‘National Champions’ Is A Three-Minute Dramatic Commentary on the Race to Keep Sports News Alive

For professional sports, breaking the news of a championship-clinching moment on social media can be a harrowing experience. And for millions of fans of college sports, even breaking the news of a loss can be fraught with anxiety and anxiety. Even when we live within the boundaries of what we can do on a computer screen, even when the human race has advanced to the point that instant replay is, in fact, a thing, nothing can escape the static of an expiring tweet or frozen video.

In this new short film, entitled “National Champions,” a woman leaves her job at a call center to pursue her dreams of being a sports journalist, while carrying the weight of a failed news cycle that she believes cost her a job at ESPN. Over footage from the E! network, we see her performing on-camera duties alongside other staffers, only to be demoted (and fired) two months later. And while her world of television interviews, online infographics and brackets get her to the top of her game, it all comes crashing down on the day of her former employer’s championship game. The film is quite accurate in capturing the immediate feelings of fear, embarrassment and despair that can accompany any successful story, from romantic conquest to professional football success.

The film is directed by Fernando DiMenendez, who is also known for his unconventional narrative shorts on site. His credits include the 2017 short film “Fantastic Hour,” which struck audiences and critics with its melodramatic, surreal tale of a lead character who’s trying to rebuild her dysfunctional relationship with her parents while trying to find fame on the Internet. “National Champions” is one of two short films he’s directed in collaboration with writer Lindsay Malcolm, who is based in New York.

“National Champions” is one of two films DiMenendez has made this year. In addition to “Fantastic Hour,” he worked with Malcolm to make “Best Decision I Ever Made,” a short film about the origins of America’s first women’s history month.

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