12:00pm SUNDAY, 9/30
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(Documentary, United States) Despite the growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, the sports world continues to be an unsettling environment for many LGBTQ people and one of the final frontiers for LGBTQ equality. In the five major North American professional leagues – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS, – where statistically we would expect hundreds of openly gay athletes, there is not a single openly gay male professional athletes currently competing.
Alone in the Game exposes the dark side of sports – the homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination – that affect not only closeted athletes, but also their teams and the very institution of sport in America. Examining the ‘old boys club’ of professional, collegiate, and high school athletics, the documentary combines the voices of sports’ pioneers, such as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and former ESPN President John Skipper, with the experiences of world-class athletes, such as NBA center Jason Collins, NFL linemen Ryan O’Callaghan, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, and Olympic medalists Gus Kenworthy and Megan Rapinoe; as well as three closeted athletes, who have to decide whether they are ready to come out and live their truth with the possibility of it destroying their career dreams and relationships with family, friends, teammates and coaches. The film captures rarely seen stories of struggle, perseverance, and triumph, delivering a message of hope and promoting understanding to ensure that the culture of exclusion changes.
RATING: Intended for Teen Audiences or older
Director: Natalie Metzger
Award-winning director and producer, Natalie Metzger explores the dark and surreal side of human nature with her visually rich and thoughtful work. Her work has been showcased in over 60 festivals around the world, receiving more than a dozen awards.
Metzger’s directing credits include feature documentaries THE LAST CLOSET (an AT&T Original) and SPECIAL BLOOD (Dolores Huerta Award for Best Director at Long Beach Indie Festival, Best Feature Documentary at California Women’s Film Festival, and Best Woman Filmmaker at Chandler International Film Festival); public service announcement TOPLESS WOMEN TALK NFL (featured in Washington Post, Huffington Post, Vice and winner of Aurora Award – Platinum Best of Show and Telly Award – Silver); short films BARELY (Best Director – L-Dub Film Festival); ARENA (Best Experimental Film at California Women’s Film Festival and Best Music Video at Silent River Film Festival); FOR WATER (Best Short and Best Experimental Film nominations at Female Eye Film Festival); SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING (Official Selection of International Video Festival of Burgundy, Jacksonville Dance Film Festival, Third Coast Dance Film Festival); AFTERIMAGE (Official Selection of California Women’s Film Festival, Jacksonville Dance Film Festival, Opine Film Festival, Equinox Film Festival); and commercials for CAMP KESEM (Aurora Award – Platinum Best of Show and Telly Award) and VERDI CHORUS (Aurora Award – Platinum Best of Show).
Metzger’s feature film producing credits include THUNDER ROAD (starring Jim Cummings); EMMA’S CHANCE (starring Greer Grammer, Missi Pyle, & Joey Lawrence; distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment); BLACK WATER (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme & Dolph Lundgren); and ARLO THE BURPING PIG (starring Jennifer Taylor & Joey Lawrence; distributed by Lionsgate). She also produced the Fullscreen Original series THE MINUTES COLLECTION (Official Selection of Atlanta Film Festival & Nashville Film Festival); the YouTube Red Original series MATPAT’S GAME LAB (winner of a Streamy Award for Best Virtual Reality series and nominated for Best NonFiction series); the Topic Original series STILL LIFE (Vimeo staff pick and Official Selection of Hollyshorts Film Festival); the Fullscreen series LIVING ROOMS (starring Alyx Weiss); virtual reality miniseries GLOBAL GAMER (over 2 million views); and the upcoming series LOVECRAFT ANIMATED (starring Ed Asner). Some of her short producing credits include THE ROBBERY (Official Selection of Sundance Film Festival and SXSW); THE ARRIVAL (Jury Award at Napa Valley Film Festival and Audience Award at Chicago Critics Film Festival); A SUDDEN DEPARTURE (Best Short at Mindfield Film Festival); PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK (Official Selection of Bare Bones Film Festival, Dragon Con Film Festival, and Chicago Horror Film Festival); and SACRAMENT (Most Controversial Film Award at L-Dub Film Festival).
Also an accomplished writer, Metzger won the Gold Prize at the Page International Screenwriting Awards for her sci-fi script IMMORTAL.
Metzger holds a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude and received the Sudler Award in the Arts and the Pioneer Award.