Head Games, the Film

From acclaimed director Steve James (Academy Award-nominated "Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters"), HEAD GAMES is a revealing documentary about the silent concussion crisis in American sports. Athletes from the professional to the youth levels share their personal struggles in dealing with the devastating and long-term effects of concussions, an epidemic fueled by the 'leave everything on the field' culture so prominent in American sport.

Inspired by events from the book 'Head Games' written by former Ivy League Football Player and WWE Wrestler Christopher Nowinski, the film contrasts eye-opening evidence and cutting-edge science on head trauma from the nation’s leading medical experts with first-hand accounts from the athletes, coaches, and parents who must tread the difficult balance between sports excellence and basic self-preservation.

[PG-13 Film rating] [Crowd noises] [Whistle blowing] [♫Slow music playing♫] [From the director of Hoop Dreams] [More crowd noises] It's been known for a long time that banging your head over and over and over and over again can be a bad thing. [Christopher Nowinski] What I remember, I hit the ground, and I forgot where we were. I forgot what we were doing in the ring; I forgot what was coming next. I had been gladly exposing myself to repetitive brain trauma, concussions, for 19 years. Members of the committee, this Friday night over a million kids will take to the football field. I am certain that radical measures are needed for football to continue safely. [Rep. Maxine Waters] No matter what kind of helmet you build, it is a dangerous sport. [Owen Daniel Brearley Thomas] [Sept. 30, 1988–April 26, 2010] The co-captain of the Penn football team committed suicide. He had 20 areas of his brain that were falling apart that were all going to keep spreading. [The public health issue of our time] [Male announcer] Wow! Primeau got leveled! I know that I damaged my brain; I don't know where I am 10 years from now; I don't know where I am 20 years from now. After I had my first concussion, every time I would do heading I would see stars. I was just like, oh my God, my head hurts so bad. She didn't pull herself out of the game, she didn't tell the coach, and she didn't tell us. I got hit from behind. People said I was on the ice for like 4 or 5 minutes. I don't even remember 20 seconds of it. That's your brain. How much of you are you going to put on the line for a game? [Bob Costas] But what's the level of acceptable risk, and what's the level of reasonable reform? If you only have 1 out of every 100 kids getting diagnosed with a concussion, you're missing them, and your kids are at terrible risk. I might look back and say I wished I had stopped him after this last concussion. He loves to play hockey, and we love watching him play hockey. I believe you just have to protect them as much as you can and pray. [Crowd noises] [Whistle blowing and cheering] [Head Games] [Get the facts at headgamesthefilm.com]
Posted on BrainLine September 13, 2012.

Excerpted from HEAD GAMES, Variance Films. Inspired by events from the book 'Head Games' written by former Ivy League Football Player and WWE Wrestler Christopher Nowinski. Used wtih permission.

DIRECTOR: Steve James

PRODUCED BY: Bruce Sheridan and Steve James

FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH: Christopher Nowinski, Bob Costas (NBC Sports), Keith Primeau (NHL All-Star), Cindy Parlow Cone (Olympic Soccer Gold Medalist), Dr. Robert Cantu (Boston University), Dr. Ann McKee, Dr. Doug Smith.

MPAA RATING: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving sports violence and injuries

OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.headgamesthefilm.com

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/headgamesthefilm

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/headgamesfilm

VARIANCE FILMS PRESS MATERIALS: http://www.variancefilms.com/headgamespress.html