Longtime Bloody Elbow contributor, Matthew Kaplowitz (aka "The Fight Nerd") has a big project coming out. Lately, he's been pouring his time and energy into the production of a new documentary, titled "Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story." The film follows two women, and the gym around them, as they take a series of amateur Muay Thai bouts around New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
It's an interesting look at the culture of small fight gyms and the different motivations that push people from outside of combat sports into the middle of it. In a lot of ways, I found it represented a very familiar story, even as a man who has never taken an amateur bout. But, as someone who has spent some time training in a Muay Thai gym it was easy to relate to the people and places around which the story unfolds. "Girl Fight" creates a very natural connection between the life of the average person on the street and the person willing to put themselves through a fight camp and step in the ring. It's something often missing from projects focused on athletes working at the professional level as the sense of drive and self confidence possessed by most pros can make them somewhat alienating figures. This film is a look at what drives the average person into the gym and from the gym into the ring. It's not why the future stars fight, but why the rest of us do it.
As Kaplowitz himself described the film, "'Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story' is about self-esteem, empowerment, and fighting for what you want, whether it is in a ring or elsewhere. While this movie is about women, the message is universal." And as far as the project of actually making the movie goes, it's pretty much a done deal. The filming is finished, as is most of the editing. Now, the Fight Nerd is looking for help with post-production costs, especially distribution. He's set up an Indiegogo page to for those interested in donating to help him reach that goal.
This isn't Kaplowitz's first foray into the realm of documentary production, he created a six part documentary on Chris Weidman's journey from an All American wrestler to his first professional MMA bout and a mini-documentary about the effects of 9-11 on the NY MMA community. He's also been a producer for several Spike TV shows and documentaries, as well as his writing work for Bloody Elbow among other publications.
You can check out the website for Girl Fight here, as well as the Twitter and Facebook pages for the documentary. And here's the Indiegogo link again, for those interested in donating. Check out the trailer for the film, below: