As part of its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center screened Hoop Dreams this week, leading to a memorable reunion for the filmmakers and subject Arthur Agee.
Pictured here outside the Lincoln Center are (l-r) Fred Marx, Peter Gilbert, Ira Deutchman, Arthur Agee, and Steve James (sadly Will Gates couldn't make it). In 1994, they were present for the film's NYFF premiere, the first time a documentary had ever closed the renowned festival (which it did to great acclaim amid a stunning line-up of films).
To accompany the screening, Film Society of Lincoln Center posted a great assesment of the film's legacy by Gabriel Arce-Rollins. After the event, Wall St. Journal's Kathy Shwiff also recapped the night's highlights, including praise from current NBA star Baron Davis, who stated that Hoop Dreams was “the first film that someone like myself could relate to... It had a big impact on me” and is “something that I cherish to this day."
A further update and recap of the event has just been posted today (June 11th) by Film Linc. In the video Richard Peña reveals how "the basketball movie" almost came to have its world premiere at the '93 NYFF, instead of Sundance '94. The article by Max Nelson also states: "Hoop Dreams is one of the most empathetic, emotionally devastating documentaries in the history of the medium, but it also did what every well-intention doc dreams of: it changed lives."