June 26, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The star of the show walked the orange carpet and was joined by the creative team and invited guests for a film premiere Wednesday night at the Regal Riviera Theatre downtown and a reception afterward at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
The folks at ESPN Films were in town to provide an advance screening of "Pat XO," a Nine for IX documentary film chronicling the story of legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.
Directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters and produced by Robin Roberts, Pat XO will premiere on July 9 at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN. Lax and Stern Winters both were on hand to see their finished product makes its screen debut and participated in a question and answer session afterward.
Roberts, one of the co-hosts of ABC's Good Morning America, was unable to make the trip but her thoughts no doubt were in Knoxville with her friend, Summitt.
Pat XO tells the remarkable story of Pat Summitt as it's never been told before. This raw, authentic portrait takes the camera from the filmmaker's hands and places it into those who know her best.
With Tyler Summitt as the lead storyteller, moving recollections are shared by Summitt's assistant coaches, including current Lady Vol head coach Holly Warlick, and players like Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Michelle Marciniak, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, and such admirers as Peyton Manning and Kenny Chesney. Writer and friend Sally Jenkins adds several poignant moments as well.
The archival footage and statistical records woven into the film provide their own insights into a woman who cared about winning but also about elevating her players and her university.
"I am so grateful to ESPN and to my friend Robin Roberts for including me in the Nine for IX documentary series," Pat Summitt said. "It is really special to have this screening in Knoxville to share with my family and friends here in Tennessee.
"I also want to personally thank Regal Entertainment Group and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame for supporting this event and The Pat Summitt Foundation." Regal Entertainment Group, which last week began taping a commercial to air in theaters nationwide this fall, provided the Riviera as the venue for the premiere and partnered with the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame for the post-film gathering.
"Regal Entertainment Group is pleased to have the opportunity to work with ESPN Films to host this exclusive screening of Pat XO at our Regal Riviera Theatre in downtown Knoxville, and to partner with the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame to host the post reception," said Greg Dunn, President and COO for Regal Entertainment Group.
Pat Summitt's career as the winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball had such an impact on elevating women's basketball to its current level while positively affecting young women all over the country. That's why we at Regal wanted to help honor her here at home, and also support her mission to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease."