THE LARGER-THAN-LIFE STORY OF THE WORLD’S SMALLEST PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM IS A SLAM DUNK FOR FANS OF SPORTS AND THE UNDERDOG
THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES
The Never-Before-Told Story of a Pioneering American Sports Phenomenon Comes to Digital HD and VOD in November From Virgil Films
New York, NY (October 20, 2016) – The “world’s smallest professional basketball team” finds itself the unlikely leader of a movement to bring little people into the public eye as something other than objects of curiosity in THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES. The heartfelt and critically acclaimed new film arrives on HD EST and VOD from Virgil Films on November 22, 2016.
THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES is a documentary on the birth of organized sports in the American dwarf community. Beginning in the 1950s and rising to prominence in the 1980s, the Hollywood Shorties was a basketball team, the first of its kind and unique in the history of dwarf athletics. Formed from an insular community of recognizable but typecast actors in Hollywood, the team began simply as a rare outlet for little people to gather publicly. As the team’s athletic skills increased, so did its membership and its popularity.
By the early 1980s, the Shorties had created a niche in entertainment akin to the Harlem Globetrotters, playing everywhere from high school gymnasiums to NBA arenas with their signature blend of comedy and basketball prowess. But, in a bittersweet turn, the very popularity that the Shorties singlehandedly created would eventually phase the team out of the sport they pioneered. However, their legacy stands without peer and is recounted here by former team members – including Tony Cox of Bad Santa and Me, Myself & Irene and Martin Klebba of Pirates of the Caribbean – and the generation they inspired.
As one interviewee in the film says, “They were the team. If you were on the Shorties, you were a stud.”
Producer, writer and director Ryan Steven Green excavated hours of footage from U-matic and VHS tapes and pored over some 8,000 documents to create his film – and bring cinematic recognition at last to this extraordinary but long-forgotten team.
The film was hailed at its world premiere at the 2016 SXSW festival. The reviewer Muldoon of Ain’t It Cool News wrote, “Through a heavy amount of archival footage and interviews with the key players, THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES paints a picture that’s inspiring, funny, and informative.” “Told with great sensitivity … manages to capture all that made the Shorties unique, celebrating the wild adventures only a team like this could have, especially during the wild excess of their ’80s heyday,” said Stephen Saito of The Moveable Fest.