Ultimate: The Accidental Sport

In the summer of 1968 — during a time of American upheaval and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy — ultimate frisbee was taught with social justice issues of conflict resolution that reject a winner-take-all mentality. As the game expands worldwide can its ethics remain intact as a high-flying action sport on the precipice of the Olympics? Six Weeks in the Summer of '68 is the first episode in the documentary series The Accidental Sport: The Birth and Survival of Ultimate


About The Project

The Accidental Sport is a documentary series on the origin and survival of a new American sport, ultimate frisbee, using the uniquely folk aspects of ultimate as a prism that refracts different colors of cultural and societal appreciation of sport in American society. It’s been three years since filming began but the project has been in the works since the publication of the history book Ultimate: The First Four Decades co-authored by the creator of this project and ultimate historian, Tony Leonardo. This documentary will reveal and define many of the unknowns of ultimate — and bring them to screen for the first time.


About the Team

A project like this with a minimal budget relies on the grace of many; some paid, some working for free and some providing advice and support. Please inquire about working with us -- we’d love to have you join.

Andy Betsch
supervising editor
Holly Buechel
teaser-trailer editor
Chuck Cleary
cinematographer, editor
Jules Eddy
assistant editor
Rob Featherstone
director, cinematographer
Jenna Hunt
researcher, junior producer
Tony Leonardo
producer, director, researcher, sound
Dana Lewis
researcher, photographer
Luca Serio
archive researcher, social media
Cody Schatzle
website, logo, graphic design
Aidan Shapiro-Leighton
assistant producer


Jo Ardinger, Kate Bergeron and Mike Gull, Mike Denardis, Pete Gilchrist, Willie Herndon, Jim McDonnell, Jeff Mee, Rosalie Miller, Matt Radecki, Dave Raflo, Tushar Singh, Ilja Willems, Remco Bikkers, Eric Eckelman, Zane Friedkin, Kristin + Jason Lund, many more

Ilja Willems + Remco Bikkers: BureauNY.tv
Jeff Mee: IMDB
Rosalie Miller: Wanderhouse
Jo Ardinger: Personhood 
Eric Eckelman: JEAN
Tushar Singh: MinuteSchool
Matt Radecki: IMDB
Zane Friedkin: Story Syndicate

Help The Production

The stories of the past don’t have a voice until we bring them to life.

Altruistic contributors in the ultimate community have started off this series but we will need additional funds to keep going. Meanwhile, we are happy to keep doing what we are doing at no-budget levels with in-kind contributions of time and effort whenever possible! Please consider a contribution to keep this project going.

The series is fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association — a 501c3 organization. Donations made to the IDA are considered tax-deductible and the IDA will reimburse the project as we meet its standards.

We are also asking that you consider a contribution to oft-overlooked voices in our community and support the Black ultimate Con10ent Series sponsored by Disc/ Diversity

Video Clips

About Ultimate

Ultimate is a universal sport founded on the principles of fair play, self-guidance and robust competition. It is one of the few team sports that values equality on the field and is being considered for the Olympics as a mixed-gender sport. There are thousands of teams worldwide and numerous leagues both professional and amateur. Ultimate competes in multiple divisions including Mixed, Women’s and Men’s on grass, sand and indoors. For more information check out World Flying Disc Federation, USA Ultimate, The AUDL, the PUL, Revolution Ultimate, Ultimate Canada and local ultimate organizations in your city.

USSAU, Ultiworld, IDA