Filmmaker: Lara Slife, George Antonopoulos (Producer)
Runtime: 110 min
Over 10 years in the making, Born To Lead is the story of Sal Aunese, the University of Colorado’s star Samoan quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989 and how his team promptly dedicated their season to him. Through reflections from his friends, family, and teammates, as well as rare archival footage, Born To Lead chronicles Sal’s rise to the top as one of his team’s most valuable players and his valiant battle with the disease that took his life in 1989. Reminiscent of such poignant sports films of the past such as Brian’s Song and Rudy, Born To Lead is a rousing story of courage, friendship, and living life against the most brutal of obstacles.
About The Filmmakers
Lara Slife is currently making her directorial debut with the International Award-Winning Documentary feature film Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story, which opened in AMC Theatres in August 2017 in New York City and Los Angeles and concurrently aired nationwide in 2017 on The CBS Sports Network. The documentary film has since screened to various sold-out audiences around the country.
Lara has won several International awards including ‘Best First Time Director’ at The FICTS Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story also won ‘Best Sports Doc’ at this festival, and was the official selection at many film festivals around the world.
Lara is the co-owner and managing member of Livin’ Large Productions, LLC, a boutique theatrical and film production company based in NYC and Los Angeles. She has produced several theatrical productions in New York City where it all began. Projects include works by such greats as David Mamet, Lee Blessing, Neil Simon and John Patrick. She has several projects currently in development including an inspiring film about a Titanic survivor. Lara graduated with honors from Texas Christian University. She attributes her success to her unrelenting pursuit of the story!
A son of Greek Immigrants, and a Colorado native, George entered The University of Colorado in the Fall of 1986, the same semester as Sal Aunese. He became a member of Phi Kappa Tau and earned his B.A. in Economics from CU in 1991. He then earned his M.B.A. in Finance from The Leeds School Of Business in 1994, where he was also V.P. of his M.B.A. Class here at CU.
Upon graduating, off to NYC!! George integrated a career in finance and entertainment. He also formed Livin’ Large Productions, LLC with Lara. George always gravitated towards the stage and performed in many NYC stage productions from playwrights such as David Mamet, Neil Simon, John Guare and many more. George has appeared on General Hospital, as well as various roles in many films.
He began crafting Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story with Lara to deliver this compelling, incredible story to the world. Next up is the dramatic film, SAL, which is based on Sal Aunese’s life. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, CU Alumni Association, The Buff Club, The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, International Documentary Association, Film Independent and many other groups. George is a donor to The Universityof Colorado and cherishes his Alma Mater. He was born on 08-08, which is the same number as Sal and T.C.’s high school and college numbers. What are the odds?