Canadian NBA star Steve Nash made his film debut with his documentary about Terry Fox this past weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.
When ESPN approached the Victoria B.C. native with an opportunity to pitch an idea for their sports documentary series 30 for 30, Fox’s name stood out.
As a six-year-old, the memory of Fox setting out on his inspirational Marathon of Hope in 1980 – watching him run on one leg while battling cancer in hopes of raising awareness – was something the two-time MVP remembers fondly.
With the 30th anniversary of his remarkable accomplishment approaching, Nash felt inclined to spread the legend of Terry Fox.
“We’re not foolish enough to think America’s going to drop everything – because obviously it’s a country with a lot going on,” Nash told the Canadian Press after a screening of the documentary.
“It would just be great if the film could help Terry inspire people like he inspired me.”
The annual event is set for Sept.19. Since 1981, 35 million participants in more than 40 countries around the world have laced up their running shoes for run and raised more than $550 million.
The Toronto crowd got an exclusive preview of the film Into the Wind scheduled to make its television debut in Canada on Sept. 19 on TSN. It will be aired on Sept. 28 in the United States on ESPN and replayed in the great white north on Sept. 30 on CTV.
For Nash, it was exceptionally gratifying to do the documentary as he said it gave him the honour to interview members of Fox’s family.
“It was obviously difficult,” he said to the Canadian Press. “There were some sad moments but still overall it was very celebratory.”
The prolific guard’s partner and co-director, Ezra Holland, discussed how Fox’s story appealed to the duo over stories of other athletes.
“We talked about various athletes [for the documentary] but nothing really kind of seemed to have the draw to us that Terry Fox did,” Holland told the Canadian Press.
This wasn’t the first crack at filmmaking for the seven-time NBA all-star and Holland. They have worked on a number of webisodes for Nike and Vitamin Water with their production company, Meathawk.
After producing their very first film, the two began working on another sports documentary, this one centered on Brazilian soccer legend Pele.
“It’s humbling,” Nash said of the transition between film and basketball. “Obviously I have everything to learn but it’s also amazing to challenge yourself.”