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Directed by Kevin Connolly
GALA 77 Minutes World Premiere
A meteoric rise and tragic fall are captured in this brief history of a beloved sports team and a man who took a chance. When the New York Islanders first burst on the national hockey scene, the team was unstoppable. Winning four straight Stanley Cups, it became the pride of Long Island, until subsequent years of turmoil left the Islanders in dire straits. Enter John Spano, an obscure Texas millionaire with big dreams and a persuasive smile. Emboldened by Spano’s commitment to revitalizing the team, loyal Islanders fans welcomed this would-be hero with blind faith and a handshake. Then he took his seat in the front office.

Director and avid Islanders fan Kevin Connolly of HBO’s Entourage gets an earnest play-by-play from a man who exaggerated his social and monetary profile so vastly that he actually took control of an NHL franchise. With testimony from sports analysts and federal investigators, Connolly skillfully pieces together this unbelievable story. Big Shot exposes the man who defrauded the NHL, the government and the people of Long Island with little more than his word and the will to pursue a crazy dream.

—Holly Voges
Crime, Sports, Documentary
About the Director(s)
KEVIN CONNOLLY starred on the hit HBO series Entourage and appeared in Secretariat, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Notebook and Rocky V, among others. He has also directed music videos, commercials, television episodes and features, including the 2007 TFF selection Gardener of Eden.
Special Note

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  • Length:
    77 minutes
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Cast & Credits
  • Editor:
    John Balcom, Hank Braxtan
  • Producer:
    Mark Ciardi, Erin Leyden, Ted Schillinger
  • Cast:
    John Spano, Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, Wayne Gretzky, Gary Bettman, Bryan Berard
  • Cinematographer:
    Matthew Howe
  • Director:
    Kevin Connolly
  • Executive Producer:
    John Dahl, Bill Simmons, Connor Schell, John Walsh


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