The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Run Time: 89 minutes
“Let the record of what I did do the talking,” says famous tennis coach Nick Bollettieri in the beginning of Jason Kohn’s LOVE MEANS ZERO. Weathered and seemingly annoyed by Kohn’s pressing questions about controversial moments in his career, Bollettieri is feisty and defensive. But as the film progresses, his emotional wall begins to come down. In 1978 he founded a tennis academy that produced such superstars as Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova, Monica Seles, and Andre Agassi. Bollettieri was often criticized for his harsh teaching style and the fact that his students lived at the school. But many players saw him as a father figure—especially Agassi, whose bond with Bollettieri is at the heart of this documentary. Their close relationship eventually soured, leaving both parties angry and saddened by the circumstances that led to their divide. The effect of that familial breakup still weighs heavily on the coach, despite his attempts at appearing tough. Kohn’s film is much more than a sports biography. It’s heartbreaking and endearing in its exploration of the Agassi-Bollettieri relationship, revealing just how long the scars of betrayal can last. —E.F.
Tower City Cinemas
Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:20 PM
Friday, April 13, 2018 at 11:20 AM
The Sports Section
Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition
Jason Kohn was born and raised on Long Island. After graduating from Brandeis University in 2001, he spent two years studying under world-renowned documentarian Errol Morris. Kohn’s first documentary feature “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)” won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize in 2007.
Manda Bala (Send a Bullet) (2007), LOVE MEANS ZERO (2017)
Amanda Branson Gill, Jason Kohn, Anne White, Jill Mazursky, David Styne
Eduardo Enrique Mayen
Jack Price, Michael X. Flores
Showtime Documentary Films