Home Cinema How Director Javier Fesser Built His ‘Champions’ Team Into Spain’s Foreign Film...

How Director Javier Fesser Built His ‘Champions’ Team Into Spain’s Foreign Film Oscar Entry

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In the movie, Spain’s leading man Javier Gutiérrez plays cocky big league assistant basketball coach Marco Montes who assaults his colleague during a televised game. He’s fired, but life gets worse: Drunk, he front-ends his vehicle into a police car. Life is already bad as he’s on the outs with his wife Sonia (Athenea Mata). In receiving a community service sentence he’s forced to coach a team of young people with disabilities. And though his patience is tried, Marco builds them into a competitive tournament-winning team and along the way, matures and becomes a grounded guy.

Fesser assembled a team of actors with disabilities, and while their characters struggle with basketball in the movie, in real life, “on the first day, first minute, they were a real team, and they didn’t know each other before” says Fesser.

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