The "Raging Bull" of professional boxing films. Visit our new corner at Indiegogo and pledge! Go to TitleShotFilm.com
The "Raging Bull" of professional boxing films. Visit our new corner at Indiegogo and pledge! Go to TitleShotFilm.com Read more
About this project
WE ARE NOT GIVING UP!
We're just relaunching our campaign with Indiegogo.
GO to TITLESHOTFILM.com
We've had terrific backers and with more support than most for any boxing film on crowd-funding -- and ever-growing attention and terrific feature articles from the boxing community. But because Kickstarter doesn't allow us to keep any funds unless we receive ALL our goal, we're going to keep going and change our corner to Indiegogo!
Indiegogo allows us to receive any pledges made, no matter if the final goal is reached or not.
Though our costs to get the film from negative to picture remain the same, with Indiegogo whatever funds we receive we will start to digitally transfer film footage and audio, beginning with the most important scenes. As we receive more funding we'll continue this way. We won't wait to do everything at once, and we'll be able to show broadcasters what powerful footage we have with each scene we transfer digitally.
Please join us at INDIEGOGO and continue to help fund this film. Whatever we receive in pledges we can keep, and you can get your rewards! All the rewards will be the same and we're adding some incredible new ones.
So there is still time to answer the bell and pledge! We are going to finish this film!
What they’ve been saying about TitleShot:
"A story that deserves telling and to be shared with the world.. not just about boxing but about fighting for life itself! - Inside the Ropes
‘TitleShot' isn't another Rocky, Creed, or Southpaw film - it's a real-life documentary that followed Ugandan boxer Godfrey Nyakana from fight to fight as he sought a junior-middleweight world championship. - Bad Left Hook
"Boxing: Film “TitleShot" tells truest of stories..(TitleShot) focuses its lens on sides of the sweet science rarely seen at once — the triumphs, heartbreaks, and intimate behind the scenes realities of navigating the harsh realm of professional boxing.
...what makes this project special is the resonance of genuine moments and unbridled emotions that the film captures in ways that only a documentary with such intimate access to the most brutal of sports can.
Boxing fans and purists will undoubtedly find TitleShot‘s time capsule aspect fascinating. Much of the film was shot at New York’s hallowed Gleason’s Gym, which throughout its history has been a hotbed for prospects, contenders, world champions, and some of the most charismatic — and colourful — figures in boxing. TitleShot features appearances by a young Shane Mosley (who spars with Nyakana), Kevin Kelley, and trainer Bob Jackson. It also offers a unique glimpse of legends no longer with us like Angelo Dundee, cut man Al Gavin, and promoter Cedric Kushner. …with fight footage and behind the scenes moments after victories and defeats, that imbue TitleShot with a unique feeling of totality. TitleShot isn’t just about Godfrey Nyakana or Bobby Cassidy. It isn’t just about the harsh realities of being a professional boxer. It’s the story of every fighter — one that’s omnipresent yet rarely told. " - The Living Daylights
"An exciting new addition to the canon of great boxing films.. Ross' existing footage has the classic look of real film, no longer seen often in contemporary documentaries, where much cheaper video production has become standard. It's the perfect visual aesthetic for what is essentially a "time capsule" for a now-gone era of boxing history." -BallTribe
"Have you wondered what a young Shane Mosley looks like in sparring? Or what Angelo Dundee is like behind the scenes? ... unprecedented access to Nyakana’s career, from sparring with a young Shane Mosley to pre-fight pep talks and post-fight analysis, moments rarely seen by those outside Boxing’s inner-circle. “ -T2T Boxing
For 20 years this remarkable documentary footage - shot entirely on 16mm film - has been sitting in a vault. Life and circumstances interrupted its completion. Other projects beckoned, award-winning documentaries were made, and the film negative was stored safely away -- until now!
With digital technology and Kickstarter, it is now possible for us to finish this film.
