“The House that Rob Built,” a documentary about the University of Montana (UM) women’s basketball program, will be released nationwide on Feb. 23. It is available for pre-order now. The movie is co-directed by Jonathan Cipiti, and UM alum Megan Harrington.
The documentary chronicles the inspiring story of Rob Selvig, pioneering coach of UM’s Lady Griz basketball team. In an era when gender discrimination in sports was the norm, Coach Selvig built a house of inclusion and empowerment by recruiting female athletes from the ranches, farms and Native American reservations of Big Sky Country. For nearly 40 years, these athletes would establish the preeminent women’s basketball program west of the Rockies.
“With everything going on in the world today, I’m thrilled Montanans can watch our film in the comfort of their own homes,” said Harrington, the film’s co-director and a former Lady Griz player. Harrington, now based in Los Angeles, Calif., spent the last four years making the film. “The film celebrates that collective, positive spirit of Rob and the Lady Griz community. The fan base is in a league of their own.”
The movie also shares the stories of former Lady Griz players who came to the University of Montana to play Division I basketball, earned a college degree and went on to have a successful career after college.
“I’m actually one of the kids that wanted to play for the Lady Griz,” states Krista Pyron in the documentary. Pyron came from Great Falls, Mont. to play for the Lady Griz in 1995. “I was part of a tradition that took many years to build and the girls before me were the pioneers.”
“I feel so honored to be able to share the story of Coach Selvig and the impact he had on the lives and careers of so many women across Montana and beyond,” said Harrington. “I grew up in small town America where the big ticket was the women’s basketball game. I owe my opportunities to the women who blazed the trail for me and countless others, as well as Rob, for believing in the greatness of women athletes from the very beginning. Accumulating 865 wins in general, let alone at one school, is unbelievable.”
Selvig is No. 10 in the line-up for winningest coaches in women’s basketball, touting a .752 winning percentage. Among the 10, he is the only one not in the women’s college basketball Hall of Fame.
“Coach Selvig deserves to be a household name in the pantheon of college basketball coaches,” said Aron Phillips, COO at RTG Features. “We are very excited to partner on this empowering female-driven sports film and to make sure it’s seen by hoops fans worldwide.”
The film premiered at the 2020 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is produced by Family Theater Productions in association with Windrider Productions, Five-Star Basketball x RTG Features, with distribution from 1091 Pictures.