Truth in 24

Moving Image
Created: 2009


Truth in 24
Summary: "Truth in 24 is a project that made little sense.

"The concept was a documentary for U.S. audiences about the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an auto race in France that few Americans care about. It was to be produced by NFL Films, a company famous for making football movies. And it was going to require complete access to one of the most secretive sports operations in the world, the Audi racing team. Somehow it all worked out.

"Truth in 24 has been hailed as one of the greatest racing films ever made, compared favorably to Steve McQueen's 1972 cult classic 'Le Mans.' Within 3 months of its premiere in March 2009, the documentary aired in prime time on 3 major American cable networks-- ESPN, FX and Speed. Since being made available on iTunes (in the U.S. only) the program has been downloaded more than a quarter million times, receiving an average viewer rating of 5 stars (out of 5). In December of '09 the world's largest body of automotive journalists, the Motor Press Guild, awarded Truth in 24 its highest honor, The Dean Batchelor Award. It was the first time a film or television program had ever received the award.

"The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the world's most prestigious and historic sporting events. But with a 13-and-a-half mile circuit through the French countryside, it is notoriously difficult to capture on film. That is why the Chicago-based production company Intersport made the counterintuitive choice to partner with NFL Films on this project. Known for its visual flair and dramatic storytelling, NFL Films had never before made a film about an auto race. What it lacked in experience NFL Films could make up for with a fresh approach to presenting such a unique event. The goal was to make a film that would appeal to both racing aficionados and to people who had never heard of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The result is visually striking and sounds terrific. The gearheads went gaga. But the most important decision was to make the film character-driven. It is much more about people than it is about cars.

"At its heart, Truth in 24 is a simple story about a group of people trying to overcome obstacles and achieve something special together. For the past decade the Audi team had dominated Le Mans like few ever had, winning the famed race 7 times in 8 years. But in 2008 they were the underdogs, racing with a car that was no longer the fastest on the track. Telling the story of how Audi pursued its 8th victory required over 3 months of shooting--nearly 200 hours of HD and 16mm film in 4 different countries. It came down to the final moments of one of the most climactic races in Le Mans' nearly century-long history. The result is entertaining, illuminating, and hopefully a little bit inspiring. That is why we believe it is worthy of consideration for the high honor bestowed by the George Foster Peabody Awards."--2009 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: NFL Films, Inc. | InterSport | ESPN (Television network)

Broadcast Date: 2009-03-20