Documentary Short to Tell the Inspiring, Untold Stories of Four Athletes Defying the Barriers to Pursue Their Dreams of Competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
SEOUL, Korea - March 14, 2016 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, announced today a partnership with Academy Award® winning filmmaker Morgan Neville ("20 Feet from Stardom"; "Best of Enemies") on "A Fighting Chance", a documentary short that will tell the inspiring, untold stories of four Olympic Games hopefuls on their quest to overcome remarkable odds and obstacles to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The collaboration is part of Samsung's commitment to spread the Olympic spirit by shining a spotlight on these athletes as they relentlessly push the boundaries of what is possible.
The documentary short, slated for release next month, will take viewers on an emotive journey as they are exposed to the unexplored worlds of athletes from three diverse countries - Lesotho, Vanuatu, and the Dominican Republic. Neville traveled thousands of miles to capture the history, ambition and shared passion of these Olympic Games hopefuls, each fighting daily constraints in hopes of seeing the flag of their country fly from the podium in Rio de Janeiro. Similar to its relentless pursuit of innovation that enriches people's lives, Samsung aspires to fuel meaningful progress for the future by sharing these stories.
"I am happy to be working with Samsung to create this documentary film in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Samsung is a brand known around the world, and I've seen the positive impact it can make on not just these athletes, but on others as well," said director Morgan Neville. "If the Olympic Spirit is about overcoming every hurdle and accepting no limits, then I think Samsung is a great ambassador for these values."
A Fighting Chance will introduce the world to the following Olympic Games hopefuls:
- Tsepo Mathibelle (Marathon Running, 24 years old, Lesotho) : In Lesotho, a small country landlocked by South Africa, viewers will meet Tsepo Mathibelle, a determined marathoner running to support his entire family. After finishing in last place at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Tsepo remains steadfast in his quest to win Lesotho's first Olympic medal.
- Miller Pata & Linline Matauatu (Beach Volleyball, 27 and 25 years old, Vanuatu) : In Vanuatu, an island country in the South Pacific which was devastated by Cyclone Pam in 2015, viewers will be introduced to Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu, a beach volleyball team whose everyday tenacity and perseverance is inspiring a generation of Ni-Vanuatu women to think beyond the limits of traditional boundaries and follow their dreams.
- Yenebier Guillén Benitez (Boxing, 75kg, 29 years old, Dominican Republic) : Yenebier Guillén Benitez is a young woman striving to be the first female Olympic medalist from her country, smashing gender barriers with every punch. She is determined to keep the sport legacy alive in her family, following in the footsteps of both her father and grandfather.
Neville, known for his unique ability to make relatively unknown subjects become the stars, took a unique approach to bringing these stories to life through documentary storytelling. He spent time in each athlete's home country, where he conducted intimate interviews with the Olympic Games hopefuls, their coaches, teammates and community members to learn about the ways in which they are breaking the mold and writing history for their countries. He also observed and captured their rigorous training routines - a universal theme of dedication and determination weaving each athlete's journey together under the umbrella of a shared goal: to win an Olympic medal.
"Samsung is in a unique position to tell the untold stories of these athletes because we live the same dreams of being extraordinary and pushing limits to achieve the impossible," said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "As a dedicated Worldwide Olympic Partner, we believe that this film will captivate the world in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, fueling the Olympic Movement overall and shining a spotlight on athletes and countries that many fans would have never known before."
Samsung is constantly striving to connect and help people stay connected, share experiences and create the memories that write history. To enhance each athlete's training and help them stay connected with family, friends and coaches on the road to Rio, they were provided with a variety of Samsung Galaxy mobile products and technology.
Morgan Neville (Director)
Tsepo Mathibelle (Marathon Running, 24 years old, Lesotho)
Miller Pata & Linline Matauatu (Beach Volleyball, 23 and 26 years old, Vanuatu)
Yenebier Guillén Benitez (Boxing, 75kg, 29 years old, Dominican Republic)
About Morgan Neville
Morgan Neville is a documentary filmmaker whose films focus on culture. His acclaimed film 20 Feet From Stardom won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary as well as a Grammy Award for Best Music Film in 2015. His most recent documentary, Best of Enemies, was released by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media in 2015 and was shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Award. Neville has been nominated for three additional Grammys for his films: Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied and Johnny Cash’s America and won an Emmy Award for his film Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues. Neville's non-music films include The Cool School and Beauty Is Embarrassing. His current projects include: The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble, slated to be released by The Orchard in 2016, Chelsea Does, a four-part documentary series to be released in January 2016, and Keith Richards: Under the Influence, recently released in September 2015.
About Samsung's Involvement in the Olympic Games
Samsung began its Olympic Games involvement as a local sponsor of the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. Beginning with the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games, the company extended its commitment to the Olympic Movement as the Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, providing its proprietary wireless communications platform, called Wireless Olympic Works (WOW), and mobile devices. These innovative mobile phone technologies provide the Olympic Family with real-time, user location-based information service, interactive communications, and Samsung Pay. Samsung hosts various Olympic campaigns to share the excitement of the Olympic Games with people around the world and enable everyone to participate in the Games through its innovative mobile technology. Samsung's commitment as a Worldwide Olympic Partner continues through to Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, and Tokyo 2020.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, opening new possibilities for people everywhere through relentless innovation and discovery. We employ 319,000 people across 84 countries. To discover more, please visit our official website at www.samsung.com and Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.