A film about one of the most revolutionary figures in sports history: Daniel Mendoza, the man who changed boxing and celebrity culture. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on October 6, 2014.
About this project
Throughout history, there have been athletes who have changed various aspects of their chosen sport. But, there are also a few singular athletes, a few heroes – such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Babe Didrikson, Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson, who have also changed the society in which they live. One of those heroes, indeed one of the most revolutionary figures of modern sports, was Daniel Mendoza, an English boxer from London’s gritty “East End” at the turn of the 18th century.
Standing only 5’ 7” and weighing but 160 pounds, this son of Sephardic Jews became a living legend when he twice defeated the reigning British heavyweight champion Richard Humphreys. By 1789, Mendoza the shopkeeper’s assistant from Bethnal, had opened his own boxing academy and published The Art of Boxing, a definitive manual that remains unsurpassed in its impact on the sport.
Mendoza devised strategy, footwork, and a volley of rapid-fire punches that astonished his opponents and transformed the sport of pugilism from street brawl to the “sweet science.”
He became the only man ever to hold both middleweight and heavyweight championships. Moreover, as a stalwart defender of his Jewish faith, and a vigilant protector of the abject and the downtrodden, Mendoza became one of the most famous working-class heroes of his day. Celebrated throughout the western world as an icon of British cleverness and fearless pluck, he was the prototype of today’s celebrity athlete. Mendoza was also a relative of the late British actor Peter Sellers, and his picture can be found in the “Pink Panther” series of films.
In addition, moviegoers may remember the fight scenes in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr. playing the iconic private eye. Those boxing moves give kudos to Mendoza’s book The Art of Boxing. All of contemporary boxing, and much of today’s emphasis upon the powerfully central role of sports within any society, can be traced to the “Light of Israel”… Mendoza the Magnificent!
WHY MENDOZA IS IMPORTANT
We want to celebrate the untold story of Daniel Mendoza, one of the first sports heroes of Western Civilization and the first celebrity icon. We want to bring to audiences, the amazing life saga of the man who changed the sport of boxing, while also changing the way Jews were perceived in English society. So great was his impact, that Daniel Mendoza is considered to be one of the top100 most influential Jews of all time. Before Muhammad Ali, before Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, John L. Sullivan or Jack Johnson there was Daniel Mendoza, boxing’s acknowledged architect, marrying the harmony of footwork, hand speed and combination punching.
By supporting our film, you will allow us to revitalize a great story about the first real ROCKY, a man who came from humble beginnings and, through his Jewish faith and steadfast determination, had a profound impact on Georgian England during a time of revolution and sweeping change. After doing initial research on Daniel Mendoza, and seeing how compelling a character he was, we said “ How come no one has done a documentary on this guy?” Now, there is one.. We can't make this film without you!
WHO WE ARE
Our award winning team has produced a wide variety of films, from science to sports, and from the history of the human condition to award-winning museum media content, all over the world. (http://www.nantomfilmarts.com). We want this film to be celebrated worldwide, too!
•Executive Producer/Project Creator- Ron Marsh has produced, directed and written several documentaries for PBS audiences, including The Cross and the Star: Jews, Christians, and the Holocaust, Of Stars and Shamrocks: Boston’s Jews and Irish, and Rick’s Eyes on the Prize: Running with Team Hoyt. Mr. Marsh’s films have a broad focus on the daily heroism of people who struggle against their own physical limitations and communities that struggle against social injustice.
•Writer/Producer- Bob Field is a CINE Golden Eagle Award-winning Writer and Co-Producer with 30 years of experience in commercial broadcasting, interactive museum production and educational TV. Bob’s efforts for the “College Basketball Experience” (National Collegiate Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame), “Raid On Indiana: A Civil War Journey” (Conner-Prairie, IN), and “Coacoochee’s Story: The Second Seminole War” (Tampa Bay History Center) have thrilled visitors of all ages.
•Senior Producer- André Stark is an Emmy Award winning writer with 20 years experience working in 15 countries on 4 continents in television, and museum exhibition development. As a producer he has written and produced material for The Smithsonian Institution, The National Geographic Society and Harvard University. Notably, President Clinton enjoyed a few of his interactive exhibits at the former MCI National Sports Gallery in Washington, DC.
Your Kickstarter contribution will go towards vital aspects of this film to help bring it to the screen. Mendoza The Magnificent will offer audiences a unique blend of history, celebrity, sports, and a true-life dramatic arc. Kickstarter is a fabulous platform for people with ideas that peel off the layers of regularity to find subject matter that is both intriguing and entertaining. This film is just that: the story of a man who went from being a glass blower’s apprentice to an international celebrity. It is also about a man who fell from grace, built himself back up and, through it all, changed a country’s understanding of what it meant to be a “Champion, " regardless of ethnicity or social standing.
$100,000 will go a long way towards producing Mendoza the Magnificent. It will allow us to complete further in-depth research, location scouting, and our shooting script. It will also allow us to begin physical production of the film. The more funding we are able to receive, the better the film will be. We will shoot some of the film in the UK, including Aldgate , Bethnal Green and other East End/London locales, from where Daniel Mendoza rose to worldly acclaim.
Also, it is important to know if we do not reach the full amount of $100,000 within the 60 days, Kickstarter will return all of the money pledged by the backers of the film. Please send what you can, help us reach the $100,000 target within the 60 days and become co-producers of the compelling documentary Mendoza the Magnificent!
What happens if the money isn’t raised in time?
Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands. Your credit card or debit card will not be charged.
Risks and challenges
With any project, there are always risks and challenges involved. There may be unforeseen film production issues or delays, but we will work to keep all of you, our supporters, updated through our whole journey Whether it’s updates about the delivery of your rewards or updates on the progress of the Mendoza The Magnificent, we will keep you informed and involved. Thank you for supporting our film!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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