Director Antonio Saillant Begins Development on Documentary ROAD TO CHAMPIONS
The film will examine the first 40 years of NVOT/Golden Knights high-school's struggles to succeed. The documentary will include interviews with some of the original players and coaches ranging from 1979 to 2015.
Saillant will bring us deep inside a detailed comeback starting with the 1979 Old Tappan, 'Golden Knights' football team, and how after a long losing streak, it finally broke through and began to lay the foundation for a successful program. Six years later, the school won what had been its only state sectional title -- until December 5, 2015, after 30 years, completed the greatest season in school history to win the NJSIAA/SportsCare Institute North Jersey, Section 1 Group 4 Championship game at MetLife Stadium.
Saillant is presently in pre-production of the feature film, THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS. Both films draw upon the idea of that first 40 years of hard work that defines the true meaning of the importance of not giving up.
Determination and heart are crucial qualities in football players. Successful football communities rally around their athletes and provide them with a tremendous support system. Angel Meneses [Captain 1979 Golden Knights], stated to his brother, Antonio Saillant, before his death in 1987, "It's about never giving up on your dreams. Life will give you ups and downs at times, but you cannot allow people to tell you you can't. You need to be able to overcome obstacles in life." Angel, says Antonio, meant that the system failed due to lack of the communities and students school spirt. They needed to prove only to themselves that they could break the losing streak. He was not going to graduate without winning, football meant so much to him in his life.
Both films -- THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS and ROAD TO CHAMPIONS -- will emphasize an example of perseverance and overcoming adversity that all young athletes can learn from.
Saillant has long time friendships with several Hollywood heavyweight celebrities and was inspired by the cinematic wonder of Canadian director, Ted Kotcheff ("North Dallas Forty", "First Blood", "Wake in Fright", "Joshua Then and Now", "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz") and former executive producer of NBC's Law & Order: SVU. "Saillant is heading to be the most distinctive director of our time," said Kotcheff.
Saillant says, "Cinema is an art-form and to be able to tell the right story from his collaborators about what it takes to get this amazing visionary style to the screen. The road of success that this particular high-school accomplished throughout the years has been an enlightening process both personally and professionally. Working and learning from Ted Kotcheff on the set of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and this experience gave me the inspiration to work as an independent filmmaker along side of directors such as Sidney Pollack, David Platt, and Peter Leto."
The project will be produced by Angel Light Pictures and will target both film and documentary to launch sales at the American Film Market.
Pictured: Top: 1979 Golden Knights; Middle: 1985 Golden Knights; Bottom: 2015 Golden Knights.