Spike Lee's 'Kobe' to premiere at Tribeca

Doc centers on L.A. Lakers basketball star

Spike Lee's "Kobe Doin' Work," a documentary look at Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, will have its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

An ESPN Films production, the film will screen April 25 as the gala entry in the fest's Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival sidebar.

Featuring a score by Bruce Hornsby, "Kobe" was shot during last year's NBA playoffs when Lee and cinematographer Matthew Libatique spent a day with the Lakers standout.

Following its Tribeca bow, "Kobe" will be televised May 16 on ESPN.

Now in its third year, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival showcases independent films about sports and competition. This year's lineup of eight titles includes films devoted to the Little League of NASCAR, a Swedish men's synchronized swimming team, a baseball hero's return to his Cuban home for the first time in more than 45 years and a teenage debate team from Qatar that travels to Washington for the first time to represent its country.

On May 2, all eight films will be screen at Tribeca Cinemas as part of a Sportsday Marathon.

In addition to "Kobe," the slate includes Jonathan Hock's "Lost Son of Havana," Eric Bana's "Love the Beast," Erez Tadmor and Sharon Maymon's "A Matter of Size" (Sipur Gadol), Marshall Curry's "Racing Dreams," Carlos Cuaron's "Rudo y Cursi," Mans Herngren's "The Swimsuit Issue" (Allt flyter) and Liz Mermin's "Team Qatar."

" 'Kobe Doin' Work' brings together the legendary New York filmmaker Spike Lee and one of the biggest names in sports today, making it the perfect film for our Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Gala," Tribeca executive director Nancy Schafer said.

Added Keith Clinkscales, senior vp ESPN content development and enterprises: "We are proud to kick off the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival with a documentary showcasing not only Spike Lee's fervent love of basketball but our collective commitment to great storytelling. 'Kobe Doin' Work' and the entire sports festival slate speak to the power of film and sports to inspire, motivate and transform."

The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 22-May 3.
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