"Joe Carman is a 40-year-old family man who has promised his wife and four daughters not to return to competitive mixed martial arts fighting, the dangerous sport that gives him the most complete sense of purpose he's been able to find. Training in secret for an upcoming match, his absences begin to be felt, and a series of crises impact circumstances at home. While it's obvious that Joe is a loving father and husband – scenes at the dinner table or on the couch attest to the mutual affection – the fighting is an addiction he can't seem to shake. Jeff Unay's intimate and sometimes harrowing cinema vérité portrait offers the emotional precision of a Bruce Springsteen song with its story of a blue-collar guy who brutalizes himself to find self-respect, risking his physical health and his personal relationships for one more chance in the ring. Unay captures incredibly intimate moments as Joe strives to bridge the gap between what he needs as a man and what being a husband and father requires. Compulsively watchable, THE CAGE FIGHTER packs an emotional wallop that is not easily forgotten."
–Michelle Devereaux (SFFILM)
THE CAGE FIGHTER is a 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominee for the "Truer Than Fiction Award" presented by Jeep. US DISTRIBUTION BY SUNDANCE SELECTS | IFC FILMS
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / DP
Jeff is a director, cinematographer, and award-winning artist whose post-production credits include Visual Effects Academy Award winners Avatar and King Kong. In 2015, Jeff was inducted into the Full Sail University Hall of Fame and was recently listed by The Independent Magazine as one of the 10 Filmmakers To Watch in 2017. He is a Sundance, Cinereach, TFI and Points North Institute Fellow. The Cage Fighter (2018), Jeff's feature directorial debut, is a 2018 Independent Spirit Award Truer Than Fiction nominee.
James is a Seattle-based producer and visual effects artist. He brings over five years of film experience from his time at the award-winning visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic, and is credited on films including Star Trek, Rango, and The Avengers.
EDITOR / CO-PRODUCER
David has edited five Oscar-nominated documentaries, including one Oscar winner. Past work includes Cutie and the Boxer, E-TEAM, Mondays at Racine, and Freeheld. He recently completed editing Roger Ross William’s Sundance-winner Life, Animated and Lana Wilson's soon-to-be-released film, The Departure.
Andrea Meditch executive produced the Emmy Award winner Dangerous Acts, which premiered at TIFF and aired on HBO. She was the story advisor and executive producer for Buck, which won the Sundance Audience Award and was shortlisted in 2012; the Oscar-winning Man on Wire; and Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World. Previously, she launched and built Discovery Films, where she executive produced such films as Grizzly Man, In the Shadow of the Moon, and The Killer Within.
Frank Scheuring has worked as a mixer and sound editor for more than 14 years in the audio post-production industry. Highlights from Frank’s career include the award-winning Discovery Channel mini-series Planet Earth, as well as notable documentaries and series such as StarTalk, Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan, National Geographic: Explorer, In Performance at the White House, D.C. Cupcakes, and Dog Whisperer.
Ben's work combines hand-made acoustic and electric instruments with occasional synth, and is featured in commercials, shorts, and documentaries. In The Cage Fighter, Ben's score unveils the emotional core of Joe's story -- delicate and powerful; tragic and hopeful. His music has truly elevated this film. Ben lives in a cottage in the mountains just outside Liverpool, UK with his wife and newborn, and a fleet of instruments.
Ariel Sultan, a NYU film school alumna, heads a multi-media production studio in San Francisco. She has previously worked at Discovery Channel, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and BBDO.
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