New Team Foxcatcher film on Netflix April 29
On NETFLIX April 29
Interview with Nancy Schultz Vitangeli and Director/Producer Jon Greenhalgh by Mitch Hull
Premier Netflix April 29-12:01am
Feature length documentary (90 minutes) of the years that Dave Schultz was living, training and coaching at the Foxcatcher Farms complex.
I talked with the producer Jon Greenhalgh and Nancy Schultz Vitangeli about the Team Foxcatcher documentary. Jon started this project 4 years ago-16 years after Dave was shot and killed by John E du Pont, one of the heirs to the du Pont fortune and the benefactor of Team Foxcatcher.
Dave Schultz coached at Wisconsin from 1986-88 and went directly to Foxcatcher Farms. Dave and his family were there until he was killed in January of 1996. John Giura, a 3 X all-American for the Badgers and a Freestyle World Team member in 1987, lived and trained on the Farm during that time. Giura was involved in the development and content along with being interviewed in the documentary (Nancy stated that Giura’s interview was one of the more emotional ones they did).
I asked Jon how this developed and what Nancy Schultz’s involvement was. “The first thing I did was talk to Nancy and explained what my goal was with this project. Nancy was not only every supportive but was instrumental in getting interviews for me. She actually helped in the production as well. As we started working it was obvious how important Nancy’s buy-in would be. There is still so much respect for Dave and Nancy that nearly everyone I interviewed needed to know that Nancy approved of what was being done. No one was going to talk unless Nancy was on board.”
Jon also provided an interesting response he has had from those who screened the documentary. “One of the immediate responses was that there wasn’t any focus on Dave’s brother, Mark. There is some confusion on this. This documentary covers the years that Dave was involved with Foxcatcher”. Mark had left the Farm before Dave arrived and had ended his wrestling career right after the 1988 Olympic Games. “The brothers never overlapped on the Farm.”
One person that has never been brought up in the movie “Foxcatcher” or in the ESPN documentary “Prince of Pennsylvania” (Nancy chose not to participate with this ESPN documentary) is an individual that those involved with the National Team and international wrestling know is very prominent in the Foxcatcher story in 7 time World Champion and Olympic Champion from Bulgaria, Valentine Jordanov. “He is very much a part of this story” said Greenhalgh. “You will see how conflicted Valo is when you watch, as he loved Dave but was also the primary heir to du Pont’s fortune” (du Pont died in prison in 2010).
Nancy was pleased when she initially heard from Jon on the project. “Jon presented a vision for this that was what I wanted; to be able to tell a complete story of Dave and his impact during those years. You will see that my part in front of the camera is the thread to keep the story moving forward”. I also asked her about the relationship with Jordanov. “Valo was like a second father to Daniel and Zander. It was difficult when Dave was killed when Valo became du Pont’s main support. It was hard during that time being in opposing positions, especially for the kids, but I don’t hold a grudge against anyone involved. Valo and the Foxcatcher athletes all had to make decisions that would be the best for them. My children and I are on friendly terms with Valo today.”
With Nancy’s involvement and the care for this story that Jon Greenhalgh has, this certainly will be the best opportunity for everyone to understand the actual impact that Dave Schultz and Foxcatcher Farms had on wrestling.