“The films for this festival not only appeal to the boxing fan, but to anyone who is drawn to the art of great storytelling,” – Former Heavyweight Champion Michael Bentt,(Sonny Liston in the 2001 film “Ali”)
Since the very early days of motion pictures, boxing has always made for great drama. For decades, the movie industry has created legendary characters inspired by those who lace up the gloves and step into the ring like modern-day gladiators. Now there is a place where both those worlds collide. The Shadow Box Film Festival (2nd Annual) provides a venue for the screening of boxing films geared to the passionate fans of both art forms.
Two of this year’s films will feature a pair of major stars from the world of movies and boxing. The Academy Award-nominated actor Liam Neeson narrates, “The Gentleman Prizefighter,” a documentary about heavyweight champion James J. Corbertt. And two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi stars in the feature film, “Omerta,” directed by Craig Tubiolo.
“Last year’s festival was an incredible success,” said Festival Director David Schuster. “We are now building on that with another fine slate of boxing films, as well as some classic John Garfield titles hosted by his daughter Julie Garfield. We are very thankful that the School of Visual Arts has again agreed to host the event in their fine theatre. Some of the greatest movies ever made have been about boxing and we think our lineup of new films will contribute to that tradition.”
“I think a boxing film festival is a great idea,” said two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi. “This could really be the start of something. I saw Ray Mancini’s film at last year’s festival. It’s a way for people to see films about a sport they love. I’m honored that they are showing my film as part of the festival” Malignaggi continued.
The festival will take place over two days – Dec. 6 – Dec. 7 – at the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. The fight related films getting their New York City premiere include:
“The Gentleman Prizefighter,” a documentary about James J. Corbett, directed by Andrew Gallimore, narrated by Liam Neeson
“Fight Like a Girl,” produced by the Emmy-nominated Tchavdar Georgiev, featuring, Jill Morley
“Boogaloo,” a work-in-progress documentary about Philly middleweight Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, written and directed by Liam Mulvey
“Omerta,” directed by Craig Tubiolo, starring Paulie Malignaggi
“Broken,” written and directed by David Wendelman
“Return,” an animated short created and directed by Yahya Ghobadi
The festival will showcase 24 boxing films, including 11 features. The films for this festival were shot or produced in six countries — Ireland, England, Canada, United States, The Netherlands and Iran. (The two-year total of countries in which films were produced or submitted is now 11 — Cuba, Thailand, Gemany, Spain, Argentina, Ireland, England, Canada, United States, The Netherlands and Iran.)
There will also be a special tribute to Oscar-nominated acting legend John Garfield, hosted by Julie Garfield. The festival will feature two of his classic boxing films – the 1948 Oscar-winning “Body and Soul,” and the 1939-classic “They Made Me a Criminal.”