Film about struggling Hoosier basketball team to make statewide theatrical premiere at IU Cinema

Nov. 7, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A documentary about a small town in Jackson County, Ind., will make its statewide theatrical premiere on IU Cinema's big screen this month.

"Medora" tells the story of the state's worst basketball team over the course of its 2011 season, capturing the players' stories both on and off the court -- a struggle to compete that echoes their community's own fight for survival amid closing businesses, a dwindling population, rampant drug use and the potential for school consolidation.

The documentary, whose producers include Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, made its world premiere earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Filmmakers Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart got the idea for their documentary after reading a 2009 story in The New York Times about the tiny high school's perseverance, sparking a visit to the community of about 500 people.

"What would it be like, we wondered, to live in a state where basketball means everything and play for a team that never wins? And what is lost when our country's small towns fade off the map?" Rothbart told Filmmaker Magazine. "At the end of the night, standing in a gentle snow on empty Main Street, we looked at each other and agreed: As passionate basketball fans, documentary film junkies and proud Midwesterners, a movie about Medora was one we were born to make."

Angelo Pizzo, writer and producer of "Hoosiers" fame, is scheduled to introduce the Nov. 21 premiere. Both Rothbart and Cohn are expected to attend all four screenings of "Medora" at IU Cinema. Times are 7 p.m. Nov. 21, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 23 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 24.

"We are extremely excited to bring 'Medora' to IU Cinema, just miles away from where the movie was filmed," Cohn said. "We think the people of Indiana will love this film."

All tickets for the Nov. 21 premiere are $10, while those for the three additional screenings are $3 for IU Bloomington students and $6 for members of the public. Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; one hour before any screening at the cinema; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order.