Legendary Director, Ron Shelton to Screen Bull Durham at BendFilm as festival’s ‘First Feature’s Honoree’
“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones.” – Annie Savoy
We are beyond thrilled to welcome one of the most celebrated and authentic screenwriters of all time to Central Oregon. Ron Shelton’s films portray sports, love, and life in a way that has captivated our hearts for more than four decades. We cannot wait to hear him talk in person about his insights on screenwriting, his filmmaking process, fun memories from casting his iconic films and more.
Ron Shelton will be screening his directorial debut, Bull Durham which is based on his own experience as a minor league baseball player and stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins. If you are wondering where his love of movies came from, Shelton told ESPN that while on the road traveling with his baseball team he would stop into theaters any time he got a break.
When the baseball strike of 1972 made it impossible to continue playing he went back to school to earn his Master of Fine Art from the University of Arizona and began making movies.
Bull Durham just celebrated its 30th anniversary and was selected to be preserved and promoted by the Criterion Collection. Though the film is 30- years old, it still tops the charts as one of the best sports films of all time. It also tops the list of best sports movies for the “sports agnostic.“ In 1988 is was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
The script was awarded Best Original Screenplay from the National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and LA Film Critics Association. The critics raved about the film and Shelton said, “these reviews came in that my mother couldn’t have written.”
Shelton is not only a celebrated director but he is an authentic writer. Before Bull Durham was created and released Shelton actually had a different film script he wanted to turn into a feature. According to Sports Illustrated, Shelton was “enthralled” by the high school recruiting scandals in the headlines in the early ’80s. But studios were not ready to the green light the script for Blue Chips.
While he was waiting for that script to be picked up he took one scene from Blue Chips and turned it into a feature script that would later be known as White Men Can’t Jump. It wasn’t until after Bull Durham was written and released that Shelton was able to get Blue Chips on the screen.
Shelton wrote and directed a wealth of popular classic films including Tin Cup, Hollywood Homicide, Blaze, Cobb and more. Because of his ability to capture the intriguing human interest stories behind the sports figures, he was tapped by ESPN to direct a 30 for 30 Documentary called Jordan Rides the Bus.
Shelton’s resume is long and full of familiar projects and in 2017 he got to add “hall of famer” to his accolades. He was inducted into the Rochester Red Wings Hall Of Fame and took a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame along the way.
Shelton is showing no signs of slowing down. When BendFilm notified him that he is the ‘First Feature Honoree,’ he said this about the chance to help mentor young filmmakers, “I think I’m just getting started making movies. I certainly have a lot more stories to tell. While I don’t believe in looking backwards I confess it’s enjoyable to revisit a movie like Bull Durham which seems to keep hanging around. As Bull Durham was my first feature as a director, it seems the perfect movie to share with others just making their own first films.”
We cannot wait to hear every story Ron Shelton has to tell whether that is on screen or live at the BendFilm Festival.
Get your film festival passes today to see Shelton screen Bull Durham and revisit some of his classic films at this year’s festival OCT 10-13 in Bend, Oregon.