The first thing a writer learns in journalism class is “Don’t bury the lead.” In the first two or three paragraphs of a story, tell your readers why you’re writing the story. I imagine the same theory holds true in film school. Early on, tell viewers why they purchased a ticket to see your production. On Friday in Hollywood, “Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story” made its theatrical debut. It must run for a week in Los Angeles and New York to receive consideration for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Film category.
Nearly 10 years in the making, “Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story” is ready for its debut. The documentary, which is based on the life of former Vista High and University of Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese, will open in Los Angeles and New York on Friday for a week-long run that is required for a possible Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary category.
Aunese is a former CU quarterback who passed away on Sept. 23, 1989, in Boulder after a fight with inoperable stomach cancer. The film, which has been years in the making, portrayed the life of a young man who grew up in Oceanside, Calif., destined for greatness on the field. Raised in a tight-knit Samoan family, Aunese was a star player in his youth and in high school. The film captures footage from throughout Aunese's career and also features interviews with several members of his family, past teammates and coaches in high school and college and his close friends from Boulder.
An exhilarating sports documentary film about the first NCAA Samoan quarterback, Sal Aunese, who in 1989, takes a down and out team to the National Title – only not in the way that you may think.
Sal Aunese was the University of Colorado’s star Samoan Quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989, and his team promptly dedicated their season to him. It is a rousing story of courage, friendship, and living life against the most brutal of obstacles.
During a private screening at the Colorado University south campus I was privileged enough to experience Born to Lead:The Sal Aunese Story, which is about how Sal Aunese changed CU's football program forever. Let's break it down.
Biopics of inspiring people can be powerful films. Watching the unlikely genius make it big in the music industry, become a sports legend, or rise from obscurity to take Hollywood by storm can be very fun. The audience can vicariously live through the characters for 2 hours as they accomplish their dreams. Most biopics have similar endings though.
There were moments of laughter. Moments that brought cheers.
There also moments that sent tears down cheeks and filled the theater with a chorus of sniffles.
On Saturday night, several Colorado football greats and supporters were on hand at the CU South Denver campus to watch a special screening of "Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story."
What in incredible final Private Screening that was experienced on Saturday, August 13th at The University of Colorado. ‘Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story‘ is a truly exceptional sports documentary film that is taking the nation by storm. This one was for you, Coach Bill McCartney.
The most talented San Diego County high school football player I’ve ever seen play? Lincoln High’s Marcus Allen.
The second best?
Sal Aunese. The Vista High quarterback/safety/kick returner led the Panthers to the 1986 San Diego Section championship and a mythical state title. Aunese – so fast that he ran on the Panthers 4x100 relay team - ran the option with a confident, linebacker-mentality aplomb. He punished receivers who dared venture over the middle. And he was such a skilled punt returner teams did their best to kick away from him.
There are still a few details to be worked out, so nothing is official yet, but 7 Sports has learned that Livin Large Productions out of New York is working with C.U. on a feature film called "Sal".It's the story about former Buffs quarterback Sal Aunese.Sal died of stomach cancer during his senior year in 1989. The team used his memory as motivation to eventually win the national championship. It was one of the most heartwarming college football stories ever.
George Antonopoulos watch-ed closely as the University of Colorado football team rallied around a fallen teammate to win a national title.
Twenty years later, the Grand Junction High School graduate’s documentary film is on the verge of being released. “I’m riding in a cloud I can’t explain,” Antonopoulos said. “Being from Grand Junction allowed me the opportunity to succeed on a bigger scale.”