Olympics Dreams is in theaters and on VOD on Feb. 14 from IFC Films

By Alexia Fernández
January 15, 2020 12:16 PM
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Nick Kroll and real-life Olympian Alexi Pappas are a winning duo in their new film Olympic Dreams.

In a PEOPLE exclusive look at the first trailer for the film, Kroll, 41, stars as Ezra, a dentist who volunteers to work with athletes inside of the Olympic’s Athletes Village where he meets Penelope (Pappas), a cross country skier competing in the games.

Despite their chemistry, the pair run into trouble in their burgeoning relationship.

“I’m just afraid,” Ezra says, to which Penelope responds, “I wake up every day a little bit afraid, but its good fear, like afraid for how well it can go.”

As their journey together culminates in the height of the Olympic competition, Ezra realizes he’s fallen in love with Penelope.

Nick Kroll and Alexi Pappas
| Credit: IFC Films

“I want to take more risks, that’s why I came to the Olympics,” he tells her. “You inspired me to do that.”

This is the first feature film ever shot at the Olympics and on-site in the Athletes Village. Pappas, her husband and co-writer Jeremy Teicher and Kroll had unprecedented access to the Olympic Village while making the movie.

“After I competed in the 2016 Rio Games, Jeremy and I were inspired to make a film that could capture what it’s like to live in the Olympic Village and to feel the ‘before, during and after’ rollercoaster that most Olympians experience,” Pappas, a cross country runner, tells PEOPLE.

Credit: IFC Films

She adds, “Everyone knows what the Olympics looks like on TV — we wanted to open a window into a new side of the Games that most people have never seen before.”

Teicher also tells PEOPLE the team of filmmakers consisted of just three people: him, Pappas and Kroll.

“I was a one-person-crew responsible for directing, shooting, and recording sound all at once. We were filming in locations where nobody was expecting to find a camera: places like the Athlete Village laundry room, the figure skating warm-up area, and even in the medical clinic,” says Teicher. “It was important to keep a small footprint and adapt to the very active world around us. It was a technical challenge, for sure, but ultimately it felt like the purest filmmaking experience ever — where it’s just you and your friends capturing magic together.”

Olympics Dreams is in theaters and on VOD on Feb. 14 from IFC Films.