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ESPN film has ties
to KC, The Landmark
30 for 30 focuses on SungWoo to KC

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

There’s an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 short documentary that will be of particular interest to Royals fans and to readers of The Landmark.

The 30-minute documentary entitled #BringBackSungWoo tells the unlikely story of SungWoo Lee, a South Korean Royals fan who captured the imagination of an entire city during the wildest Royals’ season of all time. SungWoo Lee had befriended many Royals fans on Twitter, including The Landmark’s own Chris Kamler, who was intrumental in Lee’s trip to the states and in organizing his visit while here. Kamler has an appearance in the documentary.

Kamler authored and published a book about SungWoo’s trip to Kansas City during the Royals’ magical season entitled The Silence, The Series and The Season of SungWoo. The book is available at Amazon.com, kamlerbook.com and at The Landmark office in Platte City for a price of only $20.

30 for 30 is the umbrella title for a series of documentary films airing on ESPN and its sister networks and online properties. The series highlights important people and events in the sports world and in sports history. 30 for 30 includes three "volumes" of 30 episodes each, a 13-episode series under the ESPN Films Presents title in 2011–2012, and a series of 30 for 30 Shorts shown through the ESPN.com website.

The SungWoo 30 for 30 short is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN in early October, in time for this year’s Royals playoff run.

The documentary is directed by Josh Swade, a native of Kansas City.

The film’s premiere will take place Monday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Union Station’s Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, 30 Pershing Road, Kansas City. The premiere is presented by the Kansas City FilmFest.

A red carpet ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. The red carpet portion of the evening will include Swade and Anthony Behn conducting interviews.

The screening of the documentary takes place at 7 p.m. Immediately following the screening, Swade hosts a Q&A with the audience, which will include a live satellite interview from SungWoo Lee from South Korea.

Tickets to the premiere event are complimentary but are limited and require an RSVP. Visit Facebook.com/KCFilmFest for more information regarding tickets.

Josh Swade is a documentary filmmaker best known for his work in the sports and music genres. #BringBackSungWoo marks his third film for the award winning 30 for 30 series and second as a director. He directed the 30 for 30 "There's No Place Like Home," and wrote the corresponding book, The Holy Grail of Hoops: One Fan's Quest to Buy the Original Rules of Basketball.

Swade was a producer of the ESPN film, "Arthur and Johnnie," which won the network's first primetime Emmy Award for the series. In 2014, he directed the Rolling Stone Film "Rick Was Here," which follows legendary music producer Rick Rubin as he returns for the first time in three decades to his old New York University dorm room, where he founded the iconic Def Jam Records. The film was nominated for the 2015 ASME, the magazine industry's most prestigious award. He has also produced and directed short films on The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson and more.

Swade spent years in live television as a producer of The ESPYS and NFL Honors award shows. He is currently the executive producer of Rolling Stone Films in New York City, where he resides.

The Kansas City FilmFest is the city's largest and longest running film festival. Entering its 20th year, it presents juried and curated films, featuring more than 100 local, regional, national and international films, and proudly presented by the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee. Throughout its history, the FilmFest has brought in more than 200 top filmmakers from around the world to share their work and insights.