4th & Goal
Referred to by many as "the Hoop Dreams of football," this vérité documentary from director Nina Gilden Seavey observes the experiences of six aspiring NFL entrants. To achieve authenticity, Seavey shot her footage over a half-decade and then edited the material down to feature length. The subjects include Randy, Tim, DeQawn, Bret, Albert and Gibril. All are students at the City College of San Francisco, all are competing with hundreds of others for Division 1 scholarships, and each one hopes that he will be one of the select few to get picked up by a major league team. In truth, however, the odds are high that most will fall by the wayside: as the director reminds her audience, only 1,696 spots exist for NFL players, many of which are already filled by recruits from prior years. As the picture rolls forward, Seavey depicts the often unbearably brutal competition that weeds-out hopefuls on psychological, physical and emotional levels, via such stages as Pro-Day, Training Camp and Draft Day. She also explores obstacles such as family problems, injuries, and performance ability, that can quelch a player's dreams far more quickly than they blossomed.