The highly acclaimed documentary Senna will air on ESPN2 on July 29th as part of a new batch of documentaries that will be announced soon. Ayrton Senna was a three-time Formula One World Champion, tragically killed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. The documentary has been widely praised and it's certainly good news for those of you who share our apprehensiveness on the quiet year the excellent ESPN Films has had thus far. Here's the trailer below:
We've been a bit anxious to hear more as momentum surrounding ESPN's foray into the documentary space has tapered off following the success of 30 for 30. After the initial run of 30 films that spanned the final months of 2009 and all of 2010 (a pace of almost one new film every two weeks), 2011 saw a more methodical schedule of 11 films debuting. More than a third into 2012, ESPN has rolled out three films with The Announcement leading the way and two documentaries (The Dewey Bozella Story and Goose) receiving less attention and promotion and thus flying somewhat under the radar for many.
Today we were relieved to learn the series will continue as ESPN Films will debut "Lolo" later this month on ESPNU about track star Lolo Jones. An inquiry to ESPN also confirmed that 2011 Sundance winner Senna will air on ESPN2 on July 29th at 10 PM. We're also told that soon ESPN Films will announce a new batch of documentaries in conjunction with the promotional Upfronts that take place next week. It will be key that the series continues to find strong sponsor support as sponsors and ratings likely control the trajectory and fate of ESPN Films, despite the critical acclaim the series has garnered.
We spelled out some of the longer term issues affecting ESPN Films as the franchise is still known by most as "30 for 30." While not a major problem, many people wrote to us about how their former DVR season pass for the defunct "30 for 30" was a big time hindrance preventing them from recording and watching the new films. With some of the newer releases not getting the same promotion and lead in programming, I'd imagine there are a lot of people like myself that saw some of the new films fall through the cracks.
With that in mind, I'd like to get Senna on your radars now. I watched the film this past weekend and would go as far as saying it will likely be in my top 5 films I watch in 2012 and perhaps the best racing movie of all time. A brief review is after the jump.