Film Forum Series: "Heart of the Game"

08/21/2006

Contributed by Thomas Shevory

On August 25, 7th Arts Corporation and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film festival will present the third film in its ongoing Film Forum Series. "Heart of the Game" is the true story of a Seattle girls’s basketball coach and his team’s star player. A discussion will follow.

When Seattle filmmaker Ward Serrill met Bill Resler, a college tax professor who moonlights as a girls' basketball coach, he didn't realize that he was about to embark on an incredible seven-year journey. Serrill, camera in hand, followed Resler into the Roosevelt High School gym to discovered a group of tough, passionate, and energetic girls. Then, one day, onto the Roughriders' court (and into the film) walked Darnellia Russell – a tough, inner-city girl whose off-court struggles would eventually threaten to crash the star athlete's plans to play college ball and be the first person in her family to get a college education. At the center of "The Heart of the Game" is Darnellia's unforgettable true story – the loss of her eligibility and her legal battle to get back on court to play the game that means everything to her. With Coach Resler, her team and her family standing by her side, she takes on enormous personal obstacles as well as the ruling body of high school sports in Washington State.

After the screening, three speakers with expertise in critical sports studies will respond to the film and lead an audience discussion: Roger Richardson, Steven Mosher, and Ellen Staurowsky. Dr. Richardson is assistant vice president of Student Affairs/Campus Life at Ithaca College. He has been a member of the City of Ithaca Board of Education, and a central figure in the debate on high school sports and academics. Dr. Staurowsky is a professor and graduate chair in the Department of Sport Management and Media at Ithaca College. She is a scholar of international reputation who has devoted her career to addressing issues of social justice in sport. Dr. Mosher is the coordinator of the Sport Studies program in Ithaca College's Department of Sport Management and Media. A former high school and youth sport coach, Mosher also teaches the "Youth Sport in America" and "Experiencing College Athletics" courses at the college.

The screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Fall Creek Theatre. Tickets are on sale at 6:30 p.m. For details, see the 7th Art website: http://www.cinemapolis.com/home.asp

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