The Pride of Spanish Harlem
The Pride of Spanish Harlem
The story of the interrupted life and comeback of Edgar Santana, a Puerto Rican boxing icon from Spanish Harlem.
The story of the interrupted life and comeback of Edgar Santana, a Puerto Rican boxing icon from Spanish Harlem. Read more
About this project
Documenting the life and boxing comeback of Edgar Santana, an inspirational Puerto Rican boxing icon from Spanish Harlem, whose career was derailed in 2008.
The project portrays Santana’s redemptive story, both professionally and personally, in the wake of his arrest in connection with a drug trafficking charge. The project also depicts the colorful personalities with which he’s aligned himself during his comeback. Through Santana’s comeback in progress, viewers get insight into New York’s boxing industry.
Santana has sought out boxing legend Leon "Cat" Taylor, who trains fighters from a gym in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Sports Illustrated recently called Taylor “the greatest fighter never known,” referring to a career that had been infamously lost during hard times on the street.
The remarkable lives of Santana and Taylor have intersected at a crucial moment, when bumpy roads become smooth enough to build momentum.
Scenes take place at the boxing gym, Santana’s barber shop in Spanish Harlem, and fight venues from the Bronx to Delaware, to, hopefully, Vegas.
Santana’s first comeback bout happened in May, 2011 in the Bronx. He looked sharp, demolishing an unknown opponent from Detroit. Next Edgar fights for the WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight belt bout in Dover, Delaware on August 19th.
The project was in pre-production from July 2010 until February 2011. Production got rolling in March 2011 when Santana re-entered the professional boxing game.
The project is a collaborative effort between Eric Johannsen, Mitch McMahon, with the gracious participation of the films many wonderful personalities: Santana and his trainers Leon Taylor, Emmanuel Brujan.
In the weeks after Santana’s release, we approached him with the concept of documenting his boxing comeback.
That’s the million dollar question, especially in the context of a major interruption in his career.
In his last bout before going away, he rose off the canvas to beat a universally top-ten ranked fighter. Legendary boxing matchmaker, Johnny Bos, described Santana’s boxing potential: “There’s two reasons you develop a fighter. One, he can sell tickets. Two, he can be a world champion. Santana could do both. Santana can still do both.”
We’re 10-15% through production.
We anticipate a broad-based audience. It’s a New York story about boxing, with a Puerto Rican subject. New York is perhaps the most internationally populated city in the world, and this project will developed in this context. The project will appeal to boxing fans, documentary filmgoers, and anyone that appreciates an authentic New York-based comeback story.
Santana is scheduled to compete for the WBO Intercontinental Championship in Dover, Delaware on August 19th, 2011.
“We gotta feed the monkey, man.” (sic)
There is a Jeff Lebowski quote to tackle every FAQ. But seriously, films cost money. We need funds to pay for production. We’re featuring a world class boxer, which means travel, equipment expenses, expendables, and most importantly, retaining our professional crew.
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