The Richmond Register

November 6, 2013

‛The Sixth Man’ to be shown Saturday at EKU Center


Special to the Register

RICHMOND — “The Sixth Man: Blue Sanity,” a film which documents the obsessive devotion of University of Kentucky basketball fans, will be shown at the EKU Center for the Arts 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is $10 each. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ekucenter.com, at the Center Box Office, or by calling 859-622-SHOW (7469). Tickets may be purchased at the door, if available.

Richmond photographer Steve Bates is one of the documentary’s four co-producers.

“The Sixth Man” footage and interviews, shot over three years, examines the importance of the 24,000-plus fans who fill Rupp Arena for every game to the UK program’s success.

However, it goes beyond the arena’s walls to explore the statewide fan base, “from every corner of Kentucky and beyond, who provide the sports world with a rare breed of ‛fandemonium.’”

It asks, “How much does the collective energy of UK’s rabid admirers affect the team’s performance on and off the court, and “To what lengths do UK fans go to for the love of their Kentucky Wildcats?”

“The Sixth Man” includes interviews with names that some would think surprising, stars such as  Josh Hutcherson of “The Hunger Games,” Steve Zahn of HBO’s “Treme,” Josh Hopkins of “Cougar Town,” Laura Bell Bundy of “Anger Management,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas and Rece Davis plus country music star Eddie Montgomery, UK Coach John Calipari and the Big Blue Nation’s “No. 1 Villian,” Christian Laettner,  to name a few.

As the footage was shot and the film developed, a production company was formed, taking the name 4 Rocket Surgeons. In addition to Bates, it includes another Eastern Kentucky University graduate, Jason Epperson, the film’s director, Tim Bates and Lexington television personality Lee Cruse.

“The Sixth Man: Blue Sanity” will be available Nov. 19 for purchase on DVD at most major Kentucky retailers including Walmart, Meijer, Best Buy and Amazon.com. It also will be available on-line at Vimeo On-demand for purchase or rental.

EKU Center for the Arts movie goers will see the movie 10 days in advance of the store release. As an added bonus, Pro Player Solutions will bring a former retired UK player to autograph copies of the movie on DVD, available for purchase in the EKU Center for the Arts lobby after the movie airs inside the theater.