Boise State University is in negotiations with Boise-based filmmakers Michael Hoffman, Heather Rae and Russell Friedenberg for the official documentary and feature film rights for the story on Boise State University s football program and its memorable 2006 perfect season that culminated in its victory at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, university officials announced today. A working agreement is in place but a final contract is pending State Board of Education review.
The roles for the principals are: director Michael Hoffman, a Hollywood filmmaker and Boise State s first Rhodes Scholar; producer Heather Rae, whose highly-acclaimed documentary Trudell was accepted at more than 100 film festivals; and writer/producer Russell Friedenberg, who penned and executive-produced Trudell.
Initially, Boise-based production company Iron Circle Pictures will pursue a full-length documentary, tentatively called Out of the Blue: A Film About Life and Football, for completion in the fall of 2007. The Broncos undefeated campaign with its national coach of the year Chris Petersen and his underdog team captured the imagination of the public in what has been labeled the greatest game in college football history.
Boise State has been a huge part of my life; it s where I began my directing career, Hoffman said. I m excited to be back telling the story of a remarkable group of kids and coaches who made magic in a magical place.
Boise State s story resonates with communities who have seen their sports heroes rise to the occasion and provide a platform for success, Rae said. Their example is inspiring to all of us and we re thrilled to be a part of telling the story.
We are very pleased that these individuals with their immense talent and career accomplishments are involved in telling the inspirational story of the Boise State Broncos, said Bob Kustra, president of Boise State University. Their interest in this project is from the heart as Boise is home for their families, they watched the football season unfold first-hand, and they have ties to the university as alumni or adjunct faculty. This arrangement is a perfect fit.
Hoffman, who has been working in the film industry for 24 years as a director, producer, screenwriter and actor, produced his first film, featuring fellow student Hugh Grant, while a student at Oxford University. A former student body president at Boise State, Hoffman began his career in student productions and in semi-professional stage productions in Idaho.
In 1988, he directed Promised Land, a bleak coming-of-age story developed at the Sundance Institute and starring Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan. Hollywood took notice and Hoffman was given a $25 million budgeted Soapdish (1991) that featured Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg and Elisabeth Shue. Returning to British material, Hoffman then directed Restoration (1995), which won two Oscars. He next helmed the romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996), which paired Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. He wrote the screenplay as well as directed A Midsummer Night s Dream. He directed The Emperor s Club in 2002 and Game 6 in 2005.
Rae has worked in some producing capacity on about 20 documentaries and features during her 17 years in the film industry. Beginning in 1992, she worked 15 years on Trudell which focused on John Trudell, an American Indian activist and poet. Trudell was her directing debut and the film was critically acclaimed at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Rae grew up in Idaho and spent six years as the head of the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. Recent work includes directing Family: The First Circle, a documentary about the foster care system with partners The Priddy Brothers. She is also currently producing Frozen River starring Melissa Leo in March 2007. Rae teaches film studies at Boise State.
A screenwriter, actor and producer, Friedenberg is a Dean s List graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is a co-founder and producing director of the Blue Sphere Alliance Theatre Company in Los Angeles and a charter founder and Board of Trustees member of the New York Performance Alliance in New York City. Friedenberg began his career as a stunt coordinator on the Disney football feature, The Program. His writing and producing credits include Trudell, Ibid, Sawtooth and Family: The First Circle. He teaches film studies at Boise State.