The short film Pride Fighter is the story of an amateur mixed martial artist who aspires to fight competitively. When he comes out as gay, he is rejected and discriminated by his hyper-masculine fighting partners. He is left with no one to train with and no support before his first fight. The film explores the masculine identity of a mixed martial arts fighter, how they view themselves, and how the sport is perceived.
Pride Fighter started as the winner of the Pitch Competition at the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival. It went on into extensive pre-production and was soon a featured campaign on Kickstarter in December 2014, where it was successfully funded. Before principal photography, Pride Fighter caught the attention of different sports publications like ESPN, OutSports, and others which led to sponsorship by Everlast. The film stars David Siciliano, Adrain Washington, Keenan Jolliff, Nelson Ballester, and Mitchell Robbins. It was filmed over a seven day period on-location in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Pride Fighter was selected to show at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase.
Crew members include:
Danny Ryan, Director; Lauren Rossi, Producer; Michael Thomas, Director of Photography; Stephen Thomason, Production Design; Ellen Schwartz, Editor; Jennifer House, 1st AD; Jennifer Buckler, Script Supervisor; John Wachs, Camera Operator; Stephen Thomley, 1st AC; Tanner Robbins, Gaffer; Bryce Denton, Sound Mixer/Boom Operator; Dusty Fields, Sound Assistant; Katie Hooper, Hair and Makeup; Annelise Moreau, BTS; Chris Swart, Production Assistant.