2020 Sundance Docs in Focus: LANCE

LANCE | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Nick Higgins

Marina Zenovich details the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong.

Festival Section:
Special Events

Sundance Program Description:

Lance Armstrong’s string of seven consecutive Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005 is one of the most improbable accomplishments in the history of cycling. The crown jewel of the sport, this grueling test of endurance requires extraordinary stamina and physical acumen. Armstrong was already a divisive figure for his brash attitude and tenacious competitive spirit when allegations of doping threatened to tarnish his remarkable success. Buoyed by his fans, he was resolute in maintaining his innocence. In 2012, he finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs as part of what the United States Anti-Doping Agency called “the most sophisticated doping program in sports history.” Stripped of his achievements and banned from the sport he loved, Armstrong turned into a pariah and a public punching bag.

With extensive access to Armstrong and his family, teammates, friends, and enemies, director Marina Zenovich skillfully conducts a powerful study of a celebrity who fell spectacularly – and very publicly – from grace.

Some Background:



  • PG Morgan
    Past Sundance docs:


    Morgan is an Emmy-winning producer, as well as Zenovich’s husband.


  • Caitlyn Hynes

    Hynes previously served as a story associate for Zenovich’s ROBIN WILLIAMS, and associate produced the second season of THE HISTORY OF COMEDY.

Senior Producers:

  • Gentry Kirby

    ESPN Films’ Kirby is an Emmy Award-winner who has directed and produced doc features and shorts for the acclaimed 30 FOR 30 series. He also serves as producer for fellow 2020 Sundance title BE WATER, in the US Documentary Competition.

  • Erin Leyden
    Past Sundance docs:

    OJ: MADE IN AMERICA (2016)

    Leyden is also a director and producer for ESPN Films, working on the 30 FOR 30 series, as well as its 2013 NINE FOR IX spinoff. She also produced for BE WATER.

Executive Producers:

  • Michael Hughes

    Hughes is the multiple Emmy-winning founder/CEO of production company DLP Media Group, who was previously a producer at Fox Sports and ESPN.

  • Greg C Lake

    Lake is an investor and founder of DLP Media Group.

  • Chad Mountain

    Mountain is a Los Angeles-based actor and producer.

  • Douglas Banker

    Banker is CEO of production company Five All in the Fifth Entertainment.

  • Connor Schell
    Past Sundance docs:

    UNTUCKED (2014, short)

    Schell is Executive Vice President, Content for ESPN. He also executive produced BE WATER.

  • Rob King

    King is Senior Vice President, Original Content for ESPN. He also executive produced BE WATER.

  • Libby Geist
    Past Sundance docs:

    I AM YUP’IK (2016, short)
    CRAZY LOVE (2007)

    Geist, a three-time Peabody Award winner, is Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. She also serves as executive producer for BE WATER.


  • Allan Duso
    Past Sundance docs:

    LORENA (2019)

Additional Editor:

  • Travis Smith-Evans

    This is Smith-Evans’ first Sundance credit.

Why You Should Watch:
Zenovich has often focused on controversial subjects or themes in her work, so tackling Lance Armstrong is a natural fit. The extended format of her ESPN portrait provides her with the space to provide not only a comprehensive account of Armstrong’s long career and the scandal which brought him down, but a fascinating deep dive into his personality through interviews with the athlete himself plus a wide range of individuals closely connected to him.

More Info:
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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