Anticipation ran high last Thursday evening along the brightly lit, red carpet walk at Hollywood’s legendary Mann’s Chinese Theater. The moment had arrived for ‘Truth in 24′ the documentary on Audi’s 2008 Le Mans motorsports teams, to launch into its world premiere at the highly regarded AFI Fest film festival. The screening drew celebrities, including world-renowned action star Jason Statham, whose rich voice narrates ‘Truth in 24′ A deep roster of entertainment and automotive media also attended, as did Audi region VIPs and longtime Audi loyalists.
The documentary itself was a risk from the outset. Emmy-winning NFL Films had never attempted to make a motorsports movie. Co-producer Intersport of Chicago had never created a full-feature film before. Audi of America couldn’t be certain that Audi drivers, who’d won seven of the last eight 24 Hours of Le Mans races, would be able to maintain their dominance this summer.
When the movie drew to a close – and following a spirited discussion involving NFL Films directors Keith Cossrow and Bennett Viseltear and Audi drivers Dindo Capello, Emanuele Pirro, Mike Rockenfeller and Alexandre Premat – it was clear that taking the risk paid off.
Reviews the next day gave ‘Truth in 24′ high praise. ‘What works is how easily accessible the film makes Le Mans to non-racing fans,’ declared Variety, the go-to source on film industry chatter. ‘There’s no arrogance or attitude. It could have been any car company up on the screen. But because it was Team Audi notching another moment of history in its belt, well, that’s going to give the company a lot of mileage – and the consumer a lot of confidence in its cars when shopping for a new vehicle.’
After the AFI Fest premiere, MotorTrend.com called ‘Truth in 24’ one of ‘the best documentaries on motorsports to come out in years and will likely find a place on the shelf next to McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’ in many fans’ collections for years to come.’
More great reactions greeted ‘Truth in 24′ a few days later when it competed against other notable new documentaries at the 23rd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. There, the film shared the top award for independent documentaries with two other movies.
So what about the really important news: When can Audi employees and partners view this film that’s already being called ‘a classic?’ Active discussions are underway to host internal screenings. Talks are also advancing on broader distribution deals to let the general public see this compelling human drama. More updates will come as dates become more certain.