As NBA fans wait to see if Phil Jackson can return the New York Knicks to glory, a new film looks to beat him to the punch.
The actor-filmmaker Michael Rapaport is set to debut his documentary movie “When the Garden Was Eden” at the Tribeca Film Festival next month as part of its ESPN Sports Film Festival section.
Fest organizers announced the news Thursday, saying the world premiere will kick off the sports confab on April 17.
Rapaport’s movie looks at the Knicks teams that won a pair of titles in the early 1970s and includes interviews with Clyde Frazier, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and — of course — Jackson himself.
The slate for the fest-within-a-fest is usually a solid one, with last year’s event kicking off with Kevin Connolly’s well-regarded New York Islanders film “Big Shot.” Many of the films, such as “Garden,” are part of ESPN"s “30 for 30” series and will air on the network.
Other events or screenings announced for this year's Tribeca, which begins April 16, include “Maradona ’86, about the complicated Argentinian soccer legend; a conversation between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield; the Greg LeMond nonfiction pic “Slaying the Badger”; and “Next Goal Wins,” about the international American Samoa soccer team, a club so bad it hasn’t won a game in more than two decades and once saw its goalie give up 31 goals in a single match.
Of course, futility isn’t limited to the soccer pitch. Of the “Garden” movie, ESPN Films director of development Libby Geist said it offers “an inside look at the captivating era when the New York Knicks were in their prime.” For now, that’s a deep period piece, or a science-fiction one.