The evening was not unusual. Just a screening of a documentary, Icarus, for a roomful of leading documentarians: Academy Award winning ones like Alex Gibney and Barbara Kopple among many others, for purposes of Oscar nominations. The unusual part was having Lance Armstrong participate in the post-screening panel at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. The movie, Netflix’s powerful expose of doping among Olympian athletes, directed by Bryan Fogel and produced by Dan Cogan shines a light on Lance Armstrong’s scandalous use of drugs during his stellar award-laden cycling career. You would think he would shy away, ashamed. But the film’s main protagonist, a Russian scientist named Grigory Rodchenkov, now in hiding as the Russians have called for his execution, was the real focus of attention. A whistleblower, Rodchenkov created the testing for steroids, as well as a method to defy the testing for them. He was willing to talk to Bryan Fogel about state sponsored doping.
Bryan Fogel will receive the Hell Yeah Prize at this year’s Cinema Eye Honors Lunch. The Hell Yeah Prize was created to celebrate those unique moments in non-fiction where the very act of filming leads to a monumental, conclusive consequence, such as the IOC’s decision to bar the Russian team from the 2018 Olympic Games.