No Neutral Corner – a documentary my wife and I made about the business of boxing – has been accepted into the 2010 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival.
Professional boxing is a job, and the movie looks at the sport as a form of work. The problems plaguing boxing are legion. They range from the obvious (and not-so-obvious) health hazards to corruption and organizational chaos. But there’s little agreement on how to solve them (hence the title No Neutral Corner). At the same time, however, there are several ongoing efforts to improve the situation. The documentary doesn’t dwell only on the negatives. Numerous people in the boxing world – including current and former professional boxers, writers and broadcasters, lawmakers and doctors – have faced the challenges of reforming the sport. (Essays in Fighters & Writers to varying degrees grew out of research I conducted while working on the movie.)
Over the course of 13 “rounds” (corresponding to the 12 rounds of a championship bout, plus one “round” about life after boxing), No Neutral Corner explores various moves to improve boxers’ working conditions. Shot in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, the documentary features footage from professional boxing matches, boxing gyms, and a weigh-in preceding a major championship bout as well as from interviews with dozens of well-know individuals, including former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, U.S. Senator John McCain, on-air boxing analysts and commentators Steve Farhood, Teddy Atlas and Max Kellerman, and writer Thomas Hauser.
The All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival promotes the art of filmmaking in the world of sports and competition. Its jury and judges include people from both the film and sporting industries. The festival’s selected documentaries, feature films and shorts will be screened at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on July 10 and 11.
No Neutral Corner, a Rodwan Productions film, also won the Las Vegas Film Festival’s Silver Ace Award.