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ICARUS

Synopsis

When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold—exposing the biggest scandal in sports history. 

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The Filmmakers

Bryan Fogel Writer/Director/Producer

Prior to directing his first documentary feature, ICARUS, Bryan co-wrote and starred in the hit International and Off-Broadway play, Jewtopia, and co-wrote and directed the feature film adaptation. Bryan began shooting ICARUS three years ago, believing that what the world watches on its sports fields should not be taken for granted as truth. What followed was a journey he never could have imagined, and a testament to the power of documentary filmmaking to rewrite history.

Dan Cogan Producer

Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film.  Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of more than 80 films, including The Cove, which won the 2010 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; How to Survive A Plague, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2013; The Hunting Ground; The Queen of Versailles, which won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Detropia, which won the Editing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Freeheld, which won the 2008 Academy Award® for Documentary Short Film; The Garden, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2009 and Hell and Back Again, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature.

Cogan co-founded Gamechanger Films, which launched in September 2013. Gamechanger Films is the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Gamechanger's first film, Land Ho!, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

Cogan received his B.A. from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude, and attended the Film Division at Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts. In 2014, he was awarded the Leading Light Award at DOC NYC alongside filmmakers Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker, as well as the America Abroad Media Award in Washington, D.C.

David Fialkow Producer

 

David Fialkow is co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst (GC), a venture capital firm with offices in Boston, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. Mr. Fialkow’s focus areas at GC include e-commerce, financial services, health and wellness, and travel services. Mr. Fialkow is a member of the film partnership, Impact Partners, which focuses on social justice-themed documentaries. He is a Producer of ICARUS and Executive Producer of BENDING THE ARC and CITY OF GHOSTS. Mr. Fialkow serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations; he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of The Pan-Mass Challenge, which has raised over $500 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His interest and commitment to education has led him to serve on the Board of MIT’s School of Engineering as well as Facing History and Ourselves, an educational curriculum nonprofit. He also serves on the board of The Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams). Mr. Fialkow is a graduate of Colgate University, where he received a bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in film. He is also a graduate of the Boston College School of Law. Mr. Fialkow resides in Boston, MA with his wife, Nina Fialkow, with whom he has two grown children.

Jim Swartz Producer

Jim Swartz is a Partner and Founder of Accel Partners, a prominent global technology venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, London and Bangalore.  Entering a fifth decade in venture capital, he has been closely involved as lead investor with the emergence of numerous industry pioneering technology companies.  A long time industry leader, Jim is former Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and a 2007 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is a graduate of Harvard University with a concentration in Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics and holds a M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, where he is Chairman of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and the President’s Global Advisory Council.

He is Chairman of the Swartz Foundation and the Christian Center of Park City, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation (where he established the Borgen-Swartz Education Endowment), Trustee of the Sundance Institute and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Tepper School of Business.   Jim led the establishment of the Deer Valley Music Festival as a Founder, the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard as Chairman of the Capital Campaign, and MVYouth as a Founder.  From 1999 to 2002, he served on the Management Committee of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics of 2002.  He is the recipient of a Honorary Doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University and the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from its Tepper School of Business and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Governors University.  Jim is also an accomplished Grand Prix sailboat skipper.

Together with his wife Susan, Jim founded Impact Partners, a financing and advisory firm advancing independent cinema that addresses pressing social needs including Academy Award Winners Born into Brothels (2005) and The Cove (2010) and numerous Academy Award Nominees and Sundance Award Winners.

Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival

2017

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: The Orwell Award, Bryan Fogel

The ruthless worlds of international sports and politics rarely collide as spectacularly on screen as they do in Bryan Fogel’s thriller that is sure to set off convulsions of controversy.

While investigating the furtive world of illegal doping in sports, Fogel connects with renegade Russian scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov—a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia's highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory.

Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. ICARUS places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.

+ Festival Website

Reviews

A winner...The pleasure here is in learning the behind-the-scenes stories pertaining to a world customarily fronted only by athletes who, in this telling, are reduced to mere pawns in an international chess game dominated by politics, power, prestige and big bucks.”

-The Hollywood Reporter

Icarus is one of the most captivating sports documentaries to come along in recent memory.”

-Collider

A hell of a story...shocking...truly absorbing.”

-Indiewire

A wildly timely movie for our current moment, as issues of cheating, illegitimacy and geopolitical bullies take center stage.”

-The Wrap

For Icarus the case is made clearly and effectively, and it’s that rare doc that uncovers a truth so powerful (and dangerous) that it itself becomes part of the news. As a provocative work it’s effective, as a cautionary tale it’s profound.”

-Birth.Movies.Death

A cyclist who set out to prove he could outsmart athletic doping tests stumbles upon one of the game's biggest cheaters in this game-changing documentary.”

-Variety