PARK CITY, Utah – ESPN Films’ first 30 for 30 miniseries event, “OJ: Made in America,” will debut on television this June. The 7.5-hour project is directed by Ezra Edelman, who previously directed the 30 for 30 film “Requiem for the Big East.” This past Friday, “OJ: Made in America” had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Front Row caught up with Edelman to check in on the project.
What was it like to have “OJ: Made in America” premiere the project at Sundance?
It was a surreal experience. Our whole team, many of whom were able to join us at the festival, has worked on this project for so long now that to finally give people the opportunity to watch it was extremely gratifying. I was humbled to see some of the reviews and the positive reaction that the film got at the festival.
A previous 30 for 30 film, “June 17, 1994,” includes the Simpson Ford Bronco chase, but this is a very different project. Can you explain?
I enjoyed that film like many others, but this project is so different in its scope. That doc was very successful in telling the story strictly through archival footage, whereas I made the choice to tell it through the lens of the disparate people who actually were a part of that day and lived the experience.
What do you want people to take away from the film?
This is a story about race and celebrity in America, and as much as it’s going to touch on O.J.’s life as a whole, it is also a story about the city of Los Angeles and race going back to the ’50s and ’60s. There’s a concurrent narrative that takes place that intersects with the murders in 1994. I think the full breadth of this film will give viewers a look at this story that is unlike anything they’ve seen before.