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The Short Game

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Director  Josh Greenbaum
Music director  Mark Mothersbaugh
Country  United States
7.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Documentary, Sport
Language  English
The Short Game movie poster

Release date  September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)
Cast  Allan Kournikova, Edd Hall, Jennifer Van Horn
Producers  Josh Greenbaum, Rafael Marmor, Christopher Leggett
Similar movies  Trek Nation, Trekkies, Cosplayers UK: The Movie, Get a Life!, The Achievers: The Story of the Lebowski Fans, Fanalysis

The short game official trailer 1 2013 documentary hd

The Short Game is a 2013 documentary film about 7- and 8-year-old golfers. Produced by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel and directed by Josh Greenbaum, it presents eight entrants in the 2012 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. The film premiered in 10 cities on September 20, 2013.


The Short Game movie scenes

The short game movie clip 1 2013 documentary hd


The Short Game movie scenes

Beginning 6 months before the 2012 World Championships, the movie visits each of the eight subjects at their homes, some of which are as far away as Paris, Manila, Johannesburg and Shenzhen, China to meet the kids and their parents. Once the subjects are introduced we observe the various trials and tribulations of the competition. The subjects of the movie are evenly split between children from the United States and other countries with five boys and three girls, including Allan Kournikova (half-brother of Anna), Sky Sudberry, and Augustin Valery (great-grandson of French poet Paul Valery). Kournikova went on to win the boys division of this event for his age group.

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The film also includes interviews with golfing legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Annika Sorenstam.


The majority of the film was shot during the tournament, with 18 different camera crews using Canon EOS C300 cameras with Canon 70–200mm f/2.8 and Canon 25-75 f/2.8 lenses. Each child was followed by two crews, one ahead and one behind.

Critical commentary

Based on 18 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, it had an average 6.2 rating out of 10 and an 83% approval rating. At Metacritic, its metascore based on 10 reviews was 51. The film won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013.

Los Angeles Times critic Annlee Ellingson describes the movie as a "warts-and-all" depiction of youth golfers that is similar to the 2002 documentary film Spellbound about the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times also notes that the movie was probably modeled after Spellbound and raved about the movie's uninhibited cuteness. Rapold compared the introductions to reality shows, but notes that some of the subjects such as Kournikova and his mother are more fleshed out than others. Golf Digest critic John Strege said that "The toxic mix of youth sports and overzealous parents threatened to hijack" the film but the subjects themselves were so entertaining that the movie was not a loss. Boston Globe critic Michael Whitmer says the results of Greenbaum's feature film debut was compelling although tinged with discomfort. USA Today critic Scott Bowles described the film as upbeat and noted that "...for astute viewers and golf fans, Short hits the green consistently and is, at times, a hole-in-one."


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