ASHE ’68, the immersive VR film about Arthur Ashe’s triumphant win at the 1968 U.S. Open has been nominated for an Emmy by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) 40th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards. The eight-minute documentary short is featured in the Outstanding Digital Innovation category, and will be honored at the May 20th ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.
ASHE ’68 will also have its New York Premiere at ‘Tribeca Immersive,’ the virtual and augmented reality storytelling section of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is featured in the Cinema 360: Change is Gonna Come program, and is among the first selection of VR films to screen at Tribeca’s new Cinema 360 VR theater. The film officially premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, and previewed at the 2018 U.S. Open as part of the 50th Anniversary of Ashe’s win.
Arthur Ashe made history by becoming the first African-American to win the U.S. Open Tennis Championship in 1968. He devoted the remainder of his life to fighting injustice and raising awareness of the black experience in America.
“Arthur Ashe used his U.S. Open Championship to advocate for social change and he devoted his life to social justice and human rights,” said Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co. “Our Virtual Reality film immerses the viewer into the mind of Mr. Ashe and the challenges he faced on the day he won his first US Open.”
This unique, cutting-edge VR experience weaves together 360° video re-creations, archival material, and evocative, never-before-seen 360° sand animation to tell Ashe’s story and captures his internal pressures. Viewers are pulled into his world, and experience everything from the pre-match press conference where reporters obsessed over his race, to his winning match point.
ASHE ’68 is directed by Emmy-nominated Brad Lichtenstein of Custom Reality Services (CRS), and co-directed by Rex Miller and Jeff Fitzsimmons. Oak Street Pictures’ Beth Hubbard serves as Producer, with Renee Frigo as Executive Producer. John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co. are Executive Producers. Original music by Vernon Reid (founding member of Grammy award-winning rock group, Living Colour), and world-ranked tennis pro Chris Eubanks plays Arthur Ashe. The Foundation for Global Sports Development, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and Sports Illustrated are supporting partners.