With extraordinary verite cinematography of Bob Richman, TitleShot offers some of the best in-the-ring fight action and emotional intensity of great fight films. From training at the famed Gleason's gym in Brooklyn, New York to fighting at the Great Western Forum of Los Angeles, TitleShot captures the uniquely exquisite blow by blow action of professional boxing through the joy and heartbreak of junior middleweight Ugandan boxer Godfrey Nyakana's title quest. A former Commonwealth games gold-medal winner, Godfrey travels 3 hours on the subway each day from a tiny basement apartment in the East Bronx to Gleason's. For Godfrey this is not just a fight for a title but for his life -- manager, trainer, big money backers, all wrapped up in the American dream.
Whether Godfrey is sparring with then up-and-coming Shane Mosely (as Shane’s father/trainer looks on) or getting pre-fight bedroom advice from legendary featherweight Kevin Kelley and his wife, the film reveals the anguish, hard scrabble realities, and even the humor of a pro boxer’s life. TitleShot includes some of boxing's greats, like trainer Bob Jackson, former middleweight contender turned trainer, "Irish" Bobby Cassidy and a few no longer with us -- legendary cut man Al Gavin, and Muhammad Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee. These old-school trainers and cornermen are the last of a breed and represent the glory days of boxing.
The film travels with Godfrey from match to match – the preludes, the fights themselves and their climatic outcome. All the while we meet other struggling boxers who are on their own way up or down. Tough battles lead to the stunning pain that accompanies a knockout loss, or the exhilaration of a win as this roller coaster ride careens from locker rooms to midnight strategy meetings with trainer and manager. We stay with Godfrey and his team, as they groom him, train him, celebrate with him or pull him back from defeat until that final title shot. TitleShot is a dream not only for Godfrey, but also for his trainer Bobby Cassidy, who confronts his own lost chances as a boxer, while pursuing the championships for his fighters. It's a classic tale, win or lose, the fighters and the brass ring … just within reach.
Now is the time!
Cannes: What’s With All the Boxing Movies?
Boxing dramas are suddenly hot with 3 being released this year - Southpaw, Bleed Like This, and Hands of Stones.
Its the perfect time to compliment these with a great boxing documentary!
Boxing has always made for great drama. There are few moments in sport as exciting as the culmination of a great fight. Victory or defeat is decided by one final round. One hundred and eighty seconds of relentless give and take. The crowd rising, the tension building, the fighters tapping sources of pride and energy they didn't know existed. It's the stuff that legends are made of.
The movie industry has been borrowing from that legend for decades. From "Rocky," to "Requiem for a Heavyweight" to "Million Dollar Baby," the genre has produced many classics. Why? Perhaps because the fighting is so compelling. Not just in the ring, but outside it too. They are heroes, they are villains, they are icons. Simply put, they are compelling. Boxing may be violent by nature, but there is beauty within the courage that defines the sport.
What we want to do:
With our funding: Over 45,000 ft (over 115 reels) of film need to be transferred, color corrected, and digitized, and all the audio (some 1/4" reels) transferred and synched with picture. The funds raised will cover the entire lab work as well as an assistant editor to log and synch all the footage. What we have digitized to date is just the tip of the iceberg: the trailer represents only 3 days of filming. We know that remarkable scenes include:
• 4 major fights including Godfrey's fight for the WBU title against Verno Phillips
* Dramatic pre-fight strategies and post-fight analysis and sometimes a heartbreaking post-mortem.
Here selections from the film in a midnight meeting after a major fight loss to determine if Godfrey should continue his title quest :
- Trainer As a fighter, I’ve been through the hurt he’s going through. There’s nothing that’s ever going to take that away. There’s nothing you can do... that we can do for him. Its hurt that’s worse than any hurt that you can imagine. Its that serious. He’s a broken man.
- Manager What I think is going through his mind right now is all the hard work that he went through to get to this point...
- Trainer But why he didn’t do what I tell him is another thing. That I can’t understand. It's like at a point subconsciously, did he want to be there? Did he really want to be there? Because maybe he didn’t want to be a fighter that night…it’s crazy.. these are the things that sound absurd because you train so hard, but ...Will he be able to come back with all the heart and energy he has now is a different story?
