'30 for 30' project includes Bartman film

Updated: July 30, 2009, 4:59 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Academy Award winner Alex Gibney will direct a one-hour documentary on Steve Bartman as part of ESPN's "30 for 30" film project.

Gibney will explore why Bartman was singled out in a game rife with scapegoats, what has happened in the aftermath and what lies in store for Bartman and his relationship with the city, the Cubs and their fans.

"With five outs remaining in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS," reads the official release, "a foul ball descended from the cold Chicago sky, destined for the glove of left fielder Moises Alou. But it was not meant to be, as one inconspicuous hand reached down from the left field stands at Wrigley Field and seized the potential out. That hand belonged to Cubs fan Steve Bartman, and many believed that he snatched away Chicago's chance of advancing to the World Series.

"Bartman attempted a public appeal, but his fate was already sealed by the Cub fans' need for a scapegoat to explain a near-century of losing. Although Cubs Nation has since moved on to other seasons and other losses, Bartman remains ostracized from a community he lives in and a team he once loved. Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney will explore this relationship and try to answer the question, can Steve Bartman ever forgive Chicago?"

The ESPN "30 for 30" project debuts in October 2009, gathering 30 filmmakers and commissioning a one-hour film out of each to celebrate the 30 years of ESPN's existence.