2020 Sports Production

Here is the shortlist for our 2020’s Sports Production category, recognising uses of archival footage in sports-focused productions. Productions for any media platform, which use footage of any sports, are eligible for this award. Productions can include documentaries; docudramas, shorts, trailers, adverts.

Diego Maradona

Director: Asif Kapadia
Archive Researcher(s): Lina Caicedo, Fiammetta Luino
Archival Sources: Diego Maradona, Teche Rai, FIFA, Julie Italia S.R.L, Radio y Television Argentina S.E
Production Company: On The Corner
Country of Production: United Kingdom
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmm7r4ynyIQ

Synopsis: On 5th July 1984, Diego Maradona arrived in Naples for a world-record fee. The world’s most celebrated football icon and the most passionate but dangerous city in Europe were a perfect match for each other. The third film from the multi-award winning team behind Senna and Amy, and producer Paul Martin, Diego Maradona is constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from Maradona’s own archive.

Archival highlights: Asif Kapadia’s third appearance in the FOCAL Awards after Amy and Senna sets its sights on Maradona in the familiar fashion, drawing from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage in search of unguarded moments.

I Am Durán

Director: Mat Hodgson
Archive Researcher(s): Daniel Glynn, Patrick Nathanson, James Hunt
Archival Sources: Top Rank, Don King, AP, Getty, Boxing Hall of Fame
Production Company: Ad Hoc Films
Country of Production: United Kingdom, United States, Panama
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXpH74OxYjk

Synopsis: Roberto Durán is a boxing behemoth, a fighter ranked as one of the most entertaining, controversial and finest of all time. I Am Durán tells his story, inextricably interwoven with the story of the nation of Panama. Durán’s impact transcended his sport. Born a fighter, his success transformed him into an icon. But it was his flaws and failures that made him a man.

Archival highlights: Archival footage of the political developments in Panama City that form the backdrop to Durán’s stay there, and this film negotiated the use of footage overseen by controversial promoters Bob Arum and Don King.


Director: Jenna Ricker
Archive Researcher(s): Connie Honeycutt, Nina Krstic, Greg Stuhr
Archival Sources: ABC Sports, IMS Museum, First Turn Productions, Rare Sports Footage – Doak Ewing, Janet Guthrie Personal Archives
Production Company: ESPN Films
Country of Production: United States
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5TyfpeN41c

Synopsis: In 1977, a 39-year-old aerospace engineer attempted to qualify for the world’s most famous race, the Indianapolis 500. In the face of scorn and skepticism, and saddled with subpar equipment, Janet Guthrie shocked the racing world. The reluctant feminist-turned-trailblazer became the first woman to earn a place on the starting grid at Indy, among 33 of the world’s greatest drivers. But just as her career should have rocketed forward, it suddenly, inexplicably stalled.

Archival highlights: Qualified delves into the career of an overlooked figure in the racing world, and this production sifted through hours of material searching for appearances of her that were prior unlabelled as such.