Film Focuses on Youth Boxing and Mentorship in DC’s Ward 8
LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports Films announced the acquisition of the North American rights for boxing documentary “They Fight,” as an addition to its “MAGNIFY” series. The film is directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by Emmy® Award winner, Academy Award® winner, Golden Globe® winner, and two-time Grammy Award® winner Common; his company Freedom Road Productions; and Argent Pictures, the film’s production and financing company run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo. The film was executive produced by Argent Pictures partners Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks and Michael Finley.
The documentary follows Coach Walt Manigan’s Lyfe Style Boxing, an after-school program in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 – a community rife with inequity. Walt mentors young boxers, “Peanut” Bartee and Quincey Williams on the path to the 2017 Junior Olympics, while he also fights to find a permanent home for his program to help young fighters avoid the troubles he found in his own youth.
“It is important to share Coach Walt’s story and seeing how he overcame extreme hardships and now serves as a mentor to the youth in Ward 8,” said Common. “It is a true example as to how we can take the most challenging of situations and turn them into a positive, not only for ourselves but for others. Boxing is more than just a sport to these kids, it empowers and unifies them to fight for a better life.”
This project is the newest in the Sports Emmy®-nominated “MAGNIFY” series from FOX Sports Films. The series leverages sports as a lens for exploring important cultural stories and investigates the challenges, change, and unity they bring to communities. Since its November 2017 launch, the MAGNIFY series’ roster of influential contributors includes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper; and, most recently, Kevin Durant.
“From the opening minutes of this powerful film, we knew it was a perfect fit for our ‘Magnify’ series,” said Gabe Spitzer, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, FOX Sports Films. “The power of sports as a community builder is visible throughout the documentary.”
The producers are Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Renzo for Argent Pictures; Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone, and Melisa Resch through Common’s Freedom Road Productions; Renzi, Michael Minahan, Daniel Yaro, Nick Boak, and Chris Burt through Renzi’s North of Now production label; and Andrew D. Corkin through his Uncorked Productions company. Jason Michael Berman executive produced for Mandalay Pictures along with Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow and Arrow Entertainment; Tommy Oliver and Codie Oliver of Confluential Films; and Stanley Twarog. The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content.
“We continue to connect really strong contributors to the ‘Magnify’ series,” added Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content, FOX Sports. “These varied, authentic voices that influence and support the films add an important layer to the mission of telling stories that focus on life beyond sports.”
“They Fight” will premiere this fall as a FOX Sports broadcast. Other “MAGNIFY” films, past and future:
- 2018 Sports Emmy®-nominated “89 Blocks,” executive produced by James and Carter for Uninterrupted, along with Sports Illustrated (November 2017)
- “Shot in the Dark,” executive produced by Wade and Chance the Rapper (February 2018)
- “Nossa Chape,” from award-winning directors Jeffrey Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist (The Two Escobars, Pele: Birth of a Legend) focuses on the 2016 plane crash involving Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense. It premieres June 23rd at 4:15 pm ET on FOX immediately following 2018 FIFA™ World Cup coverage.
- The recently announced, “Q Ball,” from Executive Producer Golden State Warriors All-Star Durant, follows the lives of the San Quentin Warriors — teammates and inmates at “The Q”, California’s San Quentin State Prison. Set to premiere in early 2019
About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, including FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports app, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, with instant scores, the latest stats and real-time alerts available to iOS and Android devices. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.
Argent Pictures is a Los Angeles-based independent movie company dedicated to the development, financing, production and distribution of top-tier films for global audiences. Founded and run by partners Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, Ben Renzo, and joined by notable professional athletes Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley and Derrick Brooks, Argent is an emerging company with a slate full of award-winning, critically acclaimed films.
Together, the Argent team has been involved with an impressive assortment of acclaimed studio and independent films including AMERICAN MADE starring Tom Cruise (Paramount); Nate Parker’s THE BIRTH OF A NATION (Fox Searchlight); Mel Gibson’s HACKSAW RIDGE (Lionsgate), the Sundance Audience Award winning documentary CHASING CORAL (Netflix); and the most recent Netflix global hit AMATEUR.
Recently announced Argent projects include KUNG FURY 2, the feature length sequel to the massively-popular short KUNG FURY by David Sandberg; THE GOOD TIME GIRLS the feature adaptation of Courtney Hoffman’s blood-soaked western revenge short film; the boxing documentary THEY FIGHT from director Andrew Renzi, which Argent produced with Common and his team; and a new movie based on the popular children’s novel, Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts.
Additional film collaborations have included the critically acclaimed LEE DANIELS THE BUTLER; the hit comedy/horror MEET THE BLACKS; the drama THE BENEFACTOR starring Richard Gere; the crime/drama LUV starring Common; GLEASON – the moving and inspirational documentary on NFL player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS; and Universal Pictures adventure/thriller SANCTUM.
Upcoming movie collaborations include the action/thriller NOMIS starring Alexandra Daddario, Henry Cavill and Ben Kingsley; Rob Reiner’s drama SHOCK & AWE starring Jessica Biel and Woody Harrelson; the next two installments of Sylvester Stallone’s ESCAPE PLAN franchise, and FIRST TO DO IT – a documentary about the first African American professional Basketball player, Earl Lloyd.
For more information on Argent please visit https://www.argentpictures.com/