Documentary on U.S. Olympic Diving Coach, 'Hobie's Heroes,' Honored in China

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One of the most acclaimed documentaries about the sport of diving, "Hobie's Heroes - 25th Anniversary Edition," was awarded a jury prize at the First Beijing International FICTS Festival. The five-day event featured sports films from around the world and was part of Beijing International Sports Film Week.

One of the most acclaimed documentaries about the sport of diving, "Hobie's Heroes - 25th Anniversary Edition," was awarded a jury prize last week at the First Beijing International FICTS Festival. The five-day event featured sports films from around the world and was part of Beijing International Sports Film Week.

During the past two years, "Hobie's Heroes" has also been honored at film festivals in Italy, India, Iran, Poland, and Serbia.

"Hobie's Heroes" tells the inspirational story of young divers striving to become champions under the guidance of Hobie Billingsley, who coached six Olympic medalists and is one of the most significant figures in the history of diving. Filmmaker Steven Montgomery commented on the recent prize in Beijing: "It is most unusual for a 25-year-old film to still be receiving acclaim. It was a special honor for 'Hobie's Heroes,' to be recognized in China, a country that has so many of the greatest diving champions in the world."

Festival Coordinator Amelia Lee commented on the impact of the film, saying: "The jury and audiences in Beijing felt 'Hobie's Heroes' was well-produced in the finest tradition of documentary making. Good use of narrative and close-up angles enabled the audience to be touched and to feel the emotions of the divers."

Originally released in 1980, "Hobie's Heroes" was widely televised in the United States on PBS, Nickelodeon and on the USA Network. Twenty-five years later, Montgomery located Mr. Billingsley and the divers and asked them to participate in an updating of the documentary for release as a DVD. The resulting bonus feature, "Updates on the Divers," demonstrates how diving and training with Mr. Billingsley has affected their lives and careers.

An additional bonus feature shows Mr. Billingsley reciting the Judges' Oath at the spectacular opening ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, and also contains an assessment of the documentary by Mr. Billingsley. "The images of the film are breathtaking," he says. "Hobie's Heroes shows everything I was trying to do and hoped for in my career as a coach. I have never found the film to age, for its message is as pure as it was when it was first made."

Filmmaker Montgomery attributes much of the success of the film to the talents and dedication of Barbara Wolver, the editor/production manager, and Tony Cucchiari, the cinematographer. The documentary's musical score was written by Randall Courts and produced by Desmond Child, who also contributed vocals to the sound track.

"Hobie's Heroes - 25th Anniversary Edition" is dedicated to the memory of diver Katy Mulflur (1961-1983) and has been honored at the following film festivals:

1st Beijing International FICTS Festival (2009)
1st Belgrade International FICTS Festival (2009)
7th Tehran International Sports Movies & TV Festival (2008)
II International FICTS Festival of Sports & TV Programs; Poland (2008)
25th Milano International FICTS Festival (2007)
Sport Movies & TV India FICTS Festival (2007)
(please note: FICTS is the Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs)

For more information or to obtain a preview DVD, please contact:     

Steven Montgomery
400 West 43rd Street, #34A
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-736-9279
http://www.hobiesheroes.com

Hobie's Heroes is available for purchase at http://www.hobiesheroes.com.

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STEVEN MONTGOMERY
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