- Manager He was right on the cusp..
- Trainer: Yeah, we think we can get him ranked again pretty quickly, but it’s got to come from within. He’s had a tremendous set back. He’s got to question his own ability if he can take a shot now. And does he want to put all the energy to overcome that? It’s a big thing to overcome.
* Training at Gleason's Gym New York, and sparring in Los Angeles with Shane Mosely
*Interviews with boxers and promoters like Cedric Kushner, dressing room scenes with managers and trainers including Angelo Dundee
*Behind the scenes with Godfrey's managers at their Beverly Hills offices, and Godfrey's sports sponsor No Fear
Where are they now?
Your pledge, large or small, will allow us to assess the film that we have, and what we may need to still complete this story - shooting updates of where these boxers are today - what became of Godfrey Nyakana in his return to Uganda (now a mayor of a district of Kampala!) or fighters like Kevin Kelley or Shane Mosely who became a boxing super star since we filmed him.
We believe that there is television and theatrical potential for the film but cannot go further with cable producers (like ESPN) until we have all the footage available to be seen. This is where the Kickstarter campaign becomes invaluable to bring this footage to light of day.
Can I make a tax-deductible donation?
Yes! You can make a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Human Arts Association (HAA)
Please make your check out to "HAA" and put the project name "TitleShot" in the memo portion of the check.
Checks should be sent to: Human Arts Association, P.O. Box 3238, New York, NY 10008.
Why this film is important:
First and foremost, this is a universal and timeless story of striving to succeed, while the despair of losing always lurks just one fight, one punch away. But equally TitleShot is a window into a boxing era now gone, as we bring the 90's of professional boxing into the present -- we see how much has not only not changed, but how much has gotten worse for the middle class fighter. For those in the film like Kelley or Mosley, and Godfrey, boxing in the 1990s offered the possibility to survive until a real pay day came along. Today the distance between the elite fighter and the emerging contender is probably greater than its ever been. A fighter is either insanely rich like Floyd Mayweather, who has topped the Forbes list of highest paid athletes two years in a row, or basically broke. Take the hardscrabble career of Godfrey’s trainer Bobby Cassidy (accompanied by gritty black and white footage of his fighting years.) In 1963, Cassidy got paid $50 for his first fight. After his trainer and manager took their cut he had $24 left. But the difference then, and even in the 1990s, was that a fighter could take that chance because he knew he could keep moving up in the ring, and even a middle class fighter could afford to raise a family. But today that same boxer would need to go out and get another job to survive. Gleason’s gym is still filled with fighters, but unlike Godfrey, how will these young boxers get started, get financed, and find a way onto a card? The fighters are still there, the dreams are still there. But the brass ring is ever further away.
Gaylen Ross (Director/Producer) has produced, directed and written award-winning documentary films for over 25 years, premiering in national and international film festivals. Among her films, Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis, was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival, broadcast BBC Storyville, shown in 11 countries and has enjoyed an unprecedented theatrical release in the US, Israel and France. It was named by the LA Times as one of the best documentary films of 2010. She produced and wrote the Emmy award-winning Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold. a feature-length documentary on the Swiss Banks and the Holocaust accounts. Her documentary on diamond dealers Dealers Among Dealers which aired on PBS’ P.O.V is considered the only inside look into this very cloistered world, was the official selection of the Berlin Film Festival, Haifa International Film Festival, awarded a Gold Plaque from the Chicago Film Festival. Her latest film Caris' Peace about an actress who lost her memory premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival, won first place Athens Film Festival, Ohio; and featured as a special presentation of the Rubin Museum of Art’s Brainwave series in New York.
Andrew Ford (Producer) is a producer, editor, and writer specializing in multi-award winning long-form documentaries and narrative features. He recently was editor and writer on Seventh Fire, a feature-length documentary about an Ojibwe community in rural Minnesota struggling with the violent rise of Native American gangs. With executive producer Natalie Portman, the film was presented by Terrence Malick at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. Mr. Ford’s other recent credits include The War Against Women (a documentary examining the global phenomenon of rape as a weapon of war), Down the Shore (James Gandolfini, Famke Janssen), A Walk to Beautiful (Emmy winner 2009, IDA best documentary feature 2007 winner), and Killing Kasztner (Toronto International Film Festival premiere). Mr. Ford also has extensive television credits that include National Geographic’s Border Wars, the Frontier House series for PBS which received an Emmy nomination, and the ground-breaking documentary series Family Bonds for HBO.
