Greg Louganis Film to Premiere at AFI Docs
Award-winning filmmakers, director Cheryl Furjanic ("Sync or Swim") and producer Will Sweeney ("The Royal Tenenbaums"), announced their feature-length documentary film "Back on Board: Greg Louganis" will make its world premiere at the AFI DOCS Film Festival on Friday, June 20th at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
"Back on Board" is an intimate, present-day portrait of the private struggles and public triumphs of trailblazing openly gay Olympic champion, Greg Louganis. The filmmakers have been working closely with Louganis since 2011 on the production of the film. A refreshingly candid documentary, "Back on Board" follows Louganis over the past three years as he struggles with financial security and reunites with the sport he once dominated but never felt entirely welcome in. The threat of losing his house forces Louganis to re-evaluate the choices, relationships, and missed opportunities of his career.
"What the public saw during the Olympics was pretty powerful. But, what was going on behind the scenes, I think was even more incredible," said Greg Louganis. "This documentary captures that. It also captures what life is life for elite athletes long after their last competitions."
With unprecedented access, "Back on Board" reveals the complicated life of an athlete whose grace, beauty, and courage sparked a worldwide fascination with diving. It chronicles Louganis’ rise from a difficult upbringing to nearly universal acclaim as the greatest diver ever, and from pioneering openly gay athlete with HIV to an overlooked sports icon. "Back on Board" is the engrossing story of an American legend as he re-emerges on the world stage to combat prejudice, promote tolerance, and return to the diving world after a long period of absence to act as a mentor to the next generation.
"Before Jason Collins, before Michael Sam, Greg Louganis was blazing trails. His story is touches on so many important moments in American history including the Olympics, the AIDS epidemic, the gay rights movement, and even the recent home foreclosure crisis " said producer Will Sweeney. "Greg’s return to diving gave us a natural way to tell his unique story and explore his enduring legacy."
"As an openly gay filmmaker, I’ve always admired Greg and I saw this as an opportunity to reintroduce his story to the world; he has seen life’s highest highs and lowest lows and his incredible resilience has so much to teach us all," said director Cheryl Furjanic.