God Bless America (Where Opera Meets Football)

Director: Revere La Noue (’96)

A world renowned opera diva, her tempestuous path, and her breathtaking moment on the Notre Dame football field Watch the Film

A collaboration of Athletics, Academics, and Alumni, First Time Fans is a series of films directed by Notre Dame graduates, assisted by current Notre Dame students.

About the Films - 2016

Class of 2029
Director: Chad Schaffler (’96)
Premieres Monday, January 16

With hopes of becoming first generation college students, a group of 4th-graders from Stockton, CA boards a plane for the very first time, and heads to South Bend to experience firsthand, the university to which they've pledged their allegiance.

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Spirit of Todd
Director: Justin Mitchell (’95)
Premieres January 23

Musically mesmerizing, a Notre Dame football weekend sparks the spirituality inside a rock 'n roll legend. Learn more about Todd Rundgren@ND here.

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God Bless America (Where Opera Meets Football)
Director: Revere La Noue (’99)
Premieres February 6

A world renowned opera diva, her tempestuous path, and her breathtaking moment on the Notre Dame football field.

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First Time Fans - 2014 and 2015

Dear Ms. Silva
Director: Chad Schaffler (’96)

Allison Silva, a California school teacher, works passionately to instill the value of higher education in her third grade students. Inspired by the Fighting Irish and encouraged by Ms. Silva, her students - the class of 2029 - form a twitter account that will send Allison to her first Notre Dame football game and create an opportunity that will change their lives forever.

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Priest, Rector, and Fan
Director: Peter Richardson (’02)

Father Matt Kuczora has seen plenty of Notre Dame football games...from the student section that is. But now, he's a priest. And for the first time, he's a dorm rector on the Notre Dame campus. Call it "First Time Rector" if you will, but a football weekend for Father Matt is quite different nowadays.

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The Correct Route
Director: Rob Finch (’98)

A long-time Notre Dame football fan, Manny Romero has cheered for the Irish ever since he was a young boy in Southern California and dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. Later in life, his job sent him overseas for almost four decades, and through it all his passion for Notre Dame football never wavered. While Manny has cheered for the Irish from places such as South Africa, Laos, Peru or Italy, he has never seen a game in person.

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Blind Faith
Director: Greg Kohs (’88)

Blind Faith follows Mitchell, an 8th grader at the Indiana School for the Blind, as he attends his first Notre Dame Football game.

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At Home with the Irish
Director: Justin Mitchell (’95)

Two teenage friends and residents of the South Bend Center for the Homeless attend their first game at Notre Dame Stadium.

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Director: Michael Canzoniero (’93)

AnnaLynne McCord, model and star of TV’s 90210 visits Notre Dame for a first-time football weekend.

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About the Filmmakers

Chad Schaffler
1996 Notre Dame Alumnus

Chad Schaffler is the executive producer at VIA Productions in Memphis, TN. From commercials and branded content to documentary film, he approaches every project with an infectious enthusiasm and passion for telling compelling stories. Clients include FedEx, International Paper, Hampton Inns, among others. Chad directed and produced the award-winning doc "Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin'", and recently produced the powerful new film "The Invaders" which screened as part of DOC NYC.

Justin Mitchell
1995 Notre Dame Alumnus

Los Angeles is home for director Justin Mitchell. His first feature documentary "Songs for Cassavettes", debuted in 2000 at the London Film Festival. His latest award winning documentary, "Rio Breaks", shot exclusively on the beaches and in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, aired recently on the Sundance Channel. See his work at justinmitchell.com.

Revere La Noue
1999 Notre Dame Alumnus

Film, photography, painting, Revere La Noue moves between mediums and forms to find new ways of expression. A former ND lacrosse player, his stunning artwork dons the walls of Notre Dame Athletics, from The Original Fighting Irish to the new pieces Velocity and Swing inside the new McConnell Family Boathouse. As a filmmaker, he has collaborated with a wide range of organizations including National Geographic, HBO, PBS, NBC Sports, and The New Yorker Magazine. Read more at reverelanoue.com.

Peter Richardson
2002 Notre Dame Alumnus

Richardson's ('02) thoughtful and compelling documentary work has gained widespread recognition, including the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and an Emmy Nomination for Best Documentary. His two feature documentaries premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the second, "How to Die in Oregon", was broadcast on HBO. The Chicago Sun-Times noted that the film "will likely be viewed as one of the most historically significant documentaries of this decade." Most recently, Richardson was a Series Director on the landmark, 7-part documentary series for Oprah Winfrey, entitled "Belief." He is currently Series Director on a new series for Showtime entitled "Dark Net". In addition to his feature, TV and commercial work, Richardson acted as cinematographer on two HBO Documentaries: "Saving Pelican 895" and "One Last Hug".

Rob Finch
1998 Notre Dame Alumnus

Finch is a Portland, Oregon-based visual storyteller who has won multiple prestigious awards. As Creative Director at Blue Chalk Media, Rob has directed and edited several films in both the documentary and advertising worlds. He was part of a team from The Oregonian, where he worked previously, recognized with the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. He has also won the Online Journalism Award for Best Video Presentation and has been a two-time Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year contest. He was selected to exhibit his work in Perpignan, France at the Visa pour l'Image Festival and was a member of the World Press Masterclass. To see more of Rob's work, please visit RobFinchPhoto.com

Greg Kohs
1988 Notre Dame Alumnus

Greg Kohs applies his passion for grounded, emotional, human storytelling to all of his branded content, commercial and film work. A 1988 graduate of Notre Dame, Kohs honed his signature “captured not contrived” storytelling aesthetic and filmmaking craft at NFL Films beginning shortly after graduation. It was during his tenure there that he received an astounding ten Emmy Awards®. See his work at reelasdirt.com

Michael Canzoniero
1993 Notre Dame Alumnus

New York-based director Michael Canzoniero is a 1993 graduate of Notre Dame. His explosive, short film "Hyper" played in the Centerpiece of the 2002 New York Film Festival where it opened for PT Anderson’s "Punch Drunk Love". In 2009, his first feature "The Marconi Bros" premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. In 2011, Canzoniero directed the award winning documentary "Shelter Island". His latest feature "Don Peyote", starring Dan Fogler, with Wallace Shawn and Anne Hathaway, premiered theatrically in May 2014.