This page is badly in need of updating - a lot of the links are probably broken. A complete redesign wouldn't hurt either. But I have tendonitis, so it won't happen for a long time.
Hoop Dreams has received praise extraordinary for any film, let alone a documentary. It made the 1994 10 best films list of over 100 critics, and it recently won a Peabody award. With the failure of the academy to nominate it for Best Picture or Best Documentary, it has prompted long overdue re-examination of the doc nomination process. I haven't been able to update this page much lately. Arthur Agee's foundation has a web page and there is a bio of William Gates on the CPBL's website. It is a new league William is on the board of.
The controversy has benefited the film (though we'll never know if it helped it more than a nomination would have as Variety has suggested). It grossed $9 million breaking Roger & Me's record for a non-musical documentary. Hoop Dreams also outsold Madonna's Truth or Dare on home video - it shipped 120,000 copies; Hoop Dreams shipped 140,000 for rental alone. It was just released on November 7 at the sell-through price of $19.95 (though you may be able to get it on sale for even less), so it will sell even more copies.
It was nominated for best editing (though Forest Gump won). The film was cut from over 250 hours of videotape (mostly shot on professional Beta) down to nearly three hours and transferred to 16mm for film festivals and 35mm when it was released in October of 1994 by Fine Line.
And in the midst of a renewed interest in basketball in the spring of 1995, the phrase 'Hoop Dreams" appeared in many headlines and stories on the return of Michael Jordan. TNT even called their coverage of the NBA draft, Hoop Dreams '95.
Hoop Dreams came out on video and laser disc on April 25th and has been on the list of top ten rental videos. It is well worth seeing in a theater though if you get the chance.
Fineline has a Hoop Dreams page with production notes, a transcript of an on-line session with Peter Gilbert and other great information (they have also added a new banner to their main page with images from Hoop Dreams).
Several award winning short films by Hoop Dreams producer and editor Frederick Marx are available on video from Facets. Marx is currently doing a documentary on media prankster Joey Skaggs. I hope to have information sometime on films from Kartemquin, the documentary producation company that made Hoop Dreams.