‘Sue Bird: In the Clutch’ Documentary Lands With Wolfe Releasing After Sundance Launch (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Sue Bird: In the Clutch’ Documentary Lands With Wolfe Releasing After Sundance Launch (EXCLUSIVE)

The documentary “Sue Bird: In the Clutch,” about the basketball legend’s final WNBA season and her impact on sports, has been acquired following its buzzy Sundance debut.

Wolfe Releasing, the largest exclusive distributor of LGBTQ+ films, has picked up the North American distribution rights the feature documentary, which will become available for digital purchase and rental on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU and Wolfe On Demand beginning March 29.

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“We are honored and excited to partner with these talented producing teams to bring the legendary story of Sue Bird to wide audiences in the midst of March Madness and Women’s History Month,” stated Wolfe Releasing CEO and founder Kathy Wolfe and Evan Schwartz, VP of content. “In a time where the LGBTQ+ narrative is shifting towards celebration, Sue’s journey perfectly captures this sentiment. We believe Sue’s iconic run as one of the greatest athletes of all time will entertain, educate and inspire all audiences to follow their dreams and live as their authentic selves.”

The film, directed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Sarah Dowland, chronicles Bird’s remarkable career, from her days as a high school baller at Christ the King, then as a two-time NCAA champion at UConn before getting drafted into the WNBA in 2002, where she won four titles, plus a record five Olympic gold medals. In the documentary, Bird not only looks back on her career accomplishments, but she also gets candid about her personal journey, including her decision to publicly come out as gay in 2017 after being out for more than a decade to her family, friends and teammates.

“You play such a long time — so many different moments, so many different memories — and to have it now, in this one film is amazing,” Bird said, visiting the Variety Studio at Sundance. “I feel lucky that for years to come, I’ll have this.”

“Sue Bird: In the Clutch” is produced by Dowland, Emily Singer Chapman and Svetlana Zill. Executive producers are Lindsay Kagawa Colas (of Wasserman), Stacey Offman, Richard Perello (for Jigsaw), Jay Ellis and Aaron Bergman (for Black Bar Mitzvah), as well as Justin Biskin (for Nike’s Waffle Iron Entertainment) and Ryan Ruocco.

“Sue Bird is elite. From college championships to Olympic Gold Medals, her experience as a world class athlete, as a leader on and off the court, as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a businesswoman, gives her a unique perspective on the world of women’s sports,” said Dowland in a statement about the acquisition. “This film is an inspiring coming of age story about Sue and how her legacy has helped set the path for the bright future of women’s basketball. Wolfe Releasing is a perfect partner, and we are so excited they are onboard to help spread this incredible story to a mass audience.”

Wolfe Releasing also recently distributed “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson” (a GLAAD Media Award nominee), “Ahead of the Curve,” “Nelly & Nadine” and “Retablo” (a Film Independent Spirit Award nominee).

The deal was negotiated by Schwartz on behalf of Wolfe Releasing and UTA Independent Film Group.

In her retirement, Bird has made major moves in the media landscape. She co-founded the media production company Togethxr in 2021 alongside Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim and Simone Manuel, and in 2022 she launched the media company A Touch More with her fiancé, soccer icon Megan Rapinoe. A Touch More is focused centering the stories of revolutionaries who “move culture forward” and aims to foster change by elevating untold stories about underrepresented communities. Bird also hosts “Sue’s Places” a take on Peyton Manning’s signature ESPN+ Original series (produced alongside Omaha Productions and Words + Pictures) that explores the history and traditions of college basketball.

Bird is also an executive producer on the upcoming feature-length documentary about how the women of the WNBA played a critical role in flipping a Georgia Senate seat in the 2020 election. The doc — which is also being executive produced by Tracee Ellis Ross and Nneka Ogwumike — is being directed by Dawn Porter and will air on Prime Video.

Netflix also licensed the documentary with plans to begin streaming this spring.

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