide educational distribution and ultimately global television partners around the world.
“The Munich Olympics forever changed our world, but there are millions of people who don’t remember,” said Crisman. “Now is the time to fully examine the catalyst to modern terrorism with wide open eyes, new research and hard-hitting questions that are revealing and relevant for today — especially in the wake of Charlie Hebdo and other attacks.”
“I’ve never shied away from strong topics,” said Cascio, whose work has covered the Holocaust to 9/11. “Munich will be that rare, exceptional film that the world should watch. And with the upcoming memorial being constructed, there’s finally the international will and cooperation to tell the story as it deserves to be told.”
“Forty-two years later, the Munich attack is merely a historical footnote,” said Ungerleider. “We need to come to terms with this horrific trauma before any healing can take place.”
According to Ulich, “The Olympic movement represents the highest ideals of peace and athleticism, and this film will ideally find out not only how the event failed to live up to those standards, but how we’re dealing with it now to make sure it never happens again.”
About Stephen Crisman
Steven Crisman is a director and producer is an award-winning documentary producer, writer and director, whose prestigious programs have aired on CBS “60 Minutes,” A&E, History, MSNBC, and Food Network. His work includes in-depth television documentaries on Bob Dylan, Eugene O’Neill, gun control, Swiss banking, Nazi gold, Alcoholics Anonymous, and American history. Crisman Films has an Emmy award, seven Emmy nominations, multiple Cable Ace and Banff nominations, and screenings at the Berlin Film Festival and several others. Crisman’s production team includes Jennilyn Merten, an independent documentary filmmaker whose award-winning projects, such as “Sons of Perdition,” have aired on BBC, HBO, OWN and PBS, examining provocative questions of personal and social identity. Her work has also been shown at the Tribeca and Toronto film festivals.
About Michael Cascio
With four Emmys, two Oscar nominations and a “Producer of the Year” award, Cascio has a noteworthy career in documentary TV programming. As National Geographic Channel’s EVP, Programming, he was the driving force behind many important and successful programs, including the record-breaking “Inside 9/11,” the award-winning “Restrepo,” and the recent mini-series, “The ‘90s: The Last Great Decade?” As EVP/GM at Animal Planet, Cascio delivered record ratings and hit shows. He’s most recognized for his work at A&E, supervising the award-winning “Biography” series, as well as “Investigative Reports,” “City Confidential” and documentaries such as “Titanic: Death of a Dream.” He was VP at NBC News, creating a documentary strategy for MSNBC. Among his accolades, Cascio was cited in Entertainment Weekly’s “It List,” as one of the most creative people in the media. Cascio now advises selected media and production partners through his company, M&C Media LLC.
About Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich
Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich serve as executive board members to GSD. Both have worked closely with the Olympic movement for many decades. Dr. Ungerleider has written several books on Olympic topics, including the best-selling “Faust’s Gold: Inside the East German Doping Machine,” which examined the 30-year doping activities of the late East German regime and was made into an award-winning film. Ulich and Ungerleider have designed prevention-based programs for youth at risk, including a mentorship outreach taking youngsters to the Olympic Games.
About The Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSP)
Working closely with international sports federations, generous donors and committed athletes, The Foundation for Global Sports Development promotes sportsmanship, education, fair play and ethics among the world’s youth. The Foundation gives special emphasis to groups and communities that are most in need or most underserved by current programs, including women, minorities and youth in areas where the risk of delinquency is particularly high.
Visit www.globalsportsdevelopment.org to learn more.
Here’s a video summary of the incident:
And legendary ABC sportscaster Jim McKay discussing his memories of covering the event:
Image: YouTube screenshot