Robert Cassidy, Jr. (Consultant) has been a sports journalist for more than a quarter century. His career began in 1987 as a reporter in Newsday's sports department. In addition to Newsday, his writing has appeared in the New York Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, ESPN.com and The Ring, long know as the Bible of Boxing. Cassidy has also authored or co-authored four books - two on boxing. Cassidy has covered 124 world title fights, 37 Stanley Cup playoff games, 13 U.S. Opens, eight Belmont Stakes (including American Pharoah's triple crown win) and two Super Bowls. In 1994, he was among the first team of journalists at Newsday to publish the newspaper's content online. Cassidy was a senior sports producer for Newsday's interactive department and now serves as the Deputy Editor of the multimedia department. In addition to Newsday, his work as a videographer has appeared on NBC, ABC, WB11, Fox News and CourtTV. Cassidy has directed and produced feature length and short documentaries that have screened at The Coney Island Film Festival, The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, Doc Lisboa International Film Festival (Portugal), The Moscow Sports Film Festival and The Shadow Box Film Festival.
Bruce Silverglade (Consultant) President, Gleason’s Gym Over the last thirty-five years, Bruce Silverglade has been busy keeping one of boxing’s grandest traditions alive. He is the driving force behind Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, a boxing treasure since 1937. One of the last of New York City’s thriving boxing gyms, Gleason’s has been the training headquarters for such legends as Jake LaMotta, Muhammad Ali and Roberto Duran. In all, 133 World Champions have trained inside the gym’s hallowed walls. Currently five active title holders workout at Gleason’s as well as numerous contenders and dozens of Golden Gloves champions. And yes, women train at Gleason’s too. The Silverglade name has been associated with boxing for over 70 years. Bruce’s father Edward, was one of the founders of the National PAL. He also worked for the National Olympic Committee and was the team manager for the US Olympic teams of 1980 and 1984. In 1976, Bruce found himself in the middle of a divorce and sought refuge in boxing. While one marriage ended, another one was just beginning. Silverglade caught the boxing bug and quit his job of 16 years with Sears Roebuck and Company. He began refereeing and judging amateur bouts but because he liked “all” fighters he learned quickly that he could not be an impartial official. That’s when he turned to the administrative side of the sport. From 1980 to 1985, Silverglade held some of the most prominent positions in amateur boxing. He was president of the Metropolitan Amateur Boxing Federation, a chairman of the National Junior Olympic Committee and a member of the National Selection Committee. By the early 1980’s, Silverglade began devoting his efforts full-time to Gleason’s. In 1987, he started running live boxing cards at Gleason’s Arena, which was located one block away from the gym. That lasted until 1990, but Silverglade remained involved in the business side of boxing as a matchmaker and booking agent. He helped to promote the first world title fight in Russia as IBF cruiserweight champion Al Cole defended his title against Glen McCrory. He has also made fights for some of the game’s top attractions: Arturo Gatti, Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman, Mark Breland and Zab Judah. Silverglade lives in New York City. He graduated Gettysburg College in 1968 with a degree in economics. He also holds a master’s degree in the Sweet Science.
Some of the Rewards!
MEMBERSHIP AND TRAINING AT GLEASON'S GYM
Risks and challenges
Fully financing a feature documentary is challenging. And this is a unique situation in that we are really excavating hours of film footage that we need to process before we can offer to cable networks and other funders for completion. Preliminary lab tests confirm that the footage is all in terrific condition, as well as everything accounted for - visual and audio. We promise to keep our supporters informed of our progress after everything is digitized with samples of what we have as well as updates on all of our progress. Its very exciting and edge of your seat filmmaking.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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